ROCK SPRINGS — The Sweetwater County Library System Exhibits Committee announces the next exhibit to be shown at White Mountain Library, “A Conspiracy of Ravens,” a collection of writing and images by Rick Kempa and Debora Soule, on display from April 3 to May 30, 2019.
The public is invited to the opening reception on Wednesday, April 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. to meet the artists. Soule will give a brief artist talk, and Kempa will read a short selection of his raven-inspired work. Refreshments will be served.
“A conspiracy of ravens — sounds a little sinister, doesn’t it?” said Soule. “It is the term used for a group or collective of the birds, also called an ‘unkindness’ — like a murder of crows or a gaggle of geese. Actually, ravens prefer a more quiet life, living as a pair, and are a very inquisitive, intelligent species.”
Ravens, more than 40 species have been identified, can be found on every continent except South America and Antarctica, which is why they show up in the folklore and literature of cultures worldwide.
“He has assumed many roles,” Kempa says, “as creator, messenger, trickster, harbinger of doom in that classic Edgar Allen Poe sense. But ultimately and mainly, he is everybody’s neighbor. You can bet your local ravens know you as well or better than you know them.”
For Soule and Kempa, the raven is more than just another big bird. Soule has recently focusing her artwork on these “mysterious characters that keep crossing my path and I have wondered what they might be telling me.” For Kempa, the raven has been a constant presence in his life-long wanderings in the Grand Canyon and on the Colorado Plateau.
“Not exactly as a companion,” he says; “I am sure he would as soon pluck my eyes out as sit on my shoulder — but as a fellow traveler. We have a lot to say to each other.”
Rick Kempa has edited two books about the Grand Canyon, ON FOOT: Grand Canyon Backpacking Stories and Going Down Grand: Poems from the Canyon, and has served as Artist-in-Residence at both the South Rim and the North Rim, as well as at Mesa Verde National Park.
His latest poetry collection is Ten Thousand Voices. Recently retired after thirty years of teaching at Western Wyoming College, he has embarked on a path of full-time writing and walking.
Recently Debora Soule has been focusing on animal portraits in her artwork, and ravens keep crossing her path, inspiring the series of paintings and drawings. Over the years she has drawn cartoons for GAF Viewmaster, designed custom bridal dresses, and worked as a publication designer. She now promotes and presents both fine and performing arts at the Community Fine Arts Center in Rock Springs, where she has been the director for the past 18 years. She has shown her work in several exhibits locally and across the state, and is represented in many private collections in Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and North Carolina.
The Sweetwater County Library System’s Exhibit Committee meets throughout the year to review applications and schedule exhibits. Artists interested in displaying their work are encouraged to submit an application for an individual exhibit. Application packets are available at any county library circulation desk and at the Community Fine Arts Center. The Exhibits Committee is made up of community members Angie Bennett, Deon Quitberg and Donna Ragsdale, all from Green River, and library system members Michelle Krmpotich, Lindsey Travis, and Debora Soule.
For more information about these exhibits and other library events, visit the Library System web page http://www.sweetwaterlibraries.com or on Facebook www.facebook.com/sweetlibraries.