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Ray Kass is an internationally recognized artist whose paintings are represented by Garvey/Simon Art Access in New York City, and the Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. Also, he is Founder and Artistic Director of The Mountain Lake Workshop; an ongoing series of collaborative and interrelated workshops centered in the environmental, cultural, and community resources of the Appalachian region of southwestern Virginia. The workshops have resulted in many unique, collaborative works of art that have been widely exhibited. Artists who have completed several workshops at Mountain Lake (or are currently engaged in ongoing projects) include folk artist Howard Finster, Japanese artist & sculptor and Jiro Okura, the late avant garde composer, writer composer and artist John Cage, waste management installation artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles (official artist in residence of the New York Sanitation Dept.), ceramic artist, poet and author M.C. Richards (author of Centering), Colorado based “EcoArtist”, Lynne Hull, NYC East Harlem “street artist”, James De La Vega, Zen art scholar and artist, Stephen Addiss, Paris based sculptor and virtual reality “light” artist, Jackie Matisse, Photographer Sally Mann, with Painter Jessie Mann and laser artist Liz Liguori, and choreographer and modern dancer, Merce Cunningham, as well as Ray Kass himself, among many others.
"Over a period of more than thirty five years, my out of doors watermedia paintings of the natural world have developed in favorite locations in North Carolina, California, Maine, New Hampshire, and Virginia. Although abstract, my recent paintings are carefully derived from drawings and life studies from nature, and attempt to represent the processes of nature at work rather than pictorial description. Although I feel that my painting directly responds to the environments that I work in, I usually do not paint from the landscape with the objective of achieving representational or "realistic" images. In fact, I have often made representational depictions of specific places after I have made many nonpictorial works in the same locale. This particular development reverses the usual assumption that "abstraction" develops from the confirmed experience of the study of "realism". My appreciation of the natural world is for the great variety of texture, light, form and eventful psychology that finds its maximum expression in its manifestations."
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