Grace has been described as a force of nature and her metal sculpture is an expression of that. Picture a 400-pound, 12-foot-long blooming metal dahlia and you get a sense of the scale and energy of Grace’s work. But she’s equally capable of delicate, intricate fabricated sculpture, such as a playful fox.
Trained first as a fiber artist, Grace spent 15 years as a weaver, but once she picked up a blowtorch in a welding class, she never went back. She started making garden stakes, then worked her way up to flora and fauna: animals such as frogs, roosters; twisting vines and flowers in bloom. Her functional garden features such as gates and trellises often feature an unexpected extra such as butterfly alight on a bloom or a lizard slinking up the side.
Grace’s work is part of the permanent collection at the North Carolina Arboretum and Chimney Rock State Park and has been exhibited at the United States Botanical Garden in Washington, DC and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. Her large-scale public art has been included in both Hendersonville and Waynesville, North Carolina’s Art on Main series. But you can see it any day at her gallery, housed in Historic Walker Service, an auto service center her husband’s grandfather opened in the Frog Level area of Waynesville in 1928.
We’ll visit Grace’s home studio, nestled in a 100-acre cove with lovely gardens and a pond. Surrounded by the rolling landscape and mountain views we’ll better understand Grace’s inspiration and processes she uses to create her sculptural artwork.