Maggie Leef Photography Exhibited
November, 2008

       Eager, AZ, resident Maggie Leef celebrates Arizona's outdoor wonders with an impressive range of nature and wildlife photography -- everything from Spring wildflowers to magnificent elk and antelope in green summer meadows -- to the glorious Fall color of golden aspen trees near her home. Her work was featured in our visitor center gallery during November, 2008.

       "I love Boyce Thompson Arboretum for the variety and diversity it offers me as photographer," said Leef, seen at right in a portrait by Donna Stoneman. "In the space of a quarter-mile stroll, I can go from a desert environment to a lake, then to a lush, green otherworldly paradise. I can visit countries and continents through their plant communities that I've never experienced before. The Arboretum is exquisite, and the more I come here, the more I want to visit. Birds and plants are an unbeatable, joyful combination to me. I'm not a birder, nor do I know plants well, but with my camera in hand, I can enter their enchanting worlds and feel like I belong here. I'm no longer an onlooker, an outsider, and that's part of what makes the Arboretum so special to me."

Leef specializes in nature, wildlife, tourism-related photography, and graphic design; she photographs people and pets in informal, outdoor settings. She also does photo repair and restoration. Her work has been featured this year in a prominent billboard campaign by the Arizona Office of Tourism, and has appeared in state publications, the DAR national newsletter, at annual Chamber of Commerce trade shows in Phoenix and Glendale, and on Channel 12 News, as well as in a tourism magazine in Mexico. Leef's images reflect her love and deep appreciation for the Southwest and for the beauty, joy and mystery of the natural world -- a life-long hiker, her sharp eye for natural beauty found expression via digital media.

      "It wasn't always this way," says Leef, who lives in the White Mountains of Arizona with her husband and two dogs. "To my disappointment when I was younger, I never exhibited talent in any of the traditional art forms. I joked for years that I'm a "wannabe right-brainer in a left-brainer's body. Then I discovered digital photography and the digital imaging program PhotoShop, and my life has changed completely. My creative self became more alive and animated with each new technique I learned. I am certain that I was guided to this place, that God or whatever higher power there is led me in this direction, and I am grateful for this journey, this gift, every day."

     "The dynamics of color still fascinate me and I am drawn to it wherever and however it appears in nature or emerges in my design work. I like bold colors and contrast in print. I love the glamour and vibrancy that color offers. Simultaneously, I find myself increasingly drawn to less contrasting elements and more subtle shadings, and I plan to experiment in the future with more grayscale and sepia images and less vivid but still dramatic effects."

       In addition to photography, Leef is a sought-after public speaker on topics such as "beginning wildlife, nature and petroglyph photography." She's is active in the Site Steward Program with Arizona State Parks and is the 2008 Site Steward of the Year. Prior to starting Leef Photography in 2005, she worked for 18 years at a local community college as Center Manager. She has a Master's in Educational Administration from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelor's in Renewable Natural Resources from University of Califonia, Davis.      

       "I hope people look at my work and think, "I've been there!" or "I'd like to go there!" or "I'd like to see that!" I want the viewers to feel that their creative or spiritual selves have been touched in some way. Through my work I express myself, but I also strive to affect others. It's my way of saying thank you to God and to the universe for all my many blessings, and especially for this particular gift -- this joyously creative journey.

      "This exhibit is representative of my work to date as a photographer and graphic designer. Some pieces are simple while some of them are more complex, but in all of them I've tried to share my vision and appreciation for what I've experienced. Though I enjoy photographing people, pets and various other subjects, I always return to nature and wildlife photography. It speaks to my spirit as nothing else can. The landscapes, waterfalls, seasonal colors, plants and animals--all of nature acts like a magnet, drawing me in, balancing me, calming my thoughts, and bringing me peace and perspective. This exhibit is my response to its irresistible call."

Works on display ranged in dimension from five-by-seven prints to sixteen-by-twenty inch enlargements. Prices were $45 to $175; smaller unframed prints were $10 to $18. For details contact the artist by email at or by phone at 928.333.2059. Check out her website at

         Boyce Thompson Arboretum is located near Highway 60 milepost #223, just three miles west of the town of Superior - a drive of about one hour east of Phoenix or two hours from Tucson (take Oracle Road North to Highway 79 past Florence to Highway 60, then East for another 12 miles). Monthly exhibits may be seen in our Visitor Center gallery daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from September-through-April. Summer hours during May/June/July/August are 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Arboretum is an Arizona State Park and daily admission must be paid to enter the Visitor Center where the gallery is found. Admission is $7.50 for adults and $3 for ages 5-12. Annual memberships at the Arboretum begin at $45, and include a year's access, guest passes for your friends and family, along with many other benefits. A membership may be purchased in the gift shop on the day of your visit. Review other recent gallery shows by ...

Sharon Sieben October 2008
Nicole Royse September 2008
Gila Community College Art July-August 2008
Judy Bottler Photography May 2008
Bob Estrin Photography April 2008
Mary Isham Watercolors March 2008
Susan Strom and Cathy Franklin Lightning Photography February, 2008
Arizona State Parks Plein Air Paintings January, 2008
Carolyn Gray & Connie Thomas December, 2007
Jean Sullivan November, 2007 Sue Cullumber October, 2007
Adriane Grimaldi September, 2007
Pima College print-making students July-August, 2007
Mesa Arts League June-July, 2007
Fred Charlton May, 2007
Paul Mudersbach March-April, 2007
Linda Kaiser February, 2007
Edith Kreueger-Nye December, 2006 - January, 2007
Cindy Carrillo October-November, 2006
Bob Rice September, 2006
Bud Heiss July-August, 2006
Mesa Arts League June-July, 2006
Sandy Tracey April-May, 2006
CJ Rider March, 2006
Jessica Green February, 2006
Steve Davidson January, 2006
Don & Carole Schupp December, 2005
Carolyn Gray November, 2005
Martha Burgess October, 2005
Boeing Photographers September, 2005
Lightning Lady Susan Strom July/August, 2005
Mesa Arts League June/July, 2005
Jeanette Bronson May, 2005
Tom Stanley April, 2005
Kathy McClure February-March, 2005
Pam Smyth January, 2005
Tina Faust December, 2004