Steamboat Springs The clouds in Kim Keith's photograph are pointing. They are reaching. They are speaking.
They are telling a story of a Texas church, a story that Keith didn't realize she was telling until the print was developed.
Keith, now a Steamboat Springs resident, was living in Flower Mound, Texas, a North Dallas suburb. She walked by the big white church every day.
"There were hedges leading up to the entrance," she said. "It looked so sweet and beautiful."
But that's not exactly what Keith saw when she looked at the old church and its manicured lawn. Keith grew up in Louisiana where her Uncle Johnny was a Southern Baptist minister and a religious undercurrent marked the entire culture.
At the same time, her father was a bar owner. It was as if she was standing in a doorway looking into two completely different rooms.
Keith does not consider herself religious, but she finds herself -- and her lens -- drawn to religious imagery and to places such as cemeteries, churches and memorials.
"I try to make them say something more," she said. "I try to make the viewer think."
In an untitled photograph taken in Flower Mound, three crosses lean like children's crayon drawings. Grass is growing wild and tall all around them. The camera looks at them through thick iron bars.
"I'm just saying that there is something between me and that," Keith said.
She sends a similar feeling in her photograph, "Storm and Steeple," when she cuts the pretty white church off right below the steeple. A cross sits at the top of the steeple like a lightning rod. The clouds are moving fast and darken to a pitch black at the edge of the picture.
The photo was taken with infrared film and an old, heavy Canon 81 camera.
"Storm and Steeple" is part of the "Clouds" exhibit opening tonight in the Small Works Gallery and will be on display through mid-June.
It will be only the second time Keith has shown her work in public.
"I know it's time to bring it out of the realm of my friends and those people who I am comfortable with," Keith said. "But it's so personal. This is my outlet. It's who I am. It's my voice.
"If you really want to know me, you could look at my pictures and know a lot about me. I feel really vulnerable with it hanging there on the wall."