Interview: Edith Grey Discusses The Art Scene In Durham And Her Upcoming #Sexynotsilent Pop-Up Art Show

Edith Grey Designs

Edith Grey is a self taught artist based in the Raleigh-Durham area whose upcoming #Sexynotsilent Pop-up art show will take place this Friday, June 16th at Golden Belt Studios: Suite 118 (807 East Main Street, Durham, NC 27701) from 6:00 - 9:00 pm. We connected with this extremely talented artist to find out what we can expect at the #Sexynotsilent event, what she finds special about the art scene in Durham and much more. 

If you live in the Triangle area and appreciate great art, you need to be in the building this Friday night for Edith Grey's #Sexynotsilent event. For more information, be sure to follow her on Facebook and check out her website below. 

If you had to describe your artwork to a stranger in three words, which words would you select?

Bold, Sophisticated, Unapologetic

When did you realize that you had a talent as an artist? Do you remember your first piece?

I’ve been drawing/painting for as long as I can remember. I’m a self-taught artist and went to school for Fashion Design. I remember starting out creating landscapes in high school with oil and being like okay, that’s good, that’s decent, but when I really started doing the stylized illustrations in 2007 and created the piece Fierce. I remember thinking to myself damn, that’s hot! I might have some talent after all lol.

Describe your creative process when it comes to starting and finishing your artwork.

I would say my process has ebbs and flows like every other creative. When that wave hits me I’m creating back to back to back and then it could be months before I pick up my pen again. Typically, I start out by sketching out the illustration in pencil, go back and outline everything with a micro-liner, and finally go back in with the color. Depending on the amount of detail and size of the piece one illustration can take anywhere from five to ten hours. 

What does #sexynotsilent mean and what can we expect from the event this Friday?

#sexynotsilent is a project by myself that strives to redefine what the word “sexy” looks like through highlighting women of color who embrace their struggle against systems, stigma, and mental or physical illness without negating their sexuality. This project will convey the strength, beauty, and struggle of women of color through visual art and multimedia components.


If you could design the album cover of any artist, who would you pick? 

That’s a tough one, there are so many artists that I love and respect. If the artist has to be living, it would be Janet Jackson. Janet has been through so much and still perseveres. Especially during the Rhythm Nation era, she was all about being a sexy, tough, unapologetic female. I would do an album cover that pays homage to Black Cat. That song has always resonated with me. My second runner up would be Jimi Hendrix. I’ve done an illustration of Jimi but to do an album cover that is dedicated to one of the most talented guitarists of all time, would be a hands down win for me.

What do you find special about the art scene in Durham, especially as a female African American artist/designer?

The passion that other artists of color have in the arts community. As an African American female artist in the community, I’m appreciative of the fact that I feel like I have a home for my art in Durham. I’ve met several other artists of color whose work in Durham focuses around social justice and equal rights. Most of my work is centered around female empowerment and equality for women of color so it’s a wonderful feeling to have a support group of fellow artists in that aspect. Although we may not be where we want to be as far as museums and galleries fairly representing the type of work we create in Durham and the surrounding areas, we are definitely not afraid to speak up on that social injustice and continue to show our work in every avenue that is made available to us until we start to see genuine change in the community around us.

Where can we go to buy an Edith Grey designed piece?

Currently I work out of my home, so I don’t have a studio, but you can find some of my pieces on display for purchase at the Harvey B Gantt Center in Charlotte, NC.

Connect with Edith Grey Designs: Website   Facebook