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Artist in Residence Fay Ray hosts workshops for art students

Courtesy of Stephanie David

Marlborough’s Visual Arts Department partnered with Southern Californian artist Fay Ray to create workshops in collage, photography and sculpture for students. 

Students in the AP Photography class with Visual Arts Instructor, Sarah Beadle and the 2D Mixed Media class with Visual Arts Department Head, Chelsea Dean, have received guidance and inspiration from Ray. Ray has worked alongside the students, creating her own artwork. 

Ray and Dean developed a project focusing on the role of scale, surface and suspension within visual art.

Students were challenged to make abstract, hanging sculptures, in which the surface was entirely covered with various sorts of collage. These collages consisted of drawing, painting, photography or texture. 

The final scale of the hanging pieces were no smaller than the body of the student artists who created them. The completed sculptures were suspended from the ceiling of Marlborough’s Seaver Gallery. 

In an artist talk on Thursday, Jan. 20, Ray offered intimate insight into her life and career as a professional artist.

After receiving her BFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2002, Ray moved to New York to complete her MFA from Columbia University in 2005. 

After years in New York, she realized that she would thrive as an artist elsewhere. 

“My DNA was very desert, very Southern California,” Ray said. 

Courtesy of Stephanie David

Ray moved back to Los Angeles, and she experienced new perspectives and creative opportunities. Here she had three children and has had a successful career. 

Ray has exhibited within a multitude of galleries within the United States, as well as internationally, including Shulamit Nazarian gallery in Los Angeles, Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris and the Goshen Gallery in Beverly Hills and New York. She shares her multidisciplinary talent for sculpture, suspension, collage and photography with interested Marlborough students.

Ray offered an opportunity for community involvement outside the visual arts program by hosting a collage workshop on Wednesday, Jan. 26 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the CEI.

On Friday, Jan. 28, Ray exhibited her new pieces in a final, culminating show. The majority of the collection featured the monotypes she has been working on using Marlborough’s presses. Student pieces were also displayed.

Students believe that working with Ray has been an incredible learning experience, as well as an opportunity for artistic growth. 

“She has great vibes,” 2D mixed media student, Athena ‘23 said. “It’s nice to work with someone who is so down to earth.”

Ray reciprocates these sentiments, saying that she has valued getting to be a part of the Marlborough community.

“It’s been completely enriching to be on campus this past month interacting with students and staff,” Ray said. “Marlborough is so nurturing and high functioning. I spent the first week walking around in awe. It’s a haven here… I’ll always be grateful for the generous invitation to come work and experiment alongside deeply caring and hard-working students and staff.”

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