“Animal ABECEDARY” by Leslie Haines

Leslie’s animal alphabet series (Animal Abecedary) began while she was flipping through her well worn book of Victorian engravings. She came across an image of a stout walrus with a human face and it stopped her dead in her tracks. The image was so startlingly weird and wonderful, she knew she had to work with it. Ms. Haines’ animal series explores unusual juxtapositions by taking something that might be ordinary, like an alphabet book, and turning it into a fanciful flight of unusual and interesting pairings. Her goal is at once humorous and artistic, to mix not only unexpected imagery but to also create visual eye candy through rich texture and color. An award-winning graphic designer, artist, college professor, and evangelist for orange Leslie enjoys playing with letterpress type, vintage engravings, color and texture to create sophisticated digital collages with a twist of humor.


Ms. Haines is currently Associate Professor of Visual Communication in the School of Journalism at MTSU. Prior to this position, she chaired Graphic Design programs at The Art Institute of Tennessee-Nashville and Watkins College of Art & Design. She received an MFA in Graphic Design from Marywood University and an MA in Advertising Design from Syracuse University. Ms. Haines created the design for the most recent Tennessee arts license plate and two hat designs being sold at Target stores. Two images from her Animal Abecedary series were exhibited at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville from November 2015–February 2016. Two pieces were also selected for the 2016 international Inkmasters Print Exhibition held in Cairns Queensland, Australia. Her series has exhibited locally and across the state since completion in 2015.

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