In Their Own Words: Anna Leber, Maggie Hayes, Talitha Gabrielle, Haley Murphy, Grace Thornton, and Rita Leslie

Leading up to Ladyfest weekend we will be highlighting our 2015 artists, performers, and workshops;  using their own words.


I am an artist based in Atlanta, Ga. My work focuses on gender relationships, drawing from my own experiences and history. I am interested in the similarities and differences between the female and male form, and the ways they are viewed in our culture.

Anna LeBer
Anna LeBer

Ladyfest Atlanta is an awesome event, I was so excited to find out that it was happening! Women’s rights is an important issue, and I think that an event showcasing female and gender nonconforming artists is a great way to encourage an open dialogue about issues that are an intrinsic part of modern life.


“Maggie Hayes is an Atlanta-born, Savannah-based painter, sculptor and installation artist as well as a yoga instructor and co-founder of the House of Hayes (formerly a live event venue in Philadelphia, but currently a quarterly magazine and platform for the advocation of art and culture). She doesn’t believe in a fixed reality and graduated from none of the four colleges she attended. She enjoys taking a sensual approach to life and art.”

Maggie Hayes
Maggie Hayes

I think it is powerful to see a body of work that is created by women come together in such a way that it surprises the viewer’s preconceived notions of “girlish” art making. Though I don’t consider my artwork to be specifically feminist, I have taken the role of allowing the male figure to play as my main muse and have had much fascination with the tepidness of the young male generation in comparison to observing the emergent adult generation of females being generally very confident and self-determined.


I am a singer-songwriter from Hampton, Va, new to the Atlanta area, who is on a life journey to travel, sing, eat good food, and meet great people a long the way!

I love the idea of women uplifting and supporting each other, and working together in the arts.


“Haley Murphy has been an active participant in the Atlanta art scene since 2006. She has performed all over the nation as a musician and performance artist. She is a jane of all trades practicing the self tight skills of sewing, textiles and painting. Haley has a degree in Sociology and is working towards her second degree in photography to further her career as an artist and activist.”


“Grace Thornton is a poet and performance artist who specializes in prompting humor, sexuality, and movement to interact with one another as artwork. Often this means using her body as a vehicle for both introspection and interrogation. Following the tenants of performance art, dance, pornography, physical comedy, music video culture, and poetry readings allows her to cherrypick ideas from each medium and ask them to break their own rules for each other.”

Grace Thornton
Grace Thornton

I wrote these poems to understand my rapidly maturing views on sexual power dynamics (particularly between men and women), my connection to my gender and sexuality, and my queerness. These revelations are not unique to me–they are part of a process most women I know have undergone–but my presentation of them is personal and, therefore, particular.


“Rita Leslie puts periods at the end of her ‘haha’s’ and ‘lol’s’ because her joy is definitive and never overstays it’s welcome. She’s also a copywriter/digital strategist, reformed dream crusher, shin-kicker and name taker–canned apologies available upon request.”

Rita Leslie
Rita Leslie

I want to be involved with anything that supports women and the creative community as a whole.


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