Joel West Ray, M.D., F.A.C.S.,

Joel Ray was a board Member of the Missouri Council on the Arts (2007-2017). To quote Matt Sanders of the Southeast Missourian, “Ray is the first representative of Southeast Missouri to serve on the board since Paul Loiseau, whose term ended in 1985.” Dr. Ray looks to bring the arts of Southeast Missouri to the forefront of the nation as this region explodes in cultural arts development.

Dr. Ray, board certified in Neurosurgery since 1985, presided as President of the American College of Surgery (San Diego Chapter) 1994-1997. Dr. Ray holds degrees from Harvard College, the University of Buffalo Medical School, and the National Naval Medical. Ray was the Chief of Neurosurgery, San Diego Naval Hospital, and Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, UCSD. Dr. Ray obtained the first medical grant in the history of Southeast Missouri State University in 2004.
Sanders says, “Ray has only been taking photographs since 2000, but gained recognition locally and around the state for his shots of the construction of the Bill Emerson Bridge.”

Dr. Ray has been appointed by Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson to create photo essays on multiple Federal projects; he shoots as a stringer for Associated Press, and has won multiple photography awards, including the State of Missouri’s highest photography award. The WESTRAY Photography School for Kids (501C-3) collaborates with area schools and the Missouri Department of Conservation, encouraging the expansion of digital photography. He is contributing member in several prestigious national art associations, including the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, the Cat Ranch Art Guild, and the Rockport Art Association. Dr. Ray shoots for the sports teams and the theatre department of Southeast Missouri State University.

As a photographer Dr. Ray pursues life and science, work and the beauties of nature. His work explores the art and technical components of digital photography. Dr. Ray’s interests in photography are to develop his talent, include others in the future of digital photography, and create an organizational structure that projects the best in talents and relationships associated with the exhilarating field of digital photography.