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Deborah Grayson creates visually vibrant and complex works of art that explore spirit, magic, myth, and collective memory. Using the figure as the central element in her storytelling, Grayson works in clay, cloth and paint to say something about intersectionality and life on the margins.
Grayson’s creative process embraces deconstruction as part of creation. She shapes and carves details into her paintings and figurative sculpture by using her hands, needle, thread, wood and metal.
Grayson is intrigued by the process of bringing together seemingly disparate materials – old, new and found objects – and transforming them into works of art. In addition to the different found objects and clays, cloth is an essential element in her work. She hand dyes or stains canvases and other types of cloth using low-water immersion dyeing techniques, manipulating the fabric by using wax and pastes to develop rich surface designs and resist effects. Grayson also creates her own hand carved stencils to mark or otherwise make patterns on her work. Each of these processes allows her to create palettes and shapes that are specific to the particular series and to develop a visual vocabulary of her own making.
Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Montgomery County, Maryland, Grayson completed a BA at the University of Maryland, College Park and an MA and PhD at Michigan State University.
In addition to her studio work Deborah Grayson is an independent scholar and much sought after workshop facilitator.