August 19, 2011

News Release

For Immediate Release

New Sky Gallery Exhibit Opens

photo of stump under stormy skies, copyright rebecca miller

The airport, Drury University, and the Springfield Regional Arts Council, presents a new exhibit at the airport Sky Gallery. On display until November 14, the exhibit features photography by Rebecca Miller, Jim Mayfield, and Lauren Rapp, along with art works by Jeff Broekhoven, and Colleen Banks.


Miller is an Associate Professor of Art & Art History at Drury University. She teaches silver based photography, alternative photographic processes, digital photography, commercial photography and the history of photography.

Her exhibit photos document the changing nature of the world around us: the construction of the O'Reilly Family Event Center at Drury, and the deconstruction of the Tindle Mills landmark in central Springfield.

"Simultaneously photographing two different sites, at opposite ends of their histories, was an incredible experience," says Miller. "It is about the sacredness of place and how an environment can influence you in ways you might never have imagined. It is also about the cycle of life; life of inanimate objects that can have an emotional impact on you."


Besides teaching photography at Drury, Mayfield is one of the best known photographers in the central United States. He sees the world as a photograph.

"These images are a collection of various times and interests. To me photography, after doing it for more than forty years, is still about being in the right place at the right time," says Mayfield. "Whether you're photographing people in their native surroundings, or the landscape in its exquisiteness, it is still important to be there in that moment when the light is right and everything falls into place for that one instant that you are privileged to experience and perhaps share with others. The tools don't really matter. I've gone from 4x5 view cameras to high resolution digital capture. No matter what your preference is, it's all about the light."


A graduate of Drury, Jeff grew up and lived in the Ozarks for 23 years before relocating to Chicago in 2004 to practice architecture. He became increasingly passionate about sustainable design, transitioning in 2008 into a consulting role assisting clients to reduce energy consumption, operate environmentally friendly businesses, and become more sustainable companies. In 2010 he relocated back home to Springfield, MO to pursue a lifelong passion creating art as a professional studio painter.

His work has straddled a line between portrait and landscape in a style that is loose and organic. Transitioning recently into painting, his work has evolved into large scale works on canvas, using color and repetition to merge and abstract human figure with landscape.


Banks says she always strives to find the life and passion around her to come through in her work. The Drury graduate says, "Passion in life can be strong, sad, happy, and even overwhelming at times, but that is the life we live and that is how my art finds life."


A graduate of Drury, Rapp's people photos provide up close, intimate details of everyday life.

"This exhibition is an extension of what permeates in my work, some might call it voyeurism. I have always been interested in the inner workings of others' lives. I began to question what the most "innocent" or "unfiltered" version of myself and others might look like. For this series, I speculate that perhaps the most pure form of ourselves is the moments in which we are waking from the unconscious sleep. And perhaps the most filtered is what we construct ourselves to be before leaving our homes in the morning.

Some of these people photographed I have known for a long time and some are random strangers I met on the street and talked myself into their homes. As you might imagine, staying over with someone whom you don't know demands a mutual trust. I would stay in a guest room, ask them what time they usually get up, set my alarm and would greet them the next morning with my camera. What is presented here are about half of the works in this series. Thanks to my friends and a few brave strangers."

Sky Gallery exhibits rotate quarterly and include work by members of the Springfield Regional Arts Council's Artist Registry, students of Springfield Public Schools, and faculty and students from Missouri State University and Drury University.

The Gallery, which is located in the lobby of the airport terminal, is open 24 hours a day. Visitors can park free in the short term lot for 30 minutes.