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Artist Interviews: Stacey Gregory

Artist Interviews: Stacey Gregory

Stacey Gregory is a Monterey, California based fine artist whose conceptual artwork is inspired by current political and social issues. She references ancient history, current events, scientific research, and art history to weave together facts, timelines and often humor into her conceptual assemblages. She has exhibited works in San Francisco, Chicago, Sacramento, Oakland, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and West Hollywood and her work is held in numerous private collections. Thank you Stacey for taking time to share some inspiration with us today on the AMU Blog!

AMU: Art Makes Us ___.

Stacey: wonder how best to fill in the blank {canvas}, balanced, unbalanced, laugh, cry, disturb the peace, make peace, energized, contemplative, unique and universal, stand on a higher ground.

AMU: Tell us a little about yourself and your art.

Stacey: I majored in Fine Art and Art History at Penn and studied Graphic Design at Pratt Institute. Marriage, children, and cross country moves happened and I didn’t have the opportunity to do art for a long time. When I got back into it, I started with what I knew, which was oil painting, but quickly tried my hand at assemblage where nothing you can repurpose or buy at Pottery Barn is sacred. The political climate at that time spurred me into social justice art and in turn, has prompted me to ask a lot of big questions in my art. Where are we going as a people and as a planet? What role does Big Tech play? I do not presume to have answers, only questions.

AMU: What’s your favorite medium?

Stacey: My favorite medium is the one that gives the most impact in any given piece. Building in assemblage challenges me on many levels during the execution of the piece, and I believe challenges the viewer as well. That said, having been trained in traditional oil painting, there’s nothing like a good whiff of turpentine and mixing oils on a glass palette. Paint mixing can be a sacred ritual that stimulates the senses.

AMU: What inspires you?

Stacey: Art that has a message and content. Art that uses materials in an innovative way. Beautiful forms that are found everywhere but are often overlooked. Other artistic modes of expression such as dance, music, drama, poetry, architecture. I’m in awe of people who have those talents.

AMU: What are your artistic goals for the future?

Stacey: Firstly, to keep creating as long as I can. It’s beneficial for the mind and spirit. I would also like to build a legacy for my family to understand who I am, what inspires me, what I stand for. And if other people see my work and it speaks to them on some level then I’m honored.

AMU: What piece of artistic advice has stuck with you?

Stacey: I remember my college drawing teacher’s comment on a drawing that I thought was the best I’d done up to that point. I can still see it in my mind. I was so proud of it. But she wrote on the back that I “had not seen the forest for the trees”. I had never heard the expression before and she explained that I was so caught up in executing the details that the drawing lacked a focus. The eye did not know where to rest. This was new to me but I eventually understood. I framed the backside of the drawing with her comment on it: “You can’t see the forest for the trees.’ A good life lesson as well.

AMU: Who would play you in the film version of your life?

Stacey: Christopher Walken. But Jennifer Lawrence would play me in my youth, then Charlize Theron, then Christopher Walken. We all have an edge.

AMU: What famous artist would you love to meet?

Stacey: Ai Wei-Wei, Maya Lin.

AMU: What do you wish you knew when you started?

Stacey: Not to fear failure. That to fail is as legitimate a step in the process as getting it right the first time. I’ve found that oftentimes, the initial failure may give rise to something totally different and far more successful in a different version. I keep a few of my failures in plain view to remind me of that. Some of my best works have evolved from false starts.

AMU: What’s your favorite color?

Stacey: Red. Cadmium Red.

AMU: If you had an artistic superpower what would it be?

Stacey: I think being artistic is already a superpower, but if you want me to really dream, my superpower would be to have all of those artistic talents mentioned above. I’d be a dancer, choreographer, singer, play piano, drums, write poetry, do stand up, write novels, build buildings, and never, ever sleep. I would also make oil paint and Gorilla Glue dry faster.

AMU: Where can people see your work?

Stacey: Sparrow Gallery and Sac Fine Arts Center in Sacramento, Studio Channel Islands, Verum Ultimum Gallery in Portland, instagram @skgregoryart, skgregoryart.com, and there’s work all over my living room. Open studio all day, everyday.

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