With Rebeca Raney's Art Basel Exhibit, Primary Projects Swaps Swine for Sweetness

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She got the idea to construct huge sculptures when she first walked into the space she'll be showing in this winter. The gallery is large enough to walk through, to really take your time and to wander around--and she wanted to fill it all.

Along with the mini population of Raneytown, Raney's college nickname, some of her drawings and other work will be on display.

Raney, who was born and raised in Miami, went to Rhode Island School of Design for college. When she began graduate school, Raney switched from painting to sculpture. She loved walking around a piece, seeing it from all angles, and animating it.

When she first bent and played with chicken wire, a three-dimensional world of art opened up to her. She began sculpting and playing with a variety of materials, including paper mache and resin.

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Today, after years of experimenting, and two international shows--one in Denmark and other in Japan--Raney is back in the United States and excited to show art in her hometown.

"Growing up in Miami, I don't care what anyone else says -- I left in 1999 -- there was no art. There really wasn't. You could go to Lincoln Road and see some paintings. There wasn't anything of consequence, or anything to look at," Raney said.

Since April, when Raney first heard that she'd been accepted by Primary Projects, she's been traveling frequently from New York City, where she lives, to Miami, where she constructs the people of Raneytown.

In just a few short weeks, she'll be down in the land of perpetual summer staying at her mother's Miami house where her creations, the people of Raneytown, populate the garage, the living room, and every other free space her mother's home once had.

Come late November, when Raney gets ready to set up her Art Basel show, the people of Raneytown will move to Primary Projects, where there will be a private showing December 1, followed by the public opening December 6.

But this week, as wind and rain devastated New York City, Raney stayed home in her Chelsea apartment and embroidered.

A few minutes after the interview with Raney ended, my phone buzzed. Raney was at home embroidering and she had sent a text messaged photo of the colorful, raised swirls of thread she was sewing today as she made her last mad dash to finish all of her sculptures before the end of November.

--Anna Hiatt

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Primary Projects

151 NE 7th St., Miami, FL

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