Q: Introduce yourself – who are you and what do you do?
A: My name is Grace Chadwick. I’m a sculptor working mostly in fiberglass, plastic, photography, and metal. I was born in the San Francisco Bay area in 1967, and grew up near Portland, Oregon. I now live outside of Seattle, Washington and have a shop in the Okanagan-Similkameen in BC, Canada and Fishhawk Lake, Oregon.
Q: What is your background?
A: Always having a camera in my hand as a kid, I did things backwards and began as a stringer photographer for The Oregonian newspaper when I was in High School. Then, I headed to Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara and found that I am much better at teaching myself. I headed back to Portland after school to experiment with sculpting materials. Finally, when YouTube came out, a whole new world opened up for me. I learned how to plasma cut metal and weld without traditional instruction in a classroom. I would rent equipment, watch YouTube, purchase equipment and lose all track of time, slowly becoming a night owl.
Q: How do you work?
A: In solitude. I work on several pieces at a time, especially with fiberglass as there is a long cure time for each layer. I also like to let my art “sit” before tackling again. I am constantly trying to get the art out of my head and dreams and into the shop. I am obsessed with experimenting transparency and light with new materials.
Q: Which type of art do you most identify with?
A: Contemporary art that forces me to think of the meaning behind it.
Q: What has been your favorite experience so far as an artist?
A: Just one?! My current art project, which is a permanent installation on a 145 ft wall outside in the new development on the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington. Also having the opportunity to install my “Flower Kisses” at the Spectrum Miami / Red Dot Miami entrance in Miami…the best learning experience.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: All artists that are true to themselves and make art the way they want to make it, to the core.
Q: What is the best advice you have received?
A: From my dad: “If something like the plumbing goes out, try and fix it yourself and if it still doesn’t work, you can THEN call the plumber.” I’m sure this is why I’ve always thought I could learn skills on my own without help.
Q: When you are not working, where can we find you?
A: Skydiving or scuba diving. Adventuring where it is not too touristy.