School of Art and Design Alumni Exhibition 2021

Wellington B. Gray Gallery

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Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge

Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery


Gray Griffin
Graduated 2006

I think everyone can agree life is not the easiest of journeys. Everyone has their struggles, their highs and their lows. Meanwhile, a disconnect is snowballing with social media – connecting us, in one sense, yet completely chaotic and confining in another. I like to think my art is a balancing act of combining utter bedlam with calm, thus creating harmony.

My art involves a linear system connecting everything. Inside the system is another – usually very recognizable by the various barcodes, tracking devices, and privacy mail patterns from envelopes etc. These elements are things “life system,” depends on, yet people are losing control all around us. I want to grasp this furor and turn that beast into love.

Finding that stability and harmony within the entropic nature of my paintings can sometimes be maddening, and, considering that I am typically working on several paintings at once, brutally exhausting. No matter the precisely delicate yet frenzied work, I am simply compelled from within, and that keeps me going.
Are there days that I wonder “What the hell am I doing?” Absolutely! But those are few and far between now that I have learned to trust the flow. I feel a deep spiritual guidance and connection to a Higher Power. Many times I feel as if my hand is literally being pulled around the surface. The perfect color is always right there, a reach away.

I attribute all of my recent artistic achievements to my beautiful children. They are the reason I have connected spirituality. Seeing and feeling the miracle of the incarnation of these awe-inspiring old souls was the catalyst for a creative reawakening, with a style entirely distinct than before. Until that time, I was bound by the superficiality of youth, lifestyle, and an acute ungroundedness, which, in retrospect, inspires me as well.

What Once Was, Acrylic paint, paper, ink on board, 42″ x 36″ x 1.5″, 2021