Pop-Up Resident: Gracelee Lawrence
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By C. Madeline Fritz
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What is an artist residency? ‘Surely,’ you say, ‘I know what that means.’ You’ll probably suggest that it’s when an artistic person stays at some institution under a sort of program that allows them to create work for a period of time.

However, in practice, artist residencies focus heavily on cultural immersion. Common questions are: how much can we embed this artist in our community and, as a result, what will they stir up? What will they make? What sort of cultural exchange will occur?

Greenhill strives to introduce vastly different artists into Greensboro’s ever-changing artist scene. Our last resident was Allison Luce who combined clay and collage elements to create the pieces of a larger work titled Contain and Conceal.

Our next pop-up resident is Gracelee Lawrence. Having attended Guilford College, she’s known about Greenhill for years and visited The Gallery in the past. Lawrence has also completed multiple residencies, including a backpacking trip that took her through the Owyhee Canyonlands and the Mogollon Rim and constructing a permanent trailer installation at Rancho Paradiso. She says, “residencies have been an important way for me to engage different communities and meet incredible people.”

From Gracelee's new line of studio work.

Taking challenging topics and giving them a humorous angle, Lawrence’s goals for her residency at Greenhill include a series of collaborative videos featuring The Gallery’s visitors. “Folks will also be encouraged to make sculptures out of food materials. This work will then be shown on the final Friday of the residency in an installation-like setup;” Lawrence adds, “I am so excited to be working with the community- without participation this work can’t happen!”

We asked Lawrence how she, like other artists, seem to have a bottomless well of creativity. Reminiscing for a moment she says, “My sculpture professor at Guilford, Mark Dixon, reminded me of Sister Corita Kent and John Cage’s Some Rules for Students and Teachers when I first arrived in Austin and was having trouble getting my work started. This one always frees me up to make in a positive way, ‘RULE 8: Do not try to create and analyze at the same time. They are different processes.’ I believe it wholeheartedly.”


Come chat and craft with Ms. Gracelee Lawrence during her Pop-Up residency, from 08/26 to 09/04 during our regular business hours and First Friday festivities.