Leslie Ojala & Robert P. Young
"Diamonds in the Rough"
240 W. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale, MI 48220
Leslie Ojala and Robert P. Young,
two "Diamonds in the Rough," will display their
work at AJ's cafe with an opening reception
@ 8 p.m. on Friday, December 2, 2011 in
Ferndale, MI. Both artists are creative souls,
but have yet to polish their displayed talent
to that of a finished diamond.
Miss Ojala's painting style has been
described as "folk"
or "naïve," and Robert has just begun
to focus his talents on photography. Although
neither Leslie nor Robert have developed
their style under a formal mentor, both have
been influenced by their surroundings.
Gazing out the window at graffiti while on
trips to Detroit as a young child affected
Leslie’s style. "I love graffiti-inspired painting.
Using a quick stroke lets instinct guide
the process and adds to not knowing what the
final product will be."
Robert’s foray into still photography
was inspired by a desire to be a better
cinematographer in his film work.
He also wanted to develop deeper relationships with
his friend (many of whom are actors),
by documenting them in their worlds--relaxing at
home, in an audition setting,
and skateboarding across the city.
"I enjoy people-watching
and capturing honest, vulnerable moments.
We all wear masks going out in public, while
dealing with other people. Portrait photography
clears all the rest of the world away and
brings out the real human being."
Leslie Ojala grew up in the northern
Lower Peninsula, focusing on science and math in
school, not realizing her future would include painting.
After graduating from Alma
College in 1996 with a degree in biology and the
University of Colorado at Denver in
science education, she went on to teach secondary science.
A life-changing event caused
her to leave her profession and she is
now pursuing a degree in art therapy as a
an interest in the arts and
desire to counsel. Miss Ojala has shown her
art a handful of
times around the Metro-Detroit area,
usually in a group show with other colleagues.
Robert P. Young was born in Detroit,
Michigan and originally had dreams of becoming
a scientist. His Spock-like side soon gave
way to a more dramatic, Captain Kirk persona
and he attended Harvard University,
majoring in film. He pursued independent film work
in Boston and attended California Institute of the Arts
for a film directing MFA.
Angeles being a bit of a culture shock,
Young returned home and began exploring the
art scene in his old stamping ground.
As he met other young artists, he decided that he
wanted to document their growth and take on
the new challenge of mastering the still
image. This exhibition is the first showing
of his photographic work.