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From Here to Jacksonville

Image representing the art show From Here to Jacksonville by River Dana at the Jacksonville Public Library

August 14 - September 24, 2019

Photographs by River Dana

2nd Floor and 3rd Floor Betty Francis Galleries

Since leaving home, I have been to so many places, such as Alaska, Florida, Wyoming, California, South Africa, and Russia, but I have never found a place that felt like home. It is quite a haunting feeling — being in a constant state of unrest. I have also had my fair share of emotional journeys as well: being physically abused as a child, suddenly developing severely disfiguring acne in young adulthood, a marriage that failed after 10 years, battling weight gain, overcoming an eating disorder, the early and unexpected death of a close brother, and severing ties from a family that dogmatically held onto the principles of the white supremacy church we used to belong to. Through it all, there has been a longing deep inside of me — to search out and know what is the truth about life and eventually find happiness. Within the last several years, photography became my creative outlet that carried me through many dark times. I discovered why I have a passion to photograph. The lens simply captures what is there all along. No lies, no slants of truth, no opinions, no ego — nothing that can be misguided or misconstrued. Through my photographs, the artist in me wants to show the child I once was, and the world that now is, that there IS light in darkness. While we are alive, darkness will always exist, and it manifests the most in our weakest moments. Our human condition mandates that we will all experience pain, like the darkness that takes its turn covering the earth. And even though at some point across this planet, darkness will totally cover it within a 24-hour time period, we can take comfort in knowing that the light is coming again in the morning.

Jacksonville Public Library