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"Debra Payne is best known for her intimate, oil painted portraits of the neighborhoods, roads, and objects surrounding her. The spots she chooses are rarely the landmarks of the community but rather the back alleys, railroad crossings and middle class homes of small towns in the Midwest. The objects are common, frequently well used and loved. The atmosphere is often overcast, and the subject matter overlooked by most. Her palette is limited to just a few pigments creating images that invite the viewer to understand the space in a simplified fashion void of nostalgia.
Payne has exhibited throughout the Midwest, at venues including a solo show at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum, The Late Show and The Main Street Gallery. Awards include oil painting division winner at the Stems Plein Air Event and Best of Show at the Steelville Plein Air Event and State of the Arts at RG Endres Gallery.
Payne was born in Manhattan, Kansas, the heart of the Flint Hills and attended Emporia State University, earning her master’s degree at the University of Kansas. She was an art instructor at Liberty High School and taught graduate level classes at the Kansas City Art Institute. Recently she has broadened her experiences, working as set designer for the Chestnut Fine Arts Theatre in Olathe, Kansas. Today she resides in Stilwell, Kansas."