October 17, 2008

Exhibit to feature Maxine Leydon’s creations

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Visitors to the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale can soon enjoy Maxine’s Timeless Interpretations. That’s the title of the art exhibit by Maxine Leydon featured in the atrium from Oct. 21 through Dec. 23.

Leydon, of Murphysboro, said artwork has always been a part of her life.

“As a young mother, my son and I drew the superheroes together,” she recalls. Later, as a college student, he became her “best critic.” Through the years she’s enjoyed making dolls, woodcarving and painting on a variety of objects, including saw blades. It’s all been great preparation for the acrylic paintings she now creates.

Nearly a decade ago, Leydon began taking art classes with various skilled instructors. She loved what she was doing and acquired a new circle of friends. She was pleased to quickly find her pieces selling at craft shows, festivals, restaurants and elsewhere. She was for years the featured artist at the now-shuttered Blue Bell Restaurant in Murphysboro. Visitors to many of the region’s wineries have purchased her original interpretations crafted with paint on canvas.

Leydon said a patron commissioning her to create a three-painting set depicting his vision of the creation of earth is a previous career highlight. Now, she said being the featured artist for a Dunn-Richmond exhibit is “my greatest honor.”

Maxine’s Timeless Expressions is the latest in an ongoing series of displays featuring the work of the region’s artists at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, located at 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale. Visitors may stop by the atrium anytime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays to view Leydon’s paintings.