Second Grace Studio
Welcome to Second Grace Studio, home of my art-making life! Since 2014, Second Grace has been housed at BlueSchool Arts in Clinton, WA - a shared studio space, classroom, and gallery which I have the great good fortune to share with 10 incredible artists. If you're ever on Whidbey Island, stop on by! I know there are few places on earth I'd rather be!
Why 'Second Grace' Studio?
In keeping with the multi-layered collage work I do, it seems only fitting that the name of my studio itself has three layers of meaning:
The first layer
I was born the second of three sisters, and our Grandfather Roosen-Runge always called us the “three graces” in homage to the triad goddesses of charm, beauty, and creativity in Greek and Roman myth. As I dug into the Three Graces myth, I was delighted to find that Euphrosyne, the middle one, is the goddess of joyfulness, and that together with her sisters Aglaia (splendor) and Thalia (abundance), her role is to inspire and assist artists and poets. Second Grace seemed a perfect name for a studio dedicated to the joy of creating.
The second layer
As I’ve lived under the wing of “Second Grace,” another layer of meaning has unfolded for me, connected to the notion of calling (…as in “what are you called to do with your life?”) It seems to me that with our birth, each of us receive First Grace: the mighty gift of life itself. And Second Grace? As I think of it, Second Grace is our discovery of purpose. We experience Second Grace every time we catch a glimpse of that which brings aliveness into our experience of living. It seems to me we all have a choice: will we design the architecture of our lives around those moments of deep joy and connection? Or not?
The third layer
The process of designing a life infused with Second Grace requires us to take on a challenge that Euphrosyne understood as well as anyone – the challenge of seeking and asserting a voice of our own. You see, the historians tell us:
“the Graces were rarely treated as individuals, but always together as a kind of triple embodiment of grace and beauty. In art they are usually represented as lithe young maidens, dancing in a circle.”
Though not all of us are middle kids like Euphrosyne and me, we do all grow up “in the circle” of more or less benevolent others with whom we identify and whose approval and recognition we crave. It is up to us to “treat ourselves as individuals,” and to learn for ourselves the steps to our own life dance. So, Second Grace is also about seeking and asserting a voice, finding strength as an individual, developing a personal vision for a life and work, and having the courage to make this world our own.
“We cannot live in a world that is not our own. In a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening. To use our own voice. To see our own light.”
- Abess Hildegard of Bingen, 12th century mystic and writer