TRUTH/BEAUTY/SPIRIT: THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF NEVA RAYLENE

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JUNE 15 – SEPTEMBER 9, 2018

Museums typically highlight the work of established artists. Solo exhibitions feature artists mid-career, late-career, or even posthumously. Yet this deprives the public of the opportunity to watch an artist develop in a museum setting. Truth/Beauty/Spirit provides a glimpse at an artist’s development. Neva Raylene is a recent graduate of Missouri Western State University. This exhibition represents her first solo show in which she explores the human form in eleven series. Raylene is at once ensconced in the history of the nude is black and white photography, yet her approach is wholly subjective in a way that does not conform to the norms of the history of photography. Eschewing the traditional studio, Raylene utilized a simple black backdrop in domestic interiors. Friends, family, and the artist herself modeled for her series. Stretch marks, tattoos, elastic-imprinted skin, stray hairs, and wrinkles map the bodies of Raylene’s extended family. Photographs that appear modernist and coldly clinical from afar, brim with goose-fleshed and puckered detail up close. Each detail helps tell the story of Raylene’s life as well. Her life is imprinted on her family’s skin. These are bodies that she has held, rested her head upon, caressed, developed inside, and now photographed as well. The photographic sessions became just another memory between Raylene and her extended family. Some sessions were joyful, some perhaps tense, just as our relationships with those we love ebb and flow. These are the stories presented in Raylene’s first solo show, the stories that show a budding talent re-encountering her own life through the lens.

The public is invited to meet the artist at an Opening Reception on Friday, June 15th from 4-7 pm.  There is no charge to attend the Opening.