The public is invited to see the exhibition, “Family Secrets: The Paintings of Marilyn Prescott McGrady” through March 19 at the Porterville College Art Gallery. Marilyn Prescott McGrady is an artist and designer living and working in Fresno.
McGrady has titled this series of 17 paintings “Family Secrets.” She described that each of the paintings in the series began with a family photo.
McGrady explained that the pictures were, “nearly always black and white, small format, ‘baby pictures’ in a long forgotten photo album. But those photos held me. There were secrets there, and truths to be known. The paintings created from those photos became an avenue for self-confrontation, self-knowledge and self-disclosure. It is intense portraiture; an exploration of the emotional persona behind the public face.”
The paintings range far afield from the original black and white photos. Large in size and painted in highly saturated colors, they combine floating elements and changes in scale along with other dream-like elements such as fantastic animals to illuminate truths that appear psychological in nature.
Though the paintings in this series are highly personal, McGrady stated that universal elements of “memory, loss and the nature of childhood” are represented and broader social concerns, such as “issues of control, manipulation, and domination” are also explored.
“The construction of identity and especially gender roles is a special concern of mine,” McGrady said. “The waste of human potential and diversity that flows from strict gender role construction is very often one of the tragic stories of our time.”
McGrady earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University at Long Beach and did graduate work at University of California at Irvine and California State University at Fullerton. She exhibits regularly in galleries and arts venues throughout the state, and is represented by Fig Tree Gallery in Fresno. Her work has been the subject of reviews in The Los Angeles Times, The Orange County Register and The Redlands Daily Facts, and is included in corporate, institutional and private collections from coast to coast in the United States.
Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 12-2pm and 4-6pm. Contact the front desk when you arrive to see the show for a free temporary parking permit. The Porterville College Art Gallery is located on campus at 100 East College Avenue in Porterville. Contact Jim Entz at 791-2257 for more information.