"White Magnolia" photo collage by Mary S. Rezny for the Governor's Awards in the Arts
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea salutes photographer Mary S. Rezny as the creator of the Kentucky Governor’s Awards in the Arts, given to eleven of the Kentucky Governor’s Awards recipients at a recent ceremony in Frankfort.
The Governor’s Awards in the Arts are the Commonwealth’s highest honors in the arts, recognizing individuals, organizations and businesses that have made extraordinary and significant contributions to the arts in Kentucky.
Coordinated annually by the Kentucky Arts Council, each year the actual awards are commissioned to be made by a selected Kentucky artist. Well-known Lexington photographer Mary S. Rezny created a photo collage of a White Magnolia blossom for the recent awards.
“For the Governor’s Awards in the Arts I chose to study a southern symbol that is very familiar to all of us, the Magnolia tree,” said Rezny. “I am drawn to it because of the blossom’s simplicity and beauty and for its most interesting and unusual seedpod.”
Rezny took multiple photographs of the subject and then reassembled them in a unique arrangement. Each award is not just one photograph, but many photographs of the subject arranged and layered. In addition to the unique presentation of the blossom, each award has a different stage of the Magnolia seedpod represented.
Rezny has a BA from Beloit College and studied art and communications at Oklahoma State, Michigan State and the University Film Study Center in Boston. She has owned her own commercial photography studio in Lexington since 1976, initially specializing in architecture and artists’ slides.
Rezny’ s range of work in the medium of photography is continuously evolving. She has moved from architectural and commercial photography to documentary photography for books and publications, to her more personal work that ranges from self-portraits, to mixed-media imagery using paint and collage, to three-dimensional illustrations and artist books.
“As an artist I am infinitely curious, and as a photographer I enjoy taking a simple object and turning it into something extraordinary to look at,” Rezny states. “I have come to embrace the idea that all good photographs are self-portraits in one way or another.”
Todd Finley, Executive Director of the Kentucky Artisan Center states, “The complexity of Mary S. Rezny’ s photo collages creates imagery that further expands the initial beauty of her subject.”
Rezny’ s mixed media photographic works can be regularly found at the Kentucky Artisan Center, located just off Interstate 75 at Berea Exit 77. The center’s exhibit, shopping and travel information areas are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea currently features works by more than 750 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. Special exhibits on display include “Get Ready-Get Set: Multiples in Clay” through March 31, 2018, and in the lobby, “Reveal: David Stratton and Trent Altman” through April 30, 2018. For more information about events call 859-985-5448, or visit the center’s website or Facebook page.
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Photos, left to right: Governor Matt Bevin with artist Mary S. Rezny; "Queen Anne's Lace" by Mary S. Rezny