Artist Statement & Biography
M.S., Art and Design Education, Pratt, 2004
B.F.A., Howard University, 1998
LaTasha “Sunny” Gravely is known for her use of vibrant colors and powerful imagery and is considered one of THE up and coming emerging artist of this era. Born and raised in Greensboro North Carolina, art has been an integral part of her life from a very early age. With her use of textured paper, colored tissue, paints and oil pastels, Sunny has found an elegant way to combine all of these mediums to create a vivacious expression of her art. Her talents have greatly evolved from her “Southern Living” view ports using watercolor, ink and pencil. She has become extremely prolific in her work with acrylics and collages and has produced some amazing pieces in that medium.
Ms. Gravely earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Howard University in 1998 and began her career as a professional artist and educator. Upon graduation, Sunny decided to move to New York City and pursue her passion for the visual arts. Ms. Gravely taught in public schools for two years then chose to attend Pratt Institute’s graduate program to develop her teaching and artistic skills. She received her Masters of Science degree with a concentration in Art and Design Education in 2004.
Ms. Gravely’s work continues to change and transform with age and her worldly life experiences. She captures the essence of human emotion; anguish, frustration, and the happiness we encounter in our daily lives and reflects her universal experiences through her artwork. Her art has been showcased in galleries from New York to Charlotte, North Carolina. Some of her works are currently on display at the Cone Sickle Cell Medical Center in Greensboro, Sacred Waters Wellness Art Studio Fayetteville, Ga and the homes of many prominent private collectors. In 2006, Ms. Gravely was involved in a deadly car accident where a woman was killed. This experience changed her life forever and her art changed dramatically too. Ms. Gravely began to chronicle her experiences through her art. Her first series of work after this tragic event was entitled “It only takes a second….” These are some amazing mixed medium/collages that are visual depictions of a variety of stages of depression, as well as images of inspiration. Each piece has been elegantly designed using colored tissue and textured paper. Red spray paint was used, significant of the “blood spilled” in all our lives that may perhaps propel us to that next place in life. These abstract bodies of work play with the idea of collage being equivalent to puzzle pieces. It is her hope that through her hardships, others can relate and grow through her work.
Ms. Gravely’s latest work has been exploring the “Black Lives Matter” movement and the current racial climate of our country. She believes these intense times cause a huge rift in the fabric of our integrated society, exposing the hate of the “old world” and humanity of the “new world.” She has created these vignettes to represent a visual impact of these experiences through her own lens and point of view. Each of her paintings diving deeper into the mind of a southern African American woman struggling to find sympathy and understanding in a nation of “have” and “have nots”.
1998 - "Howard University Senior Show" - Group Show - HU School of Fine Arts (Washington, DC) **First place in Printmaking Category
2001 - "A Southern Girl"- Solo Show - The Radius Group (New York, New York)
2007 - Group Show - MusArt- Group Show - (Atlanta, GA) Straight From the Soul
2009 - Links Conference - Featured Artist - (Memphis, Tennessee) **Featured Solo Showcased Artist
2009 - "A Retrospective by Sunny Gravely" - Solo Show - Burlington Artists League (Burlington, NC)
2009 - "Fundraising Exhibition for Sickle Cell" - Group Show - African American Atelier (Greensboro, NC)
2014- "Sa-Roc Concert & Benefit" - Solo show (Charlotte, NC) **Featured Solo Showcased Artist
2015 - "Black Lives Matter" - Solo Show - The Artist Bloc (Greensboro, NC)
2016 - "Founding Members Show: NC Art Educators" African American Atelier (Greensboro, NC)
2016- "Vivid Colors" Creative Center Gallery (Greensboro, NC)
My inspiration comes from nature, the different cultures and politics. I am extremely intrigued by stereotypes, unfairness and hypocrisy. My muse is the human condition and my artwork loudly speaks through to reflect the injustices of humanity, social, economic and moral circumstances, but to also recognize the good it brings to the surface. Art is a very important tool in my life and becoming an artist was not a coincidence but a gift, which God bestowed upon me to share with the world. I love painting with watercolors and acrylics, I also enjoy making collages. These materials move me and catapult greater thoughts and ideas.