In sharing four mixed media art pieces and poems, Rachel says “I hope that my viewer enters into the visual and the verbal experience of my work and finds where it intersects with their thoughts, experiences and needs.” 

Rachel Durfee is one of the 12 artists contributing to UNVEILED Prayers of the People, an Upper House event running through May 6.

Rachel’s work evolves out of silence. “In the beginning of every project, I seek to sit and be quiet, perhaps for many hours.” Near at hand is her sketchbook, a Bible, a book she’s reading, or a journal. Through silence, active listening and sketching, Rachel receives images and ideas for future artworks.

As a printmaker, the creation of an artwork is a long process that shapes time for more active listening to consider details, to gain illumination about what the piece means, the “why” of it, and to ponder what makes it important. “Over the course of making it, I see how it ministers to me, how it may express something I didn’t realize I was struggling with. I always find my pieces timely, for one reason or another.”

Each completed piece is accompanied by a poem, which is also born out of listening. “The writing actually helps me further clarify what the work is about. I have found that active listening helps free my mind and allows words to spill out in poetry that clarifies for me and my viewers where I was going with a piece. And it almost always leads me to the title of the piece.”

Come to UNVEILED Prayers of the People to see what these Rachel Durfee titles mean: When Ashen Bones SleptImprobably Acts of BalanceA Thin Line of Separation, and Sprout a Garment.

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