Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Rain 36° Rain
News >  Voices

Paul Andrew Gregg’s show at Kolva-Sullivan Gallery blends organic, industrial works

Paul Andrew Gregg is a mixed media artist driven by thought, ideas and stories. A mix of industrial and organic, his work represents his connection to the world around him. He will be having a solo show at Kolva-Sullivan Gallery in May, opening with a reception on May 6. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Paul Andrew Gregg is a mixed media artist driven by thought, ideas and stories. A mix of industrial and organic, his work represents his connection to the world around him. He will be having a solo show at Kolva-Sullivan Gallery in May, opening with a reception on May 6. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
By Jennifer Larue jlarue99@hotmail.com

On May 6, “Utilitarian Incorporeal Countereffort” opens at Kolva-Sullivan Gallery. During the reception, visitors can ask artist Paul Andrew Gregg the reasoning for the title, though he might just leave you guessing.

“It’s hard trying to define the whys and whats of an artist,” he said. “When I was in art school, I wrote an artist statement full of jargon that made sense to me. I chose words from the dictionary and chose my own definitions. The question is, do words inform viewers about the work or the artist?”

Gregg grew up in Spokane. Both of his parents were artists and art teachers. “They always encouraged me to express myself, and I received informed feedback,” he said. “From my earliest memories, art has been a way of life and at the same time exalted. It took me a long time to figure out other people weren’t also raised that way.”

After graduating from Shadle Park High School, Gregg studied art and advertising at Spokane Falls Community College but quit when it came time to take required classes. He joined the workforce for a while and returned to school, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Western Washington University. He then moved to Philadelphia, where he worked at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and made things in a large warehouse. He has shown his work sparingly, including at the Ridpath, a group museum exhibition at the Seattle Convention Center and at North Idaho College’s gallery space. He later earned a master’s in education from Gonzaga University.

Gregg acted as a roadie and manager for bands and eventually picked up the guitar to join in, playing with a handful of bands and writing songs like “What a Drag,” in which he sings “What’s in the box? A broken shell a broken clock? What’s on your mind? It’s in your face; a simple awkward state of grace.” Currently he is in a band called Rex Vox.

Gregg’s mixed-media work, which is both industrial and organic, contains many layers, beginning with hand-built frames that are like containers built to hold his ideas, thoughts and stories. Using acrylic, oil, resins, varnish, metal, bone, wood and found objects, he makes connections.

“All content aside, I try to create something with emotional import; something compelling that evokes an intangible reaction within the viewer upon engagement with the piece. I try to imbue the work with the sense that something real is happening,” he said. “There’s a push and pull. I create chaos, then almost bring order. There is a tension in juxtaposing opposites or commingling incongruent elements. I believe the response of the viewer is part of the piece. How a person responds to the work completes the work.”

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.