Community Sketchbook

Sunday, January 14, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:31 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Artist: Kate Gray

Art: “Eternal Hope”

About the artist: Kate Gray knew she was an artist since age 8 when she enrolled in general art lessons. Certain of her path, she followed her passion to college at the University of North Texas, where she studied advertising art and discovered watercolors.

Gray found the unruly medium to be a natural fit.

“It would sing, it would dance, it would cry on the page,” she said. “Why would anyone ever want to control that?”

Today, Gray works as assistant director of publications at MU and spends up to 20 hours per week on her art. She has shown her work in several venues around Columbia, including Perlow-Stevens Gallery and Stephens College. She hopes to display in major Missouri cities in the coming year.

About the art: “Eternal Hope” is about overcoming domestic abuse, Gray said.

The piece is part of a series showing at The Cherry Street Artisan through Jan. 31, called “The Least of These.” The show is about forgotten, hidden things, which, for Gray, translated into subjects she finds hard to talk about. The painting depicts a damaged tulip seeking sunlight. The painting is accompanied by a poem, as are many of Gray’s recent works. A telling portion reads, “... taped to a wall, held only by a nail, I hang my head to the light, looking for hope.”

Hope is a common theme in Gray’s work, she said. She hopes her art will inspire people in the same way it helped her survive the pain caused by her father’s death. “I can’t think of a bigger gift out there,” Gray said, “than to give hope.”

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