Quinlan Visual Arts Center - April 16th through June 6th, 2015 Solo Show

Riders on the Storm

Where Light and Dark Collide

by Grant Searcey


Grant Searcey is a fine art painter and professional illustrator currently based in scenic Dahlonega, Georgia.


He has the gift of being able to tap into a child-like imagination and turn these visions into whimsical works of visual art.


"Painting has actually become a type of meditation for me. I put on my favorite music and dive into another world of pure creativity for hours at a time. In June of 2004 I received a life-saving heart transplant. I had been very ill with Cardiomyopathy from age 18 to 28 and a new heart was my only option for life. The operation was a success and my artwork has played a crucial role in helping me survive and recover. The creative process has been a means of therapeutic expression both pre and post-transplant. During times when I’ve questioned whether I would live or die, I have repeatedly turned to painting as a powerful coping mechanism. When faced with the simple fact that I would either survive getting a new heart or die trying, life became very simple.  Life or death?  If I live, I'm on bonus time in a sense. It's time to do exactly what I am on this planet to do.  In my case, it's to paint and create art. Eleven years now with a new heart and the battle is not over.


Instead of fighting on a literal battlefield, I fight daily with insurance companies, new policies and political changes that directly affect my quality of life.  I fight for affordable medications. I fight scheduling angiograms, heart biopsies, prescription drug side effects and finding the right doctors.  I fight to stay healthy while consuming powerful drugs that suppress my immune system. In short, painting and creating is how I deal with perceived urgency and stress.


Life - death. Joy - depression. Light - dark. Everything that we experience has an opposite. The light shines brighter when surrounded by darkness. We feel happier when we know what sadness is like. One world cannot exist without there other. The lower we go, the higher we can bounce back.  For this show, Riders on the Storm, I explore this dichotomy and the "storm" itself is the turbulent ride we're on during the process.


The subject matter is somewhat tribal in nature. Fighting for my life for so many years has led me to imagine myself as a warrior. My warrior of choice is my own made-up idealized conglomeration of a Native American Brave mixed in with a bit of Viking and some Aztec influences. The raven and eagle inspired bird-like additions to this imaginary world are used as highlights and further character development for my warrior's medicinal and shamanic beliefs.   


Will your warrior give in to darkness and stay there or will your warrior fight on and live in the light?


Every day is a choice."


Generally speaking, Grant's overall inspiration comes from a variety of sources. "It's a melting pot of mother nature, science fiction, comic books, steampunk, graffiti and street art".


Three of his paintings are being reproduced and distributed globally by Lucasfilm® (now Disney). A recent painting was part of a “Collection of Rare Interpretive Art Work” inspired by the popular TV show Family Guy. In association with Twentieth Century Fox and Acme Archives this show launched in Hollywood, CA and toured around the world. Disney Underground accepted Mr. Searcey's darker interpretation of the Seven Dwarfs entitled "The Seven".  Disney actively sells this piece world-wide and most prominently at Disneyland in Annaheim, CA.


The City of Hermosa Beach, CA selected one of Mr. Searcey's paintings as their featured artwork in 2011. Banners featuring this sea-life themed work of art can be seen up and down main street in this Los Angeles beach community to this day.


Grant grew up in a small rural community in Nebraska. With fewer distractions, he felt that his imagination was allowed to blossom. He studied Fine Art and Art History at Nebraska Wesleyan University and later graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Psychology.   While attending college and living in Lincoln, NE he took part in his first gallery reception at the Burkholder Project at age 20.  In 1996 he sold his first painting and he's been putting his talents to work ever since. After a decade living and painting in San Diego and Los Angeles with brief stints in Taos, New Mexico his path has brought him to the mountains of North Georgia.


Currently, he lives and paints in Dahlonega, Georgia with a retail gallery and studio location inside of Canvas and Cork. Grant's work can also be found at ZaPOW! Art Gallery in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. (and online at grantsearcey.com)


"I sincerely thank you for your interest in my artwork and I appreciate your support."


Grant Searcey



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