Family ties: Mother and daughter show paintings and photos in dual exhibit

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kiley Brey approaches art differently than her mother Judi does. Kiley is a St. Louis graphic artist whose photographs often capture architectural beauty discovered in her travels to Italy, France or Spain. Judi Brey is a Cape Girardeau artist most interested in painting portraits of children and the flowers in her own backyard.

But both might get in the car on a misty day and drive into the country to look at the way the sun is playing on fields of grass.

The mother-daughter show by the Breys opened June 6 and continues through June 28 at the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, 32 N. Main St. in Cape Girardeau.

"Mom always encouraged me to color outside the lines," she said. "She never used just one color to paint a tree."

Kiley never took an art class at Central High School. She was designing the banners the Tiger football teams ran through and T-shirts. Her father Jerry's interest in architecture seemed to have rubbed off.

"It was more the technical, problem-solving side that appealed to me," she said.

She started college for chemical engineering, but a drawing class changed her direction. When a family friend who owns a design firm talked about what she does, "The light bulb went off," Kiley said.

She earned a graphic arts degree at the University of Kansas. She also has a master's degree in typo/graphic studies at the University of Arts in London, England. Two years ago she started her own graphic design business in St. Louis.

Judi's painting career began with portraits of Kiley's childhood.

"It was so embarrassing in high school when people would come over and say, 'There's a painting of you in every room of this house,'" Kiley said. "I'd say, 'Isn't that normal?'"

The mother-daughter show was Kiley's idea. Her show includes photographs of gondoliers and statues at St. Mark's Square in Venice, a guard at Windsor and a dramatic stand of trees on the road to Siena.

Judi, who studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, rarely shows anymore. A number of the portraits in her exhibition are from private collections.

The Breys' shows have no common theme, but they demonstrate a mutual fascination with form and color, some found on a rooftop in Barcelona and others in O.D. Niswonger's garden in Cape Girardeau.

"The thing that is wonderful about our relationship is she has the eye for beautiful details in nature that I have that a lot of people don't," Judi said. "We can enjoy a landscape or sunset and or something and have the same intense feeling about color.

"She came down one day and said, Mom, you've got to see the color of the grass out by the highway," Judi said. Off they went.

"We just kind of have that bond between us artistically," Judi said.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: