Betsey Gravatt is a Denton based artist currently completing her degree in Studio Art, with a concentration in Drawing and Painting, from the University of North Texas. She will graduate in December from UNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design, and plans to begin undertaking her MFA in the fall of 2016. Recently, two of her paintings were featured in Paperworks at Upstream Gallery in New York. Gravatt has participated in group shows such as the Annual Voertman’s Competition, where her piece received the 55th Annual Voertman’s Award, and Art in the Metroplex at the Fort Worth Community Art Center, where her painting was awarded the Cindi and Mike Hold Award. Her upcoming projects include her BFA show at UNT, entitled Flourescent Void, and several group shows in the north Texas area. http://www.betseygravatt.com/
STATEMENT BY THE ARTIST
I am interested in the varying degrees of interaction between the natural world and the man made world, and how people adapt to life in these different environments. In my paintings and sculptures, I attempt to create another reality that leaves room for exploration for myself and for the viewers, and I put an emphasis on experimentation in many of my pieces. The juxtaposition between natural and man-made is shown in my work through my use of organic and linear forms. Through the interaction of these forms, I am attempting to depict the relationships between environments in the real world.
My interest in nature comes from my childhood, during which I lived in rural areas of North Carolina and Texas, and spent my summers camping. The rural environments I grew up in shaped how I view the world and fueled my fascination with the differing ways of life in urban and rural areas. I consider identity to be an extremely important aspect of my body of work, because my own identity is such a huge factor in the creation of my pieces, and because I believe the viewer’s identities and life experiences help shape their interpretations of my work.
Formally, I am intrigued by the possibility of depicting my ideas non-representationally through color, shape, and line. I tend to use over the top, bright colors that I associate with happy, playful memories, as well as toys or cartoons I liked as a child. My intentions are exploratory rather than didactic, and a main goal of mine is to create paintings that are as spatially ambiguous as they are bright and inviting.