Personal surroundings reinforce a sense of daily aesthetic. The Coastal Bend of Texas presents a diverse look at the beauty and scourge of our successes and failures as stewards of our natural resources. Palm trees, sea shores, beaches, all supply beautiful, lush landscapes that are also dotted with refineries, wells, drilling rigs, oils platforms and derricks, all producing the by-product of their industry. Rich Gere has long investigated the ways in which we, as individuals and also as a society, manage our power. For the Smoke, Mirrors show, Rich explores these themes through the use of burning materials, incinerating the drawing tool while creating images from smoke. In addition, he works with cyanotypes, an alternative photo-based process invented in the mid-1800’s and used in the production of blueprints. These images are exposed through the alternative power source of our sun and developed in water. Using these diverse and opposite processes the artist draws on comparisons and the struggle between harvesting fossil fuels, and the possibility of a renewable future.
Rich Gere’s work has appeared in over 200 juried, solo and group exhibitions across the United States, Europe, Mexico and Asia. His work can be found in public and private collections in the US and Europe including; Memorial Health Systems, Savannah GA; Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville TN; Biblioteque National du France, Paris, France; Custom Recording Studios, Nashville TN; Traprock Peace Center, Greenfield MA and Kroger Corporation, Columbus OH. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Master of Fine Arts degree in studio art from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.