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Theresa Gray | Narrative Bio


Theresa's mother, Inez, was a "prayer warrior." She loved to sing. She had seven children. Raised in a family of five kids, Theresa is the second youngest.   

Theresa's father, Donald, was a solitary man. A railroad worker who loved to play cards, able to answer all questions on Jeopardy.    

As a child, Theresa was educated at St. Francis de Sales School in Holland, Michigan.    

She escaped to the convent. Not to become a nun. But for the stillness, the peace, the privacy, the connection to spirit, and the homemade saltwater taffy.    

In high school, she became interested in fashion design. She developed a clothing line for a nearby boutique and went on to earn an associate's degree in fashion illustration.    

Theresa discovered art during a fashion studies class at Parsons School of Design in New York City. "I was drawing from a live model and experienced a moment of transcendence as the line in my drawing integrated with the scene before me." That line redirected her life.    

She returned home to Michigan and enrolled in Grand Valley State University, majoring in fine arts. To finance her education, she created a paper earring line that lasted for years. Gray graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1994.    

After graduation, Theresa devoted her life to connecting her creativity with the means of supporting herself. She waited tables and helped manage an art gallery. At the same time, she began exhibiting and selling her work at Vesivious Gallery, Thirdstone, The Nines, and Water Street Gallery in Western Michigan. Art was her priority and her survival tool. Her work sold well, and she continued to evolve.    

Along the way, she married. Built a handcrafted log home. Theresa approached building like art-making . . . visually problem-solving; her aesthetic always present.   

She opened a gallery in Fennville, Michigan. It thrived.    

Then, life completely changed.    

Her gallery closed. She got divorced. She moved to Northern New Mexico. And her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer.   

Everything felt off-balance, fragile. During these difficult years, Theresa never ceased making art. She had found her place: the Mesa. It gave her room where she could improvise and re-envision her life.    

She grieved. She fell in love. She discovered new strength and intention.    

Taos welcomed her. She was featured in the 2020 Gallery Guide and numerous articles in the Taos News. She has had exhibitions with the Taos Center for the Arts, Rift Gallery, Magpie, Studio 107-B, and the Harwood Museum. She created Theresa's Corner, a space at the Taos Center for the Arts; where moviegoers were greeted by a handpicked piece of art that Theresa loved.   

Theresa has been studying her environs and creating art for more than 30 years. She is often considered an experimental artist . . . she can move quickly from flowers to assemblages of found objects to grass drawings. Observations of her expansive surroundings transformed into spacious field drawings. Unwilling to consider only the monetary value of her work, she takes risks.     

She and her husband, Peter Halter, live off the grid near Taos, New Mexico. Dependent upon the sun and the rain to power their handmade home, they are committed to forming beauty and living a life of balance.    

Art is the thread that connects all the joys and challenges of her life.    

Art was never a decision for Theresa.    

Art is how she moves in the world.

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