Skip to Content


It Is Not Down On Any Map, True Places Never Are Art Exhibition

Bailey Contemporary Arts Center
Dec 01 - Dec 29

It is not down on any map, true places never are.

---Moby Dick, Herman Melville

Taking its name from an enigmatic passage in the book, Moby Dick, by 19th century American author, Herman Melville, this exhibition by Renée Rey explores the concepts of place, memory, transformation, and their relationship to the current social and political landscape.

What are true places?

Melville leads us on a journey in which the definition of true places is deeper than the external physical world of water and land mass. With literary symbolism, he points to true places as inner memories, feelings, and attachments about specific locations accumulated over time.

In paintings, mixed-media and installation art, Rey creates immersive fantastical worlds. Her places are not on any map.

As in Melville’s odyssey, Rey draws from a lifetime of powerful emotions and memories of awe-inspiring nature, risks of human-made technologies, and rewards of acceptance and kinship with diverse people and cultures. They all give rise to desire, loss, and spirituality. They are responses to a complex and uncertain global arena.

These ideas are seeded in a childhood mystical vision that grew into a belief of a Grand Unity: an internal oneness with nature and people all around the world. There is no hierarchy. All of creation is of equal importance.

In the process, Rey gradually reveals layers of symbolism, interpretation, and mystery with unexpected changes to and blending of gestural paint strokes, dripping paint, tree branches, string, clay, and sandpaper.

Rey shares her true places as a means for others to discover theirs. She encourages viewers to look longer at the art, make associations between her artistic details and their personal experiences, and uncover new connections and meaning for themselves through this visual journey.

Learn more about Renee Rey here.

It Is Not Down On Any Map, True Places Never Are Art Exhibition