Jerry Grey: a storyteller in paint in Ottawa, the Canadian capital.

Grey portraitPeople of every age, children to adults, would be delighted to pore over a book of stories illustrated with her simple profound drawings. They have not a line too many, but every line necessary and every necessary line… These are storytelling pictures, not graphic kitsch. Her expert gestures and deeply felt emotions are the kind that lead their story, they do not just follow it. I want to hear those stories and I could turn the pages of her books of paintings and drawings, meditating in peace and pleasure on the possible story behind each one.

From her website:

Whether Grey speaks for all Canadians (as in The Great Canadian Equalizer), for a community institution (the Ottawa Police and their history), or for a group of women who helped shape the country’s social history (The Sisters of Charity Building Hope), her important contribution is that she does speak for them with all the expertise of her visual language.

Some of her work:

Visit her website to see the stories she tells: http://www.jerrygrey.com/

Recordings with slideshows of my conversation with her:

Introduction and How Started:

Media and Themes:

How Evolving:

Interplay Marketing and Creativity:

Words on Stretching Oneself:

 

Artist’s Statement

My work is an emotional and creative response to the world around me. Stimulated by thoughts and images of a social, political and aesthetic nature, I love watching an idea grow and become a tangible work of art. Sometimes in working with dual or contrasting images a kind of dialogue develops. I am always thrilled to see where my work takes me.

Biographical Information

A visual artist and teacher, Jerry Grey has been exhibiting nationally since 1963. Her work appears in numerous public and private collections and she has received commissions for several important public art installations, including The Great Canadian Equalizer at Statistics Canada; The Tiles of Time at the Ottawa Police Station; and The Sisters of Charity Building Hope, an allegorical installation for the Sisters of Charity (Grey Nuns). The Royal Canadian Academy of Art elected Grey to membership in 1984.

Working in oils, watercolour, pastels and glass media, Grey often explores themes of nature, politics and history. Much of her work is rooted in issues of public concern. Dualities, a series of paintings reflecting the artist’s reaction to the Gulf War, was exhibited at the Carleton University Art Gallery, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and the new Abdullah Salem Exhibition Hall in Kuwait. Rare Spirits: A Personal Tribute to Vintage Elders, a series of portraits of accomplished older Canadians, opened in Ottawa and then traveled to Vancouver, Toronto and Kelowna before being purchased by the new Portrait Gallery of Canada. Galerie d’art Jean-Claude Bergeron in Ottawa gave the painting series Icons of Beauty a solo exhibition in September 2005. In June 2006, Simon Fraser University featured Grey’s painting Lacrimosa: A Requiem for the Planet at its international conference, Water and Cities: Acting on the Vision.

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Jerry Grey studied at the Vancouver School of Art (1960-1963) and the University of Saskatchewan’s Emma Lake Artists’ Workshop (1964-1966).

She has lectured on a variety of topics at the National Gallery of Canada and taught at the Banff School of Fine Arts, the Emily Carr School of Art, the University of Ottawa, the Ottawa School of Art and the Avenue Road Arts School in Toronto.

Whether Grey speaks for all Canadians (as in The Great Canadian Equalizer), for a community institution (the Ottawa Police and their history), or for a group of women who helped shape the country’s social history (The Sisters of Charity Building Hope), her important contribution is that she does speak for them with all the expertise of her visual language.

– Gwen Lambton, McGill-Queen’s Press profiles Jerry’s public art experience in Stealing the Show: Seven Women Artists in Canadian Public Art.

Grey is currently working on private commissions and developing several new series of works An Artist’s Journey based on her 2006 travels in Europe.

The Great Canadian Equalizer Mural
In porcelain on steel, 315 cm high, 508 cm wide, 1979
“Tiles of Time” Commissioned by the Municpality of Ottawa-Carleton, Bemi & Richards, Architects, 1983
A history of the Ottawa Police Services from 1850’s to present using the three converging waterways as a unifying theme.
Medium: Vetricolor glass mosaic tiles mounted on gyproc
Size: 320 cm x 1750 cm (10’3 in x 57′ 1/2 in)

Jerry Grey large_Screenshot 2015-01-12 12.06.11

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