Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Love and Happy Thoughts on Leigh Boone....

Leigh Boone and Rachel Hewlett at the Understanding Poverty Opening Reception on Friday, September 19, 2008

A little less than a year ago, DiverseWorks was invited by Houston Center of Photography Director Madeline Yale to collaborate on SPIN, an annual event hosted by HCP in partnership with other Houston arts organizations. Planning meetings for SPIN were always fun and involved lunch--punctuated with heavy doses of laughter--over at HCP with Madeline and staffers Leigh Boone, Rachel Hewlett, Jason Dibley, and Katherine Yzaguirre. Leigh was the Martha Stewart of the bunch (I’m sure she’d freak out at that comparison but its true) and it wasn’t unusual for her to contribute some delicious, homemade something-or-other to the meal that she had made that same morning. It was impressive! And Leigh was so organized! We joked about her “Event Flow action chart” that laid out every task to be done on the day of the event. My favorite line item was: 12:45pm – Clear gallery floors for deep clean at 1pm – ALL HANDS ON DECK. I actually called her at 12:45 that day to tease her a little bit and ask her if she was on task. Of course she was and we had a good laugh. My interactions with Leigh always left me energized, inspired, and really grateful to have a job that allowed me to consistently work with such incredible people and have so much fun doing it.

Madeline, Leigh, Rachel and Jason were a team in the truest sense of the word and it was clear to me that they all shared a respect and affection for one another that extended far beyond the walls of HCP. In fact, HCP was often represented in pairs around town. Leigh and Rachel typically made the rounds together. I remember a particular visit they paid to DiverseWorks to attend our re-scheduled season opener a week after hurricane Ike hit Houston. I was nervous that attendance would be low and that the mood would be impacted by the trauma of the previous week. Rachel and Leigh showed up early with their wide smiles and contagious laughter and set the tone for what turned out to be a wonderful night.

Leigh's death has hit us all particularly hard. It's impossible to make sense of the fact that an amazing young woman with so much ahead of her can be so suddenly and tragically taken away. No one can ever say though that Leigh didn't leave her mark on everything and everyone she came in contact with. She was beautiful and funny and warm and powerful and talented in so many ways and she leaves behind a long list of family members, friends, co-workers and colleagues who will forever remember the way she could light up a room. All of us have lost much with the passing of Leigh Bess Boone. May she rest well and know that she was loved and admired. And she will be missed.

Diane Barber
Co-Executive Director & Visual Arts Curator

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this. I enjoyed reading it a lot. Yeah, Rachel and Leigh were the force to reckon with, weren't they!
Linda (Leigh's mom)