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Leslie Batty is a Fresno-based artist whose works consider the subject of American feminine identity. Represented here are works from several different bodies of work, spanning 2011—2018. This includes three portraits from the artist’s Sybil series (2017). For this series, the artist asked friends to sit for her, and the resulting mixed media paintings (all titled My American Friend) are jewel-like and vibrant. Reflecting Batty’s childhood in a family of seamstresses, she often references the cut-out shapes and patterns of dressmaking, working fabric and collaged paper into her paintings and creating play and movement between three-dimensional space and flat painted surface.

Other works riff on touchstones of art history and literature—such as Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and Las Meninas (a 1656 painting of ladies-in-waiting by Diego Velázquez)—that depict characters experiencing surreal events and altered states. In many of her architecturally scaled paintings, detailed interior spaces open up. Painted in rich, deep tones, they contrast with the light and airy space of the airport and suggest hidden worlds and mysterious stories, peopled by Batty’s human, animal, and sometimes hybrid characters.

Born in Central California, Leslie Batty earned an MA in Fine Art from California State University-Fresno in 2010, and has since exhibited both nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at Galerie Métanoïa in Paris, France, and a recent solo exhibition at Adler & Co Gallery in San Francisco. Her solo exhibition, Redress, was presented at the Fresno Art Museum in 2017. Batty teaches Visual Art at Sunnyside High School.

This exhibition is presented by the Fresno Yosemite International Airport Arts & Culture program, which aims to welcome travelers to the Central Valley and showcase original works by artists who call this vibrant and diverse region home.