Rae KehoeRebirth and Retrospective
A showing of Gratitude, to our Creator. In the beginning we were taught to pray, “Our Father Who Art in Heaven”. Those words resonate in my soul, while we bring you this body of work. I knew as a child the importance of art in that prayer and while listening to my calling. I knew that art on earth would be an important way to give Thanks to God in order to Lift peoples spirits to Him. I am just a vessel. So this is why I paint large pieces in a realistic style to give thanks and so people can escape and walk into these tangible visions, in their homes, offices, and meditative spaces.
My birth father was a self employed painting and decorating contractor. When I was four, his paint buckets gave me BIG IDEAS! I painted a red sunset using his paint that my mother hung in the living room. It was inspired by my father’s favorite song: “Red River Valley”. Thus you see the importance of music, a parallel platform to inspire and nurture us. I started painting large island scenes in high school, growing up in Iowa, before I had even seen a palm tree. I was in my second year studying art at U.N.I. that I came on spring break to visit my sister in 1978. That is when I fell in love with St. Thomas and cried out; “I have come to my destiny!”
I worked for Jim Tillett for five years as his apprentice. Matter, calligrapher, silk screen making assistant, and evolved to gallery manager. All the while painting on the side and had my first one women show at Sapphire Seagrape restaurant. It was after that when I joined forces with Mitch Gibbs for twelve years. We were prolific and won awards both individually and for their collaborations. A few pieces in this show are pieces I did during that time, that were in my private collection and are now available to you.
It is important to give thanks to all the people who enter our lives and inspire us. Our parents, family, (encouragement and multiple travels with my sister including two trips to Monet’s water lily gardens!). Our friends and teachers. The multiple traveling experiences with my dear friend Freddie Rabuse, also a great source of inspiration.
Art and music being the Muse that has allowed my spirit to soar, and taking the “Time to Reflect” an opportunity to show gratitude and healing. After many years sharing the caregiving of our Mother, after her fall, it would have been the nursing home for her at the start of Covid. I did what my heart told me to do. With loans and the support of my siblings, I was granted that time to care for and celebrate Mom’s life to it’s fruition.
This brings us to NOW. The re-stretching and re-framing of many of these works that had become buried treasure after both the hurricanes and my sacred mission.
Caribbean Dream’n in its essence is a re-occurring theme that exemplifies the colors of our Islands. Painting these turquoise waters such as in “Unda the Seagrape” and “Ritz Overview” was a thrill and a prayer of gratitude. The sunrise and sunsets being such a fleeting moment in time, is why I felt the deep need to capture with paint on canvas and in a size you can walk into! The courtyard and villa scenes are also an important reminder that they are waiting for us to meet once again. “Rebirth Sunset over St.Thomas” The Ultimate Dream Villa of our home, which is a “Promise of a New Day”.