Ray Kiihne – RAA Member of the Month

Ray Kiihne has been chosen as the RAA Member of the Month for August. There is a great opportunity to see Ray’s work at the Red Horse Gallery in Fountain City, WI, on display through August 31.

Transitions: Departures and Transformations

I grew up in Nebraska on the edge of the sandhills, my father a dry land farmer. My BA is from Wayne State College, a history major with an art minor. I exhibited at the Sioux City Art Center. My MA in art is from Ball State University after which I returned to Wayne for two years exhibiting at the Joslyn Art Museum and Martham Gallery, Omaha. My MFA work was done at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, working with Frederick Hammersley from Los Angeles and Bernard Cohen from the Slade School of Fine Art, England.

That background and training have made me a formalist, hard edge painter involved with form, color, light, and space. And in my current show at the Red Horse Gallery in Fountain City, the front piece Earth’s Drumbeat relates to those earlier concerns.

However, I can no longer disregard the degradation of our earth through pipeline spills, mine tailings, undrinkable water, and the poisoning of our soils and oceans with what were once considered “safe” weed killers. Therefore, the current show: For it, I have created images of a burning California landscape using a gritty paint known as distemper and of a shattered earth using a power tool. For each tondo, I painted a smooth, precious surface on the wooden circle and then used a router to cut and scar it, such as our earth has been desecrated.

I hope these works can stimulate a lively discussion.

—Ray Kiihne

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