Bruce Gray is a visual artist who has devoted his life full time since 1991. He has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in the early 1980‘s from Colorado State University and Masters in Engineering from the University of Washington in 1990.
He has exhibited his work in solo shows and juried exhibitions in the Maritimes, Toronto and New York City. His designs and research findings have been published in leading woodworking, design, and arts magazines. He has been featured in several TV documentaries and has taught and guest lectured at the NB College of Craft and Design, Charlotte Street Art Centre, Maritime Ranger School and the Fredericton Arts Alliance (FAA). He has juried for the New Brunswick Crafts Council and the FAA.
His work has been commissioned internationally for private, corporate, municipal, university and provincial collections including: J.K Irving, Dr Ivan Crowell, Freeman Patterson, Inge Pataki, John and Kathy Hooper, Suzanne Hill, David and Jane Hay, CIBC Wood Gundy, Saint John Energy, UNB Permanent Collection, the NB Arts Board, the NB Crafts Council and the NB Provincial Art bank.
Bruce Gray resides on the shore of Belleisle Bay in Kars, New Brunswick.
“…we consider him to be the best person working in his field in the province. With an innate sense of wood, he has highly developed creative design skills, and a driving perfectionism which leads to exceptional quality.”
John and Kathy Hooper, nationally known artists, New Brunswick
“…It is the simple elegance of the negative spaces, the balance of soft and hard wood, and the selection of idiosyncratic features of the wood itself that makes Bruce Gray’s furniture simply unique..” “..a clean precise sense of design with a sensitivity to the organic intention of the trees..” “..naturally occurring imperfections becomes the locus that contrasts the perfect and pure craftsmanship of the artist...”
Marie Maltis, Director, UNB Art Centre
“...in perfect proportion to the top and apron. I can see how the whole table is balanced securely, yet as lightly as a dancer on point, one of the most graceful pieces of furniture I have seen...”
Nancy Bauer, ARTS Atlantic
“…Gray’s tables are marked by elegance and simplicity. The details of each are meticulously looked after… The three-legged table is simply beautiful, its organic form logical and alluring…”
Ray Cronin, Daily Gleaner
“...Bruce has not only developed a distinctive style of his own, but has earned admiration and respect for the exceptional quality of this work...”
Christine Sabat, Daily Gleaner
“…work shows excellent taste, a fine knowledge of woods, and a true craftsman's application to detail…the result is both beautiful and functional…heirloom quality...”
Alan North, Alberta
“...at first sight (the sculptured rocker) impressed us as a work of art…but when we sat in it, it felt like a custom-made suit. Things that are beautiful often don't necessarily work well, but you have crafted a masterpiece…both visually and in terms of function…"
Connie Ryan and Tom Bales, Florida, USA
I create, it is who I am, it nourishes me. Each work is a fresh opportunity to apply my uncontrived approach. I strive to create visually compelling works that serve a functional purpose- they do something. My goal is to raise viewers’ curiosity, challenge their preconceptions, and draw them to interact with the work. I want to leave them smiling, nodding and saying “Wow”.
I approach new projects in different ways depending if the work is commissioned or made for its own benefit (on speculation). Commissioned work is designed to meet the client’s needs and I always directly involve the client in the design process. Speculative work evolves as a discovery between the material and myself. These are my most honest works. The principle themes of my work are deceptive simplicity, unpretentious honesty, elegance and organic asymmetry with particular attention to edges, textures, and negative spaces. I use little or no hardware, and if necessary design and make it myself. My current primary materials are stone, glass and wood. Attention to detail is extremely important to me. In the words of Leonardo da Vinci, “details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail”.
My current ongoing work involves developing a new theme-based body of work for public shows. The working title is “Flawed”. Its purpose is to expose subjective and bias defining of “imperfections” in art, people and life. It draws from my maturing experience engaging elderly people and elderly organic materials. The show represents an evolution of my skill and fusion of wood, glass with sectioned and full stones. As always, the “flawed” art will be functional.
Bruce Gray, 2015