Unique prisms-themed macro photography on display at the library

Creative photographer Kelly Lay’s “Message in Prisms” images are on display at the Macon County Public Library though October.

Deena C. Bouknight – Contributing Writer

Kelly Lay’s artistic exhibit currently running at the Macon County Library in Franklin’s Library Living Room from Sept. 1 through October 2021 is titled “Message in Prisms.” 

Since her rented Mill Creek home burned down in February, Lay does not have a studio in which to work. In fact, she does not presently have a home. She was able to carry from the burning dwelling her laptop and her cat, “Kato Rudyard Kipling,” whom she credits with waking her during the fire. But the laptop housed her artistic images, and saving them led to the current library exhibition.

The definition of prism is either tangible or figurative: “1) a glass or other transparent object in prism form, especially one that is triangular with refracting surfaces at an acute angle with each other and that separates white light into a spectrum of colors; 2) the clarification or distortion afforded by a particular viewpoint.”

Lay’s art exhibit title reflects both meanings, She shared that Masaru Emoto’s “The Message from Water,” which is about how frozen water crystals reflecting beauty, inspired her.

“I’m an avid reader and that book had a profound effect on me. I took the photographs – macro photography of prisms – in full spectrum light. And when I saw these shapes and colors, I knew I had to show people.” 

Noted Kristina Moe, Macon County Public Library, “I am always interested in new and returning people who have art and crafts to share with the public, so when Kelly called me this spring hoping to show her work, we talked and emailed a bit so I could figure out the best space for her photographs in the library. I think people will enjoy seeing something new when they walk into the library – [her work is] very eye-catching!”

“Message in Prisms” can be viewed any time the library is open, Mondays-Thursdays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays 10 – 5 p.m.

Lay has known loss, having lost all her personal belongings in a rental home where there was no property insurance, but the first-time display of her 28 photographic art images “and sharing the beauty” gives her hope for her future. She is thankful to Jeff Norman of Franklin Picture Framing, who created her portfolio, as well as Cory James Gallery in Highlands, who will also display Lay’s work. 

Moe expressed, about Lay’s images, “I’m not an artist myself, but besides the creativity of a person’s art, I appreciate the creative ways people I’ve worked with, including Kelly, find resources to put their work out in the world, and I’m so glad the library can be a place where that happens. Everyone is welcome and hopefully comfortable coming into the library, so we can give artists opportunities for more people to see what they’ve created.”

Lay, who is an avid hiker/camper said she has decided to settle in Franklin after visiting the area for 40 years. She added that she hopes the exhibit “leads to a beautiful phase of my life … and helps me to meet beautiful people.” 

A life-time, non-GMO farmer and natural herbalist, Lay anticipates learning of a small, affordable studio apartment where she can “cook, garden, and do art photography all day.”