Gary Grissom


Painting/Drawing

Photography

Artist's Biography

I studied painting and art history at Community College of Philadelphia,Philadelphia College of Art (University of the Arts) and the University of Pennsylvania. In the 70s I was a founding member of Bricolage, a performing art collective and Wilma Theater. For twenty years I designed media for numerous theater and dance performances. My media design work lead to a growing interest in photography. During the 80s I started to exhibit photography. For the last 40 years I exhibited painting and photography. In 1990 I was fortunate to receive a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship.

Artist's Statement

I started making art in the early 1960s using my mother’s paint-by-number colors. During the 1970s, after studying art and art history, I made large paintings of color fields and grids. Color was the subject of my art. By the end of the decade I gradually felt the desire to depict objects, places and figures.

I also started to use the camera as a tool to record visual interests. Both with my painting and photography I strive to integrate and exploit the formal qualities of spatial description, color, patterning and compositional structure that I applied to abstract art.

Currently my painting is a dialog with what I see in my environment. The painting subjects have included landscapes close to where I reside and depictions of family members and activities.

My photography has birthed three unique projects. A series of reflection photographs recorded through urban glass shot at an angle. The images are a result of the reflection, refraction and light diffraction. The bending of light combines views of interior spaces with a reversed mirrored repositioned external environment. Three years ago I started recording a series of non-urban, non-suburban Pennsylvania photographs. This project is an attempt through image reportage to explore the narrative of cultural splintering. For the last eight years I’ve been documenting Lancaster Avenue and SEPTA’s Number 10 Trolley viewed as a habitat, a place to shop and a transportation artery.

It’s important for me to spend time looking at historical and contemporary art thinking about how it relates to my art practice.

Selected Exhibitions

Solo
2018
Welcome Gallery, Mainline Art Center, Haverford, PA

1988
Painting and photography, Tripoli Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

1982
Invitational exhibition, paintings and photographs, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA

Two-Person
2019
Two-person exhibit with Sunjeon Grissom, Da Vinci Art Alliance @ Atria Senior Living, Philadelphia, PA

Group
2019
PHOTOgraphy 2019, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA

Visual Democracy, Art in City Hall, Philadelphia, PA

Being There: Black & White, Photography, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA

156th Exhibition of Small Oil Paintings, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA

Professional Artist Members Exhibition, Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA

Lens on Latin America, International House Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

2018
Works on Paper, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

Constructing A Body, InLiquid Gallery @ Crane Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Summer of Love, Art in City Hall, Philadelphia, PA

PHOTOgraphy 2018, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA

Motion Pictured, International House Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Rocky (RE) Run, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

155th Exhibition of Small Oil Paintings, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA

Looking Forward, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

Open Lens IV, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

Personally Speaking, International House Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Professional Artist Members Exhibition, Mainline Art Center, Haverford, PA

2017
404, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

Spring Gala Exhibition 2017, Mainline Art Center, Haverford, PA

154th Exhibition of Small Oil Paintings, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA

Professional Artist Members Exhibition, Mainline Art Center, Haverford, PA

2016
A Second Language, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

PHOTOgraphy 2016, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA

Spring Gala Exhibition 2016, Mainline Art Center, Haverford, PA

153rd Exhibition of Small Oil Paintings, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA

A Celebration of Color, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

Professional Artist Members Exhibition, Mainline Art Center, Haverford, PA

2015
Art Department's 50th Year Exhibition, Community College of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Eyes Wide Open, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

6th Annual Contemporary Photography Exhibition, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA

152nd Exhibition of Small Oil Paintings, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA

Collaboration Exhibition, Plastics Club, Philadelphia, PA

Open Lens, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

2014
You Are What You Eat, Plastics Club, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

Some Like It Hot, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

1995
The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA

1994
Images of the Family, Laurie W. and Irvin J. Borowsky Gallery at the YMHA, Philadelphia, PA
Invitational

Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Convergence Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Photo Works '94, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL

1993
The State Museume of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA

1992
Works on Paper, Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
Juried Exhibition

Annual Painting Exhibition, Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Cheltenham, PA

1991
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Visual Arts Fellows Touring Exhibition
Johnston Art Museum
Blair Art Museum
University Art Gallery of Pittsburgh
Everhart Museum
Bruce Gallery of Edinboro
University of Pennsylvania
Westminster College
University of the Arts

1990
62nd Annual Juried Exhibition, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA

1989
Invitational Photography Exhibition, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA

1988
Photoart '88, Deming Center for the Arts, Deming, NM

Tripoli Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

60th Annual Juried Exhibition, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA

1987
Annual Juried Photography Exhibition, Abington Art Center, Jenkintown, PA

1985
Community College of Philadelphia Photography Department Competition and Exhibition, Philadelphia, PA
1st Place Award

1976
Group Show, Old City Art, Philadelphia, PA

1975
Group Show, Old City Art, Philadelphia, PA

Awards & Honors

2019
PHOTOGRAPHY 2019, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA
Honorable Mention Award

2017
PHOTOGRAPHY 2017, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA
2nd Place Award

Open Lens III, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
Honorable Mention Award

2016
Open Lens II, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
1st Place Award

2015
PHOTOGRAPHY 2015, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA
Honorable Mention Award

Something Cool, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
2nd Place Award

2014
Annual Juried Photography Exhibition, Abington Art Center, Jenkintown, PA
Director's Award

1994
Juried Work on Paper Exhibition, Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
Wohl Award

1992
Juried Art Exhibition, William Penn Charter School, Philadelphia, PA
1st Place Award

1991
Annual Juried Photography Exhibition, Abington Art Center, Jenkintown, PA
Honorable Mention Award

1985
Community College of Philadelphia Photography Department Competition and Exhibition, Philadelphia, PA
1st Place Award

Fellowships

1990
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
Visual Arts Fellowship

Professional Experience

Media and Theater Design

Founding member of Bricolage Theater, Collaboratory Theater, and Wilma Theater

Designed and produced media for numerous theater and dance performance groups

Lectures & Talks

1989
"Hand-Colored Photographs: History and Techniques"
Lecture at Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA

Education

1974 - 1975
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

1973
Philadelphia College of Art
Philadelphia, PA

1970 - 1972
Community College of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA

Continuing Education

University of the Arts
Philadelphia, PA