Beyond the Paint: Artist Spotlight on Hannah Grace

by Liz McKay, Gallery Manager

Editor’s Note: Twice-a-week, leading up to our “111: Small Works Show”, gallery manager Liz McKay will introduce to you one artist being featured in this unique show. If you like this article, come out to opening night of “111: The Small Works Show” on April 21st at Gallery 27.

Many years ago I worked as an Activity Director for a retirement home and lead an Art Appreciation group. One of my objectives for the participants was to get them to see beyond the image; beyond the paint, and to consider what the artist was tying to express emotionally. Asking them to look for deeper meaning in the art.

Technical ability and craftsmanship are crucial in the pursuit of artistic achievement, but so to is an understanding of your artistic voice; a knowledge of where your art originates within yourself and how you best convey this inner dialogue. For young artists, this part of the puzzle is ever changing, and so it is often elusive.  As the youngest artist in our Small Works Show, Hannah Grace’s paintings are visually engaging in their execution but what I have found most interesting is her exploration of the sacred feminine. Her work portrays powerful female figures that are potently intertwined with their environments, thus giving the viewer a feeling that they are witness to the very roots of creation.

I’ve always loved exploring the human experience with my artwork. But lately I’ve been especially drawn to combining the female figure with fauna, flora, and other natural phenomena. It’s been captivating to play with these relationships through painting and to reframe them as strong and vibrant and tenacious. No more delicate, pretty things without the acknowledgement of power and purpose.  Instead I’m choosing to show the many stories and remarkable mythologies surrounding nature and femininity.” ~ Hannah Grace