Grace Kelly Rivera

I was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico on the same day Grace Kelly became a princess. Raised in Maryland near Washington, DC, I moved to New York at eighteen to pursue artistic happiness and had some interesting jobs along the way. While working at the Cloisters Museum, which houses a good portion of the Met’s medieval art collection, I gained an appreciation of the illuminated manuscript and iconographic art, stirring my interest in art’s relationship to the spiritual. I studied figure drawing and painting at the Art Student’s League, where I got a small scholarship with the help of portrait artist Raymond Kinstler. Intermittently I also studied acting and played in off Broadway productions as well as an NYU Film school senior thesis film.

The pull to pursue both art and theater held many questions and concerns for me, given my resources. Answers came and new questions formed when I met the most influential mentor of my life a talented and prolific artist of many disciplines in New York in 1983. It was through my work with him that I came to understand different art forms as perceptual tools that can be applied to the expansion of consciousness. The fundamental impulse to evolve as a conscious entity was recognized as the motivating factor behind my artistic drive. This cognition clarified my priorities while enabling me to bypass limiting beliefs related to artistic creation.

I moved out to Northern California in 1984 and here have enjoyed an incredibly rich artistic life. My works have been part of group and solo shows in California, Toronto, San Francisco, Chicago and New York and I have collectors all over the world. Most recently I completed a series of pieces for a show at the Lush Life Gallery, part of the beautiful new Filmore/Jazz Heritage Center in San Francisco. With these Jazz Art pieces I was able to find a visual language through which to explore and highlight the relationship of muse and the artist. I am working to translate this idiom into works that focus on the Flamenco artist and muse. In Flamenco there is a term “duende” that describes the experience of the artist and audience being taken to a new and greater energetic level, when the artist is as if possessed of their art. It is a highly electrical event and offers great insight into the subtle energetic aspects of an art form. The idea is to complete a show of Flamenco pieces and perform Flamenco as part of the show’s opening.

I always have several projects going – check out my website and newsletter for more information on my current artistic endeavors: www.anessentialartist.com.


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