Rachel Bess Artwork

ASU grad Rachel Bess brings her eclectic artwork to Central’s Visual Arts Gallery

May 20, 2008

COOLIDGE, Ariz. – When viewers feel the aura of the sacred world mesh with the reality of nature, Rachel Bess knows she has connected the right dots on her canvas.

Beginning June 2 and running through August 29, Central Arizona College’s Visual Arts Gallery will be home to Bess’ latest exhibition of thought-provoking paintings.

Located in the lobby of the Student Services Center (Building M) on Central’s Signal Peak Campus between Coolidge and Casa Grande, the exhibition will be on display for the public Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.-6 p.m.

“My paintings portray a scene as though you are looking though a peephole and you may be looking at some type of sacred event that contains a touch of the surreal,” Bess explained. “Instead of the usual images in sacred paintings, I use elements from the natural world, often elevating them to the focal point of the scene - either altering or entirely replacing traditional iconography.”

Bess’ paintings contain a scientific element that reflects her deep passion for biology, botany and natural history.

“These bits of the sciences carry a thread throughout my work about people's desire to understand and manipulate the world around them,” she explained. “I believe this desire can be explained by the thought that if people can control other aspects of nature, then maybe they have a shot at controlling the heavy hand of natural fate and overcoming what nature eventually has in store for all of us.”

The Phoenix resident is a 2001 graduate of Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College and was a life drawing/painting instructor at New School for the Arts in Tempe from 2002-07.

She has had numerous group showings across the country in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Kansas City, and Palm Springs, while her solo and duo exhibits have appeared predominantly in the Valley. In 2007 she was selected for the final solo show at the Trinity Gallery in Philadelphia.

For more information on the Rachel Bess Exhibition, please contact Tom Belden by phone at 520-560-2452, or by e-mail at thomas.belden@centralaz.edu.


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