Gray Reynolds (they/them) stopped by ArtRat Gallery to install their ArtPrize submission, Grace Notes: A Celebration of Marginalized Identities in American Folk Music, a series of linocut and embroidery portraits with accompanying audio. They're one of four artists exhibiting at ArtRat's "Converge" show, which runs through ArtPrize until the end of October.
Come meet Gray and experience Grace Notes at ArtRat Gallery's opening reception for "Converge" Thursday, Sept. 15 ... Then come back to ArtRat Sunday, Sept. 25, to see Gray in concert with dancer and musician Nic Gareiss and fiddler Ruby John, two of the musicians portrayed in the series!
Gray is a queer, disabled printmaker and musician who grew up in the Michigan folk community. They have spent the past 2 decades surrounded by the music, dance, and traditional arts created by the community, and these art forms are a major inspiration in their own work. Currently, they are studying anthropology and art at Central Michigan University, with focuses on cultural anthropology and printmaking, respectively.
"Often, when people think of 'folk music,'" Gray writes, "the image that comes to mind is that of a white working man, presumably straight, playing a banjo or a fiddle and situated in a mythic rural past. This version of the American folk both ignores the historical reality and casts it as a dead, archaic tradition. These portraits of active members of the American folk music tradition are a celebration of a living tradition, its evolution, and the joy, diversity, and vibrancy of the American folk experience."
ArtRat is located at 46 South Division Grand Rapids, MI 49503. From Sept. 15 to Oct. 2, our ArtPrize hours will be Mon-Sat, 11am-8pm; Sun, 12-6pm.