A Tribute to Grace
20 odd years ago, following her long tenure at the Silvermine Arts Center, Grace Shanley was in transition and pondering her next adventure in the arts.
We had long known that our friend Grace was not only a fine artist but also a creative visionary with enormous skills. We knew that she was articulate and smart, that she loved people and projects, that her energy was endless and her enthusiasm contagious.
When she excitedly shared with us her germ of an idea to establish a fine art printmaking Center in Fairfield County we knew we were witnessing the start of something big.
Eager to proceed with her new project, Grace searched the country for a venue. She immersed herself in the world of printmaking. We accompanied her on visits to New England art centers and sat in with her on spirited conversations as she conferred with master printers, curators, and artists. We attended informal get-togethers with artists and friends to discuss how “our” Center might be organized.
Evident to all was Grace’s remarkable talent for bringing people together, engaging them in fleshing out a project and then working tirelessly with her to bring it to fruition.
We will never forget the day she asked us to meet her in Mathews Park at the structure known as the stable/carriage barn for the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum. We stumbled into this dank dark derelict building and there was Grace, notepad in hand, pointing out the soaring roof and ancient beams, her eyes shining with the possibilities of what this place would become.
-Lucy Sallick and Constance Kiermaier