The Batesville Area Arts Council presents Fading Away, an exhibition by Beverly Buys, at the BAAC Gallery on Main (226 E Main St) October 3 - November 18, 2023.
Art making is challenging. It calls on the inner will to be creative and to push an idea through all the stages of a project. From exhilaration to self-doubt, from formulating an idea to finding and perfecting the most appropriate technique, all must be generated from within the artist. My subject and my technique call on the past. I am interested in photographing a specific place, the Arkansas Delta Region, and the remnants of old buildings that seem to hang on a little longer in the Delta than in other places. The weather, the way the light falls, and the seasons and their effects on my subjects are so intertwined that they too become a primary concern in my photographs. My goal is to evoke thought and memory for the viewer as the images generate for me.
I choose slow photography. It is sometimes painfully tedious, but I have developed a unique technique that I feel results in a final photograph that reflects its content. The prints are a bit rough and uneven, like a memory. They are shot on film and then enlarged onto other pieces of film that are tiled together and exposed on sheets of paper coated with cyanotype. I expose the prints in the sun and determine exposure times by eye and by instinct. I hope to reflect truth and inspire curiosity with my work.
Beverly Buys is a retired educator living in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Beverly received her MFA from the University of Memphis and was professor of photography at Henderson State University for 19 years, 1996-2005. Working with film and the early photographic process of cyanotype, she has been photographing the Arkansas Delta since 2011. Her photographs capture the flavor of the Mississippi River towns and countryside in east central Arkansas. Through the exploration of abandoned houses, churches, cemeteries, storefronts and landscapes, she taps into a primal memory and the history of the area. Her tactile photographic technique supports and enhances her subject by teasing out a deeper meaning as one studies the images.
Buys’ cyanotype prints have been featured in solo exhibits at Arkansas State University in Beebe, Arkansas; the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Arkansas; the Russell Fine Arts Gallery at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas; the University of Memphis Art Gallery in Memphis, Tennessee; East Arkansas Community College, Forrest City, Arkansas; and other venues. Buys’ work has also been included in notable group exhibitions including the annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, Arkansas and the Delta National Small Prints Exhibition at the Bradbury Art Museum at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
Among other honors and awards Beverly was the recipient of an Arkansas Arts Council Fellowship Award in Visual Arts in 1998 and the 2016 Polly Wood Crews Scholarship.