Appreciating and Experiencing Nature

The following illustrations are by Rebecca Zeh and were published in the spring/summer 2024 print publication of Stance on Dance. Enjoy!

An illustration of a dancer outside with a huge red piece of fabric.

Move in Joy and Power, 9×12, mixed media on paper, 2022

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Artist Statement

In addition to art-making in the two dimensional drawing and painting format, dance has always been a huge passion and creative outlet for me since a very young age. Appreciating and experiencing nature has always been a source of healing and expression for me as well. Although these passions are cornerstones of who I am and I’m sure dance and experiences I’ve had in nature have informed my artistic practice on a subconscious level, consciously combining them in my artistic practice is a recent development inspired by my experiences and my fellow dancers’ experiences dancing in outdoor settings. In 2020, my dance class started dancing outdoors in different locations throughout the Capital Region of New York State to continue to dance safely as a group and we have been doing this ever since. At first it was a challenge but after some time we have learned to embrace it and it has had a profound effect on me and my artistic practice.

I utilize mixed media and print-making techniques to create a visual space where dance, creative movement, nature, and art-making intersect to evoke the feeling of moving as one with the elements of the outdoors. The imagery depicted is inspired by photographic references, video references, and recounted memories of adventures exploring movement in outdoor settings.

Three smaller drawings all showing black figures dancing outside.

Dance Memories, 9×12, mixed media on paper, 2022

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Rebecca Zeh is an interdisciplinary artist who grew up in Saratoga Springs, NY. In 2012, she received her BFA with a concentration in drawing from Pratt Institute. She has had a passion for the arts and art-making her whole life and has exhibited her work in several art galleries and businesses throughout New York State, including The Art Center of the Capital Region, Saratoga Arts, LARAC, Albany Center Gallery, The Hallway Gallery at Second Street Studios, 344 Storefront, The Blooming Artist Gallery, Spring Street Gallery, Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts, North Country Arts Council, among others. Her work has been published in Barzakh Magazine and The Crit Zine by Symmetry Art Space and she has been featured in The Daily Gazette and 518 Profiles Magazine. In 2023 she was the recipient of an Honorary Mention Award at the Annual Expressions Juried Art Show at North Country Arts Council in Glens Falls, NY.

In addition to supporting her own artistic practice, she is passionate about curating and installing art exhibitions and helping to facilitate exhibition opportunities for other artists in her area. She is currently working at Arlene’s Artist Materials/The R Gallery as an Assistant Curator, Custom Framing Specialist, and Sales Associate in Albany, NY.

Rebecca is also a lifelong dancer. She has been taking improvisational dance classes with the same dance teacher, Lili Loveday, since she was six years old and continues to dance to this day. Her unique experiences dancing outdoors with her dance class strongly inform her artistic practice and she strives to share these experiences with others through her mixed media drawings.

She loves to travel with her husband, and visits art museums and galleries as much as possible! Her home, which is also her studio, is located in Ballston Lake, NY.

A drawing of a person dancing outside among trees and watching their shadow.

Shadow Play II, 6×11, mixed media on paper, 2022

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