Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rhea Pappas - Photographer

We Are Women #3
Rhea Pappas

Name: Rhea Pappas
City/State: Saint Paul, MN
Email: Rhea@rheapappas.com
Website: www.rheapappas.com
MNartist.org profile: http://www.mnartists.org/rhea_pappas
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/rheapappasphotography

Rhea Pappas is a 24 year old, female photographer working out of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Her work mainly focuses in emotion, relief, and womanhood within water. Growing up in Golden Valley, Minnesota and spending most her life sailing, traveling, and exploring the world with her family has brought this love and focus in water as a form of expression.

Her earlier twenties brought some chaos to her life with post traumatic stress, depression, memory loss, and a cervical cancer scare that brought her urge to photograph a sense of relief, calmness, and inner strength unavoidable. Photographing this way gave her the feelings she desired and missed in her own life and was a silent cry for the calmness and inner peace within her photographs. She photographed the the world she desired to live in.

We Are Women #1

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
The current body of work is not underwater. That may be the biggest difference. I also think that my intent and reason for photographing is more defined, specific, and clear now than it has been in the past. This came from some big revelations that have recently occurred in my personal life.

I am in the middle of many projects, all really interesting to me and well defined. The project I am working on immediately has to do with the relationship between memories and the mind. These two are very important to be connected because you can remember your memories sometimes, but knowing they're yours is a relationship that is crucial to the psychological process. This body of work is going to be about my discovery of how important that relationship is using writing and photographs to describe the last 4 years of my life.

The other projects I am continuing to work on are EMDR patients photographs and stories, A Family Project about Hoosiers and Greeks, A project on the North Shore, High School Girl Softball Players and Identity Crisis, and Ice Scuba Divers. These I have been continuing to work on as the years go by and some of these I am starting this year. It's going to be a busy year.

Family Project - MaryJane Finding Home

"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
I guess the statement is not nearly as important to me as the experience of it all. When I have people look at my art, I want them to experience something. Not quite cinematic, but I want there to be an experience, a narrative, an enlightenment, even possibly something that inspires them to look at something or feel something different.

What art is, is simple. It is what the viewer thinks it is.

Embryo Series - Angelic

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Always be myself and do what I want to do against popular belief. Also, don't try and satisfy anyone. Both HUGE lessons for me.

Tell me about your work space and your creative process?
My art space is a 1600 square foot studio in the Northern Warehouse Studio 411. I love working there because I can transform the space so many times, I am surrounded by amazing artists and get to live in the coolest and most successful Urban Village in the world, Lowertown. I feel so lucky to be in such an amazing community and location.

I guess the creative process is really simple. I come up with an idea, I plan for it, and then I shoot it for as long as I need to. I am a fast shooter, so I usually get done pretty quickly. I love directing my subjects and I love making it a pleasant atmosphere. It's always fun when you like the people you work with and you make magic with them.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

Angela Strassheim- Photographer http://www.angelastrassheim.com/
Doug Beasley- Photographer http://www.douglasbeasley.com
Darrell Hagan- Painter http://www.mnartists.org/darrell_hagan
Kara Hendershot- Painter http://www.karahendershot.com
Sarah Thornton
- Painter http://www.lintuart.com/
Erin Sayer- Painter http://www.erinsayer.com/
Steve Olson- Graphic Designer http://cargocollective.com/steveo
Jenny Zigrino- Comedian http://www.jennyzisnice.jimrage.com/
Nate Levine- Photography/Web http://sugarbombstudios.com/
Ben Finley- Glass/Printmaking http://benfinley.com/
Eric Lund- T-shirt/Graphic Design http://www.weareric.com
Beth Stoneberg- Wood http://www.bethstoneberg.com/
Tracy Olson
- Painting http://www.tyoung.info/
Barbara Evan- Painting
Wendie Zekowski- Textile/Fiber Arts

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
We would go the The Art Crawls in Saint Paul, Lowertown First Fridays, my photog book collection in my studio, shows at the MIA, the Walker, and IFP. I mostly go to shows of people I admire, or photo shows of sorts. They are mainly of interest to me.

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?

I just check in with my friends or I go to OMG LOL (http://lol-omg-blog.blogspot.com/)
Loss of Innocence - Let Go

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
St. Paul Art Crawl- April 29th, 30th, and May 1st. (2011)
308 Prince St - Across from the Farmer's Market.

For more look to: www.rheapappas.com

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