Beneath the Ruins is a solo exhibition of fine art photography by local artist and Augusta University Department of Art Senior Lecturer and Photography Professor, Randy Pace. As a professional photographer, Randy has lived and worked in New York City, Miami and Washington, DC. He specializes in Fine Art Portraiture, and enjoys capturing the character of each person he encounters.
Prior to obtaining an MFA in Photography from The Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA, Randy opened Randy Pace Photography Studio in 1999. Here he developed his skill and honed in on his passion for portraiture. In 2012 he began teaching at Augusta University Department of Art and Design in Augusta, GA, where he currently resides with his wife and children.
Randy was a recent recipient of the Bronze Addy Award from the American Advertising Federation (2020) and the Gold Award from the Parenting Media Association (2021). He is also currently a member of both the Society of Photographic Education and NYC’s Fotoworks.
While he has exhibited works across the United States, Randy’s works have been shown locally in group exhibitions such as the Violent Syncronicity Exhibiton in 2021, the Connected World Exhibition in 2020 and the Annual Augusta University Faculty Exhibitions. His works can also be seen in local, editorial publications such as the Augusta Family Magazine.
His latest portraits and southern studies, including works featured in Beneath the Ruins, capture the essence of the South by highlighting the impact that economic and social norms have had upon younger generations.
In creating this series, before the onset of Covid-19, Randy Pace stumbled upon a mannequin outside of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA. Its reflection in the adjacent parking garage window was a curios visual that he decided to capture with his camera. Randy has been known to use dolls and mannequins as stand-in representations of humanity in his fine art photographic works. Which often gives a sense of loss or detachment from a gritty and harsh reality. This invites an idea of the “everyday macabre” into his body of work.
In his photography, he continually returns to an idea of how things are hidden in plain sight. The dark underbellies of societal strains that are overlooked, yet greatly influence our day-to-day lives, can be seen as a theme in his works. Randy is constantly searching for “the extraordinary” in scenes such as the aforementioned reflection of an abandoned mannequin.
Noted visuals in this body of work include an empty RV seat, where Randy worked from home during the peak of Covid-19, when all classes were held online, matching coffee cups on a table, along with dilapidated and forgotten spaces and buildings. The absence of people in these studies of typical human-occupied places adds to the sense of disconnection.
In contrast, we see children playing in/around these distressed spaces. A boy looking off into the darkness of a shadow cast by the crumbling wall of an old building. A little girl playing in an old, dirty, dry pool can be seen as an allegory to ties with societal strains that their generation is set to inherit. The pool and the shadow can be seen as a representation of disconnections from humanity and the feelings of loss for these old connections through the eyes of a child. The girl holds in her hand a dead grasshopper and stairs into the camera lens with eyes of confusion, not yet able to comprehend what lies ahead, while her little brother darts in front of the camera with a carefree attitude only a young child can have.
Randy Pace’s works are an experience in and of their own. You can see more of his works on his website, or by visiting the City Gallery Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. His works are available for purchase through the Greater Augusta Arts Council. Those interested can call the Arts Council office at 706-826-4702 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.