To some in the art world, Gerry Grace is known as a 'primitive illuminist'. They point to the way in which her paintings and mixed media pieces reference folk art, religious icons, and the jewel-like quality of the miniatures of medieval Europe. It has been said that she, "...grapples with the coded symbols of the past, [which are] full of the magic that occasions art."

She has been the recipient of various awards and residencies, among them a 'recognition of merit' award from Walter Hopps, an invitation to participate in Serigraphy Atelier VIII at Self-Help Graphics/Galeria Otra Vez in East Los Angeles, a grant from George Rickey's Hand Hollow Foundation, and a month long residency at San Xavier del Bac Mission in Tucson, out of which evolved the "Angels without Wings" suite of paintings.

Grace exhibits regularly at various galleries and alternative venues in northern California and her work is in collections throughout the United States and in Europe. She has lived on the Mendocino coast since 1978, has been an exhibiting artist since 1980, and currently has a studio on Albion ridge eight miles south of the village of Mendocino.

I grew up steeped in the religious imagery of Catholicism---painted statues, holy cards, the patterned walls of churches, small side altars filled with glowing candles and great bouquets of flowers, the smell of beeswax, of incense.

Many years ago I read a statement that I now know to be true. It went something like this: You can leave the dogma of the Catholic Church behind, but you cannot be rid of its images. The visuals of Catholicism have followed me through life and have become an integral part of my artistic vocabulary.

Along with color, the illusion of texture, the folkish aspects of ethnic art---the icon is what I use to communicate. I did not make a formal decision to do this, it is simply the way my work has evolved.

I am basically self taught and my painting process begins with being captivated by images and words that excite my imagination. Responding to this inspiration, I begin building imagery with acrylic paint, laser prints on both transparency film and paper, metallic leaf, handmade paper, found and constructed materials----whatever comes to hand.

I make paintings without much thought to what they mean, the meaning seems to take form at another level. Essentially I fuss around, I play with paint and materials-----juxtaposing surfaces, adapting, redefining----until the surfaces themselves become the content.

At each step I ask, "I wonder what will happen if I do this?" Every time I answer that question on canvas, the painting moves to a new level. Sometimes, when it is complete, I can articulate what it means to me. Often an intellectual meaning takes a long time to form and sometimes it eludes me entirely. It is the evocative quality of the painting that interests me----its potential to touch the spirit and imagination, to stir laughter or tears, to excite memory and desire.

I welcome commissions, and studio visits for interested clients are available by appointment. If you would like to be on my mailing list for exhibits, studio sales and guerilla marketing extravaganzas send me your postal and email addresses. And please feel free to contact me about paintings or the availability of selected prints.

You can see my paintings at Galeria Tesoros,
206 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, Ca.


P.O. Box 42
Albion, Ca 95410

(707) 937-0949


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