Three distinquished Vanderbilt Medical University faculty members–Dr. Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, M.D., Zachary Warren Ph.D. and Dr. Kevin Sanders, M.D. published an article, “Identity Crisis Involving Body Image in a Young Man with Autism,” in this issue and asked GraceArt to submit cover art for the publication’s consideration. From about six images, the Journal’s staff chose the above piece. The issue also features other author’s works on autism.
The chosen piece, “Guardian Angel,” is one of Grace’s most unique works. The creation of the piece illustrated for Grace’s teacher, Hannah Maxwell Rowell, and once again for those who have known of her art and worked with her, that despite her apparent cognitive challenges, Grace is very intentional in her art-making process. The media used were atypical combinations. Yet, Grace was insistent in mixing paint from a tube of silver acrylic paint that had been left on a table in the art studio. After attempts to dissuade her because of the unusual combination, her wise teacher relented. With a couple of broad, quick swaths, Grace created this image, which, when turned on it’s side, produces an image that many interpret as angel-like figures.
One of the many things Grace’s previous private art teacher Yvette Renee Parrish consistently communicated was regarding the power of the subconscious mind and its active role in the art making process. In her work, Parrish is unaware of what the end result will be and is often surprised by the finished work. Something within her knows what her left brain and conscious mind do not….One wonders what is at work in the artistic mind of Grace, and other such artists, who cannot converse typically. These angel figures–pure coincidence? Or, something more? You decide. I believe in something more, especially given a number of experiences in my life, beginning in 1968 and in recent years. My next book will dedicate a chapter to these experiences and how, since 1994, they have involved Grace and something/somethings different and perhaps greater than ourselves.
Lastly, I’ve been nose-to-the grindstone the last couple of weeks trying desperately, once again, to update Grace’s website, this time to sync with the aforementioned magazine publication. If you check www.GraceGoad.com, you’ll see lots of changes and additions. By the end of this week–cross your fingers and toes and wish real hard–we’ll be “live” with an e-commerce system so that her work can be ordered over the web. At last. wOOT! And…WHEW!