Gregg Tracey (1950 – )
Raised on a small family farm in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Gregg’s childhood was one of deep connection with the forest around the farm: its wildlife, its serenity.
Traveling in Europe in the late 60’s and attending art school at Instituto Allende in San Miguel D’Allende Mexico, opened his heart to the world of painting.
Gregg returned to NS in 1972, where he and his wife Nancy settled on an old drumlin hill farm in Lunenburg Co. where Tracey’s life itself became his art. From his hand-built home/studio, to growing his meat, fruit and veggies organically, to spending time on the earthy canvas of his secluded farm, he allowed himself to follow his inspiration, expanding his art to include:
- hand-carved wood-cut prints
- guitar (and other instrument) making
- one-of-a kind wooden jewelry
- hand-carved wooden spoons
Visitors to Tracey’s studio and gallery exhibits are immediately drawn to the vibrancy and intimacy of his life’s work. Gregg explains:
“I live a mile in the woods. Red-tail hawks, owls, deer and other creatures that share our sanctuary ignite something very precious within me – I feel drawn to express my wonder through my art. Creating art is a daily adventure, an intuitive journey, allowing me to explore deeper parts of my self, where thinking steps aside, allowing art itself to flow through me.
Working in a variety of medium allows me to more fully express the subjects I explore. I strive to live life and art in the same breath, each day a creative act. Creative drive can be highly intense, while at the same time comforting. I have continued to create art because it gives to society and the world around me, more than it takes.”
Gregg Tracey’s work is represented in the Nova Scotia Art Bank. It is also part of the Bronfman’s Claridge Collection in Montreal, Quebec, the Robert C. Hain Collection in NS and the private collection of Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada. Margaret Atwood purchased Tracey’s work from the Houston North Gallery in 2003, mentioning it in her New York Times article about Lunenburg.
“Tracey has done an amazing amount of high voltage work for his large exhibit at Houston North Gallery . . . There is a spiritual feeling to these works . . . A wonderful unruly process, connected to his personal experiences of place.”
Elissa Barnard, Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS.
“Tracey’s pieces . . . have a magical quality, infused with light . . . replete with comfort and celebration, archetype and ethereal realm . . . A hint of wood grain from the printing block elevates tethered dories into an ethereal realm; two whales in an embrace capture the miracle of connection. One feels a surprising reverence for these pieces that seem imbued with stillness and truth.”
Susan Bone, Bridgewater Bulletin.