Anne Gregory graduated from Duke with degrees in English and Art. She studied British Literature at Oxford University and Ceramics at Penland.
Bookbinding was her first profession. Her inlaid leather bound journals were exhibited throughout North Carolina. She was a member of Chinaberry Crafts Co-op and Carolina Designer Craftsmen.
Anne left bookbinding to work as an independent designer in the fashion industry. She launched her first line of women’s apparel from the garment district in New York. Her designs were nominated for the Moore Fashion award. She later moved her company to North Carolina.
For eight years, Anne taught art in Durham public schools. Her contributions to Durham’s at-risk youth while Artist-in-Residence at the Lakeview alternative school earned recognition from Mayor Bill Bell.
Anne received the Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artists Grant, which made it possible for her to take part in an international Artist Residency in Morocco and the Casablanca Biennial. In January 2015, she went to Cameroon to work on an audio/visual installation with girls orphaned by AIDS. The installation was exhibited in the Validating Visual Heritage in Africa Conference in Buea, Cameroon. The project was funded in part by the US Embassy.
Anne writes for Afrikadaa, an online magazine based in Paris. She teaches abstract painting in her Durham studio. She is working on a hip-hop album based on recordings of the Cameroonian girls.
As an abstract artist a question I ask is “How do I make a painting that shows something real without recognizable visual references?” The answer varies from painting to painting and has evolved into several series. However, my approach to composition is the same. I start with a quickly rendered under-painting, usually in black. Then I cover it with layers of color.
First came the Pi Series, best described as a group of apocalyptic landscapes. The red and black palette, high voltage brushwork, and scraping, explore themes of disruption and transition.
This series settled into a more contemplative group called the Path Series. In these paintings, pastels rule the day. This series depicts transition — that space between where you are and where you will be. If I chose a word to represent this group it would be “transcend.”
Two different series followed: the Uprising Series — which examines conflict and resolution in the contexts of the Arab Spring, Africa, and Women’s Issues; and the Mandala Series — a group of paintings, and temporal instillations, that reflect the regenerative aspects of that ancient spiritual motif.
In 2015, I went to Cameroon to work on an audio-visual project that incorporated archive photos from Buea and recordings of Cameroonian girls. This project profoundly impacted my artistic direction. My focus shifted from painting to music. Currently, I am working on a hip-hop album based on the spoken words of the Cameroonian girls.