top of page

Artist Statement & Process

David Rackley.jfif

Contact David:

For many years I was a classic black and white photographer, and I still do some of my work in that medium.  But much of what I do today is a kind of mixed media, often incorporating a great deal of painting with the photography.  The black and white photograph, however, with an emphasis on form and composition remains at the heart of my work.  I use medium and large format cameras (usually a 4x5 view camera), shoot black and white film and print on fiber based paper in a darkroom.  I do no digital work at all.  When the print is dry it can be painted using oils and pencil. The end result is a one-of-a-kind hand painted silver gelatin print. Although hand tinting photographs has been around for a long time, I have avoided the soft, pastel look of the past for a more solid and painterly look with a more saturated palette. Whereas it is possible for me to make more than one print from a negative, each is custom printed and hand painted so no two are exactly alike.

Much of my work has a narrative quality.  Many of the images presented here were produced over a period of several years and they are an attempt to present that narrative.  Much is left to the imagination.  I offer images that are open to interpretation, that invite the observer to engage in crafting meaning. 

Artist Bio

David was born in Arkansas but spent most of his formative years in Alaska, where he developed an early interest in photography.  It was not until he attended college in Arizona, however, that he began to develop the skills to use photography as an art form.  After graduating with a degree in anthropology, he spent several years photographing in the western United States, Alaska, Mexico, and Central and South America.  In 2007, he went to Thailand  to photographically record an ethnographic project with Karen refugees in camps along the Burmese border.  He has exhibited work in galleries and museums in the U.S. and Mexico and has also conducted numerous workshops on the technique of hand painting black and white photographs.


Public and Private Collections

South Arkansas Arts Center, Permanent Collection, El Dorado, AR

Arkansas Arts Council,  Permanent Collection,  Little Rock, Arkansas

Alexandria Museum of Art,  Alexandria, Louisiana

Monfee Medical Clinic,  Russellville, Arkansas

Dr. Thomas C. Stinnett , Private Collection

David and Terry Murray, Private Collection

Tommy Brasher, Private Collection

Abbreviated List of Exhibitions

2022              Small Works on Paper Exhibition, Arkansas Arts Council

2021              Small Works on Paper Exhibition, Arkansas Arts Council

2019              South Arkansas National Juried Competition, El Dorado, AR

2018              Bradbury Museum, Arkansas State University, Delta National Small Print Exhibition                                                                   

2018              South Arkansas National Juried Competition, El Dorado, AR

2017              Artists of Northwest Arkansas 23rd Annual Regional Exhibition, Fayetteville, AR  Fourth Place Overall.

2017              South Arkansas National Juried Competition, El Dorado, Ar. Purchase Award.

2017              Small Works on Paper Exhibition, Arkansas Arts Council

2016              “Aftermath”, exhibition at Gallery 26, Little Rock, AR

2016              “30 Stories”, solo exhibition, Laman Library, North Little Rock, AR

2016              Artists of Northwest Arkansas 22nd Annual Regional Exhibition , Fayetteville, AR . First in mixed media.  

2016              Small Works on Paper Exhibition,  Purchase Award.  Arkansas Arts Council

09/2014        “Frame of Reference”, solo exhibition, University of the Ozarks.   Clarksville, AR

10/2013        “To France and Back”, solo exhibition, Blue Moon Gallery.  Hot Springs, AR

12/2011        Solo Retrospective Exhibition, Beaufort, SC

07/2007        “The Liminal Narrative”, solo exhibition.   Alexandria Museum of Art,  Alexandria, LA

09/2007        “Burma in Exile”, exhibition, Alexandria Museum of Art.   Alexandria, LA

06/2007        14th Annual Juried Competition, First Place in mixed media, Natchitoches Art Guild.  Natchitoches, LA

01/2007        49th Annual Delta Exhibition, Arkansas Arts Center.  Little Rock, AR

09/2006        September Competition, 2nd Place, Alexandria Museum of Art.  Alexandria, LA

01/2002        Small Works on Paper Competition, Arkansas Arts Council.  Little Rock, AR

06/2001        44th Annual Delta Exhibition, Arkansas Arts Center.  Little Rock, A

bottom of page