My portfolio is entitled Discarded. It’s a collection of photographs, paintings and sculpture that defines me. I love to walk through historic places like the old ironworks in Joliet, Illinois. With camera in hand, I pass the remains of four blast furnaces that once turned the sky black with cinders. Hidden among the concrete and brick, in fields of wildflowers, are old metal and wooden pieces, no longer of use today. These pieces were valuable once. Many immigrants worked here. I photograph these discarded shapes and turn them into works of art.
In life people are often discarded. Perhaps they suffered heartbreak and loss. Maybe an attractive woman puts on weight; men no longer look at her. Maybe a shy student has trouble making friends, even though she’s attractive and has a great personality. Senior citizens are often forgotten when they have wisdom and tell interesting stories. In my art, I sometimes display the Chinese symbol for courage. In life we need courage to survive. People pass discarded objects all the time, but they are beautiful if we would only take the time to examine them; to really examine them.
My job as an artist is to make people look at the ordinary a little harder; to see beauty in what others might not see. Discarded, distorted, and carved-up elements are really looking for someone to pay attention to; for someone to see the value in them, even if they no longer serve a purpose. And that, my friends, takes courage.
Born in Winfield, Illinois, Carolyn Grace attended private school, then graduated from South High School in Downers Grove, Illinois. She graduated with honors from Benedictine University in 2014 and received a scholarship to study art at the Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute of Art in Florence, Italy.
Miss Grace was awarded a scholarship to study art at the San Francisco Art Institute for post-bacc studies. She currently lives in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she attends Liberty University to pursue her MFA in sculpture.
Miss Grace received a scholarship to study steel sculpture at The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland, Vermont with Danya Landis in Summer 2017.