Ketchikan, Alaska’s Ray Troll will be the Artist-in- Residence at the Red Barn Studio Museum, 212 S. Main St., Lindsborg, Tuesday, Sept. 07 through Sunday, Oct 10th.
While attending Bethany College in the early 70’s, Troll took 100s of photos, documenting the Lindsborg art scene. A photographic memoir titled “The Halcyon Daze of the ‘Borg,” is indelibly printed on his life. Of his exhibition, he says, “The images convey the spirit and flavor of that unique time in a very small town, Lindsborg, Kansas. I bought a 35 mm camera and immersed myself in the world of photography, a form of artistic interpretation and creativity that resonated deeply with me at the time…I loved capturing moments from the world around me and seeing them magically reappear in the Dektol developer. I was awestruck seeing images appear in the plastic trays. I liked the idea of taking formal portraits, of trying to capture the essence of a person in my lens. I would direct my subjects with minimal instructions, most often with a request to simply ‘go blank’ and not to smile at the camera…smiles were too easy, too posed. I wanted something deeper…something to maximize the mystery. Some of those photographed were role models for me, artists making their way and I wanted to glean the secrets of their survival in the creative world. I don’t pretend to think I captured all the important artistic figures in town, far from it. In the Seventies and early Eighties, the cultural residue of the Sixties lingered in the air, but the excitement of creativity was palpable in that town: in the streets, in the bars, in the raucous parties in the ‘slums’ above Main Street, the ‘keggers’ down by the river and ‘re-has’ out in the country. The Swedish landscape painter, Birger Sandzén, lit a creative fuse in Lindsborg in the early 1900’s. Lester Raymer fed off that heat in the Fifties and Sixties and left his legacy to the town. Mike Hartung’s powerful body of work has only recently exploded into sight and I trust that its impact will be felt for decades to come. The art endures.” Ray Troll was educated at Bethany College and Washington State University. He has lectured at Cornell, Harvard and Yale and has shown works at the Smithsonian and has even had a ratfish named after him (a New Zealand species Hydrollagus Trolli.) From his tree-top studio, high above the Tongass Narrows in rain-swept Ketchikan, Ray Troll draws and paints fishy images that migrate into museums, books and magazines and onto tee shirts sold around the globe.
Also, while in residence, Troll plans to do a number of pen and ink drawings in his “scientific, surrealist” style. You may see his art at trollart.com Troll’s residency is sponsored in part by the Kansas Creative Arts Industry Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, contact the Red Barn Studio Museum at 785 227-2217 and lesterraymer.org. The Red Barn is open Tues through Fri, 10AM to 5PM and Sat and Sun 1PM to 5PM, and by appt.