“It’s really not that humans are supposed to disappear and the land will be healthy. 
The land actually needs our touch, it needs our presence.”

                                                                             

Reverence 

I am always painting. 

Not only when brush meets canvas. 

When I walk to gather wood, I am grounding, observing, inhaling my surroundings. 

Taking in shadow, light, and color. 

Marveling at the beauty, even in the mundane. 

Celebrating, mourning the intensity of life and death around me. 

Being present is my work.

I cross a threshold when I create. 

All that I have absorbed emerges through my hands. 

My whole-body awareness expresses itself. The painting releases onto the canvas. Sometimes with strength. Other times with ease. Always with the promise of beauty.

 There is balance in this exchange. Beauty in its authenticity.

I return, with deep reverence, to the land. 

__________________________________________________________


"Theresa moves like the grass and is as sturdy as the sage."
~ Nancy Ryan

 

Roots

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, 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.

________________________________________

 

Education

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan

Exhibitions

2020

  • Pop-Up | Douglas | MI (Postponed)
  • Solo | Paint Mixer | Park City | Utah

2019

  • Marking Time In Michigan | Lighthouse Studio | Saugatuck, MI
  • Acequia & Holy Water | Studio 107-B | Group Exhibit | Historic Taos Plaza | Taos, NM

2018

  • Pop-Up, Solo Exhibition, Waypost Brewing Co.  Fennville, MI
  • Marking TimeGallery: Studio 238 | Harwood Museum | Taos, NM
  • To Bee Or Not 2 Bee | Studio 107-B | Group Exhibit | Historic Taos Plaza | Taos, NM
  • Taos Mesa Brewing Tap Room \ located downtown Taos, NM
  • Women's Exhibit | Studio 107-B | Group Exhibit | Historic Taos Plaza | Taos, NM

2017

  • Collaborative Chaos | Encore Gallery | Taos Center for the Arts, Taos, NM
  • Painters Exhibition, Kennedy Hall, New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, NM
  • Solo Exhibition, The Practice of Dailyness, Magpie, Taos, NM
  • Sight Unseen, Taos Center for the Arts, Taos, NM​

2016                                                                                                                 

  • Group Show, Folk to Fine, Magpie, Taos, NM 
  • Arte de Descartes XVI, Stables Gallery, Taos, NM
  • 7th Annual Self Portrait, Taos Center for the Arts, Taos, NM
  • Miniature Exhibit, Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos, NM

2015

  • Dixon Fall Studio Tour, Rift Gallery, Rinconada, New Mexico
  • Arte de Descartes XV, Stables Gallery, Taos, New Mexico
  • Art In Embassies, U.S. Embassy, Maputo, Mozambique 

 2014

  • Art In Embassies, U.S. Embassy, Maputo, Mozambique 
  • Spirit Encounters, Northern Lights Gallery, Belfast, Maine 
  • Miniature Exhibit, Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos, New Mexico
  • Sight Unseen, Taos Center for the Arts, Taos, New Mexico 
  • 35mm Chandelier, Encore Gallery, Taos Center for the Arts 

2013

  • Art In Embassies, U.S. Embassy, Maputo, Mozambique
  • 35mm Entangled, Encore Gallery, Taos Center for the Arts
  • Group Exhibit, Taos Center for the Arts, Taos, New Mexico
  • Miniature Exhibit, Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos, New Mexico
  • Sight Unseen, Taos Center for the Arts, Taos, New Mexico 

2012 

  • Art In Embassies, U.S. Embassy, Maputo, Mozambique                                           

2011

  • The View From Here, Solo Exhibition, Encore Gallery, Taos Center for the Arts, Taos, New Mexico
  • PechaKucha, Taos, New Mexico

2008

  • Solo Exhibition, Gebben Jackson Art + Design, Douglas, Michigan 

2007

  • New Work from New Mexico, Blue Roan Studio, Fennville, Michigan
  • Bridge Art Fair, Gebben Gray Gallery, Chicago, Illinois 

2006

  • Solo Exhibition, Gebben Gray Gallery, Fennville, Michigan
  • Bridge Art Fair, Gebben Gray Gallery, Miami, Florida 

2005

  • Solo Exhibition, Gebben Gray Gallery, Fennville, Michigan
  • Private Spaces, Studio Tour, Saugatuck, Michigan                               

 2004   

  • Solo Exhibition, Water Street Gallery, Saugatuck, Michigan 
  • Private Spaces, Studio Tour, Saugatuck, Michigan                                   

2003

  • Solo Exhibition, Water Street Gallery, Saugatuck, Michigan
  • All Artist Show, Water Street Gallery, Saugatuck, Michigan

 2002

  • Rankin Center Art Gallery, Ferris State University
  • Take a Seat - Thirdstone Gallery, Saugatuck, Michigan
  • Group Exhibit - The Nines Gallery, Douglas, Michigan
  • Petite Art by Colossal Artists - The Nines Gallery, Holland, Michigan

2001

  • Solo Exhibition, Blue Rhino, Saugatuck, Michigan
  • Group Exhibit, Thirdstone, Saugatuck, Michigan 

2000

  • Solo Exhibition, Water Street Gallery, Saugatuck, Michigan
  • All Artist Show, Water Street Gallery, Saugatuck, Michigan

1999

  • Solo Exhibition, Water Street Gallery, Saugatuck, Michigan
  • All Artist Show, Water Street Gallery, Saugatuck, Michigan

1998

  • Solo Exhibition, Water Street Gallery, Saugatuck, Michigan
  • Les dames dans Le jardin, Water Street Gallery, Saugatuck, Michigan
  • All Artist Show, Water Street Gallery, Saugatuck, Michigan

1997

  • Solo Exhibition, Water Street Gallery, Saugatuck, Michigan
  • Shrine Circus, Thirdstone, Saugatuck, Michigan

1996

  • Solo Exhibition, Butch's, Holland, Michigan
  • Second Nature, Vesuvius Gallery, Glenn, Michigan

1995

  • Garden Show, Vesuvius Gallery, Glenn, Michigan

 1994

  • Calder Gallery, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan

Experience

  • 2016-2018 Theresa's Wall, Volunteer Curator, Taos Center for the Arts, Taos, New Mexico
  • 2006/2008 Instructor, OxBow, Art on the Meadow, "Sketching at Ox-Bow", Saugatuck, Michigan
  • 2004-2007 Founder/Partner Gebben Gray Gallery, Fennville, Michigan
  • 2002-2004 Gallery Manager, Water Street Gallery, Saugatuck, Michigan
  • 2003-2005 Founder/Artist, Private Spaces Studio Tour, Saugatuck, Michigan
  • 1996-2000 Gallery Assistant, Water Street Gallery, Saugatuck, Michigan

 

Public Collections

  • Taos Community Auditorium, Taos Center for the Arts, Taos, New Mexico
  • Montessori Public Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois
  • Herman Miller Corporation, Holland, Michigan
  • Oxbow School of Art | School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Saugatuck, Michigan
  • Dr. Suzette Sanchez, Lakeshore Medical Campus, Holland, Michigan
  • Susan Davenport Geer, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Thirdstone, Fennville, Michigan


Public Commissions

  • 2015 Taos Inn, Taos, New Mexico
  • 2011 Julie Rosso, The Wickwood Inn, Saugatuck, Michigan
  • 2003 Herman Miller Corporation, Holland, Michigan


Published Books 

  • 2019 Poetry, by Ivy Ross Ricci, Cover Art
  • 2011 Chase County Kansas, by Theresa Gray, edition of 9
  • 2011 The Scattering Depth by Nancy Ryan, created by Theresa Gray, edition of 50 handmade books
  • 2009 The Saugatuck Dunes: Artists Respond to a Freshwater Landscape
  • 2007 Lost Enough by D.R. James, Finishing Line Press, Cover Art
  • 2006 A Little Instability without Birds by D.R. James, Finishing Line Press, Cover Art

Selected Bibliography

  • Taos Gallery Guide 2020-2021, Pg.62, 63, & 64
  • The Taos News, Landscapes of Time, October 4, 2018
  • The Taos News, Magpie: Torchbearer for a Generation, October 15, 2016
  • Rio Grande Sun, Arts, Sept. 6, 2015, page 6
  • ART in Embassies Exhibition, United States Embassy Maputo, Mozambique, June 2013, pg. 14&15
  • Airstream Life Magazine, Fall 2011, pg. 18-19
  • The Taos News, Tempo Magazine, The Landscape Within, Oct. 6-12, 2011, pg. 4&6
  • Poetic Home, Vintage Airstreams re-purposed into creative spaces, August 18, 2008
  • The Holland Sentinel, ART "Owner on display", April 21, 2005
  • The Grand Rapids Press, April 21, 2005
  • The Detroit News, "2004 Designer ShowHouse", September 25, 2004
  • The Grand Rapids Press, "A Love for Nature", June 11, 2000
  • The Commercial Record, "Showing shades of grey", May 25, 2000
  • The Grand Rapids Press, "Visions of nature are focus of dual exhibit", August 15,1999
  • The Commercial Record, "Sculptor, painter shown in champagne reception", Aug. 12, 1999
  • The Grand Rapids Press, VISUAL ARTS, "An Experimental Artist", October 12, 1997
  • The Grand Rapids Press, "Dream Come True", October 16, 1997
  • The Commercial Record, "Gallery Stroll", October 2, 1997   

 

Contact Theresa Gray  |  theresa@theresagray.com