Three Members of the UMVA Share Their Art and Thoughts


Jean Noon

Collaborating with my fellow Artist Rapid Response Team (ARRT!) members satisfies a lot of my guilt about not being more politically involved.

Jean Noon, ARRT! VOTE

I am quite active as a volunteer on environmental issues.

Jean Noon, ARRT! New Green Deal

Most of my other artwork comes from a deep personal place, to express ideas that often I am not even aware of as I work.

Jean Noon, Over the Hill, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 in., 2019


Meanings reveal themselves once the works are well underway or finished.

Jean Noon, Basketcase, wire, 80 x 48 x 48 in., 2017

The process of working in art and being totally absorbed in the decisions involved feels like a worthwhile and rewarding use of time.



Lesley MacVane

Endangered Species

I have been so inspired and hopeful watching the young people of this world rise up and challenge the designated “leaders” of the world’s most powerful countries. These young people realize what is at stake, their very existence. This piece, Endangered Species, was inspired by their activism.

Lesley MacVane, Endangered Species

Climate change is happening, yet our government is in denial, to the detriment of our world. In answer to this disregard, we have seen the children of the world stepping up to make a difference. Not only do they have a stake in this regarding their quality of life, but also their very lives are at stake. This photo represents the endangered plant and human species. Wisdom comes out of the mouths of babes.



Leslie Woods


Leslie Woods, Olice, Oh, Lease on Life, acrylic on cradled canvas, 24 x 48 in., 2019

Because I paint figures in sport, morality and politics wait in my studio. Since government must be intrusive, morality gets reflected in laws. Visuals affect morality which affects government which affects social change. Into the mix, sport has become a focus for morals and laws. The result is that my critique of culture assumes the form of a nudge toward change. Mostly my nudge is subtle in that I paint nearly as many pieces of women in sport as men and I hang shows with this in mind. I have noted that people recognize this effort. In my work, Olice, I emphasized the efforts of sports heroes to change society, and the odds against them.


Leslie Woods, LeBron, Man in Gold, acrylic on cradled panel, 24 x 18 in., 2019

LeBron, Man in Gold is my only piece in what I call “hero” art, but my intent was political, a nudge toward respect for the person. I painted LeBron James in a riff on Klimt’s Woman in Gold, which is known for its unique beauty. A beautiful person of moral courage using great wealth for change is a gleaming figure, due full respect. A large number of sports figures have risked their reputations, and even their lives, to change society. Rather than blatantly attack  an issue, I prefer to manipulate concepts by using sports and figures that observers already can relate to.


Leslie Woods, The 1500, acrylic on cradled panel, 16 x 20 in., 2019

Leslie Woods, Branded, acrylic on cradled canvas, 24 x 48 in., 2019