In addition to an MFA and BFA in painting, Leslie Exton received a Certificate of Art from the University of Florence, Italy, and studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. In 2000, after a 20-year exhibition career, Ms. Exton decided to devote her energy to developing the Corcoran College of Art + Design's certificate program in Botanical Art and Illustration, and to promoting Corcoran student art work. Her book, Things as they Are: Botanical Paintings and Drawings, a collection of student work, was published in 2001 to critical praise from the botanical art community, and received an AIGA-50 award for its design. Her exhibition of Corcoran student paintings, Botanical Treasures of Lewis & Clark, opened at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in July 2006; Ms. Exton raised the money for and published the accompaning catalog that was offered free to the public. In May 2009, another Corcoran student exhibition, A Biographical and Botanical Art Exhibit: Lucy Meriwether Lewis Marks, opened at the Thomas Jefferson Library at Monticello, Virginia. For Christmas 2010, then-Provost of the Corcoran Kirk Pillow asked Ms. Exton to organize a group of Corcoran students and alumni to illustrate the White House Holiday Guidebook. The artists were feted at a December reception given by Mrs. Obama and the publication was provided free to the 125,000 visitors to the White House during the holiday season. Ms. Exton's paintings are handled by Zenith Gallery in Washington, DC.