Local Artists Share "Eye Candy" at the Tempe Youth Library Gallery

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he Tempe Youth Library Gallery is currently featuring "Eye Candy," an art exhibit featuring work by locals Veronica Francis and Adrian Lesoing.

Artists from all over Arizona applied to be part of this show, says Michelle Dock, a gallery coordinator for the city of Tempe; their work was judged by a jury of four local artists and professors. 
But only two were chosen for this juried show, representing very different interpretations of the theme.

Lesoing's series focuses more on raising "food awareness," but in a very tongue-in-cheek way. Her black and white photographs, taken at the make-believe "Preservative Farms," include treats like powdered donuts, Dum Dum Pops and Reeses Peanut Butter cups growing in rows from the ground and candy corn found in plants.

According to Lesoing's artist statement, she has "captured the irony of genetically modified and processed foods as being natural and organic" and is attempting to ask her audience, in a playful manner, "Where does our food come from?"

"The idea just came from working in one of my ASU photography classes," says Lesoing, a senior at ASU and a Bachelor of Fine Arts photography candidate. "My husband and I have a vegetable garden at home. I myself am a vegan, so I try to be aware and eat organically."

​Only one of Veronica Francis' two pieces is food-related. Francis interpreted the theme differently.

"Pieces of artwork, that's candy for the eye. Neither one of these is [of] candy," says Francis of her submissions. "One is a purple cactus and the other is an apple pie á la mode."

Francis, who currently lives in Fountain Hills, began as a printmaker and gradually made her transition to drawing with colored pencils. She worked as a graphic artist for New York magazine before moving to Arizona in 1990.
The exhibit will hang in the Tempe Youth Library Gallery, located at 3500 S. Rural Rd., until December 5.
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