By Mike Beas
The backdrop to Sylvia Gray’s artistic self-expression is highly distinctive, which is just the way she prefers.
A high percentage of what Gray, a resident of Westfield since 1980, creates is made with colorful dyes on silk scarves, making for wearable art ranging from small to large.
“It’s relaxing in a way. It flows on the silk, and the silk is really shiny. It makes my artwork glow and is easier to set up,” Gray said. “My art is mainly about colors and shapes, and I create a lot of patterns in my work. I look outside, I paint outside, and I see a lot of simple shapes.
“I started doing art in 1995. I always drew, and I always loved art, so I took classes at the Indianapolis Art Center in Broad Ripple.”
The scarves are priced between $100 and $400. Gray also creates abstract and expressionist paintings, those being on a more traditional surface (canvas) measuring 45 inches wide and 45 inches long and costing between $500 and $2,000.
She also creates jackets and capes.
Gray, who won Southside Art League Inc. National Abstract Art Exhibition XVII Best of Show in 2021, estimates she spends six to eight hours to make a single scarf and devotes roughly 35 hours per week, sometimes more, to her art. The 2022 SALI National Abstract Art Exhibition XVIII is set for Oct. 7-29 at the Garfield Park Arts Center.
Creating the art requires stretching the silk to create a flat surface on which to work, painting on it and then using a steamer to dry the paint.
Gray’s dye on silk painting, “Red Flower,” is on display through Oct. 23 at the Indiana State Museum. On Sept. 24-25, she will have paintings and wearable art displayed at the Carmel International Arts Festival.
To make an appointment with Gray, call or text her at 317-294-9084.