Local artist’s work is featured in exhibit


Leslie Ober, a 42-year-old Noblesville resident who has been an artist for more than 20 years, said she got her first painting set on her 22nd birthday. Although she said her first paintings were awful, she is now an accomplished multi-medium artist.

Ober has an exhibit at Nickel Plate Arts in Noblesville through the month of September. The exhibit, titled “Windows of My Soul,” features art, poetry and photography — an example of multi mediums Ober incorporates in her art.

“We felt like Leslie’s really knocking it out of the park in terms of showing the potential of a single artist exhibit in our community,” said Aili McGill, executive director of Nickel Plate Arts. “She’s been able to really curate a message and a really cohesive body of work out of her different styles.”

Ober said she often gets bored doing the same thing. In an exhibit she had in 2020 at Nickel Plate Arts, she implemented a QR code game for attendees to guess what medium each piece was made from. She said she had 14 different mediums in the exhibit.

A poster for Leslie Ober’s exhibit “Windows of My Soul” at Nickel Plate Arts. (Photo courtesy of Leslie Ober)

Ober said the concept for “Windows of My Soul” began as having a window featured in every piece. However, she said as she reflected on herself as an artist, she wanted to incorporate written words.

“I feel like written words have a way of also connecting people and having a glimpse into who I am as well,” she said. “This exhibit is a chance for me to express the way my heart and my eyes see the world.”

Ober’s first solo exhibit was 20 years ago at a Starbucks in Cincinnati. She sold a piece to a stranger, which she said was affirming.

She said most of her Nickel Plate Arts pieces in her current exhibit are subdued and more introspective.

“I actually had people at the opening say that they couldn’t finish the poem and they started crying and they had to walk away,” she said.

Ober said the opening was a success and more than 300 people attended.

Nickel Plate Arts presents 20 showcases each year with the work of artist members, according to McGill. When determining exhibits, Nickel Plate Arts tries to choose artists who have an impressive body of work and will excite the audience to buy art, McGill said.

McGill said Ober’s poetry expresses emotion that is impactful and “grabs you.”

“I think Leslie, both as an artist and as a human, really embraces whimsy, and also really embraces the creative process,” McGill said. “She allows the creative process to take her where it wants to go.”

For more, visit Nickel Plate Arts’ website at nickelplatearts.org/stories/stephenson-showcase-windows-of-my-soul-by-leslie-ober/.


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