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Discover the Work of River Dana

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Image representing the River Dana photographic art show at the Jacksonville Public Library

Artist Reception with River Dana

Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019 5 – 7 p.m. during Art Walk at the Main Library

Second and Third Floor Galleries

River Dana was born in an Alaskan log cabin that contained no running water nor electricity. Raised in poverty and forced to grow up in social isolation by religiously fanatic parents, she was constantly on the move, and books were her only escape. She devoured anything she could get her hands on, imagining the faraway places she knew she would see some day. She is no stranger to Jacksonville, moving here for the third time in 2018.

Her photography exhibition, From Here To Jacksonville, will be on display at the Main Library. View her work on the second floor and third floor Betty Francis galleries from August 14 to September 24, 2019.

Here is River Dana's artist statement:

"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." -River Dana

Jacksonville Public Library