Leslie grew up in Alabama in an artist family. She moved to the DC area after earning a

BFA in oil painting and a certification in art ed; armed with guidance from Art Mentor

Joyce McCarten, Leslie began exhibiting at The Torpedo Factory in Alexandria's

Old Town, attended The Corcoran's Georgetown campus for abstract drawing &

painting (studying with fellow Tuscaloosa, Alabama native, Bill Christenberry and

collage guru, Mindy Weisel), and she traveled to Provence, France to study "colour"

and plein air landscapes with British artist Richard Kenton Webb. Joyce helped Leslie

establish a studio discipline while day jobs paid the bills. During this season of learning

to make art with so many distractions, Leslie even had the honor of serving as one of

the first employees at then-startup human rights ministry, International Justice Mission

(ijm.org), where she helped share initial victim testimonies and engage financial and prayer supporters with graphic design. 

 

Leslie resides in Staunton, where she owned & operated a retail art supply store downtown from 2007-2016. She and her writer husband, Robert and their two sons, Sam & Max attend Incarnation’s Church Plant, Restoration Anglican located in Downtown Staunton. 

B.C. times (Before COVID), Leslie exhibited & won awards at regional outdoor art festivals. She has taught adult artists at Staunton’s Beverley Street Studio School and at Blue Ridge Community College’s Continuing Education Program, and she has taught younger artists through the Staunton Augusta Art Center’s Summer Studio, elementary and high school art at Staunton’s Grace Christian School, and elementary and middle school artists at Stuart Hall School. Leslie currently teaches art in person - masked and distanced - to young artists at North River and Craigsville Elementary Schools in Augusta County. 

Leslie Banta

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