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Ray Papka Archives - New Editions Gallery

From my early childhood I have been fascinated with books and unusual objects. Books allowed my mind to travel everywhere and I liked old, dusty, faded books because they had age which reminded me of history. I am attracted to found objects that look as though they have once come from something interesting, belonged to a mysterious family, or that look valuable, but may have had little or no importance to others such as old forks, buttons, old letters and metal remnants. I always have had collections of small objects, coins, arrowheads, old rusty items, and fascinating “things” in little boxes and cloth bags (my favorite was the old Bull Durham tobacco bags and cigar boxes that I got from the smoke store in my hometown of Thermopolis, Wyoming). My many jobs as a youth often involved carpentry and metal work and helped to develop my "mechanical senses". I am entirely self-taught in woodcraft, finishes and metalwork, however, my formal training as a research scientist further utilized and expanded my knowledge of photography, layout, technical skills and sense of creativity, design, structure, imagination, and interpretation.

I am a self-taught artist. I completed undergraduate studies at the University of Wyoming (B.S. Zoology and Chemistry) and graduate studies at Tulane University (Ph.D. Anatomy and Neuroscience).

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