On Tuesday, April 12, 2016, I had the honor of gifting one of my original watercolors to Valdosta State University. I painted the watercolor, "West Hall" 40 years ago while I was an art student at VSU. Springtime in Joseph Pember's watercolor class meant painting outdoors in the glorious Southern spring weather. Pember had an enormous influence on my artistic career - he was the person responsible for me switching my major to Art while I was taking a drawing class from him as an elective. He also was the main watercolor professor and watercolor, over the years, has become my strength and medium of choice.
My good friend and fellow VSU graduate, Gordon "Gordy" Steadman, came up with the idea to donate a print when he saw the archival prints I made from the original painting. He was especially thrilled when I told him I could actually track down the original and donate it. As it happens, my mother owned the original. Mom was hard to part with it until she heard where it was going...
I was so thrilled to have a painting hanging at the University and I donated it in Joe Pember's honor. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us but I hope Mr. Pember & I will have a small bit of legacy hanging in the President's office in West Hall, the very building represented in the painting. I asked Dr. Cecil Staton to keep it dusted off as I might periodically stop in to see it.
The plaque on the painting reads: " 'West Hall', Robert Leedy BFA '79, watercolor painted at VSU in 1976 presented to the students of VSU, April 12, 2016, In honor of Professor Joseph Pember."
I am selling prints of the original painting with the goal in mind of donating $15,000 from the sales of the prints to the Valdosta State Alumni Association. Prints can be purchased from my website. Here is the link.