We are saddened to hear that our friend Gary Grenell, a former exhibiting artist and resident of Seattle, passed away this past week after a long fight with cancer, which he had off and on throughout his lifetime. We would like to share and celebrate his outstanding photographic work that he did in our community, Five Blocks to Green Lake.
Gary Grenell lived five short blocks from Green Lake Park, which is the mostly widely used urban public park in the Pacific Northwest, often used by thousands of people daily.
Since 1993, Grenell spent innumerable hours wandering the neighborhood sidewalks and the three mile path around the lake with his camera in hand, searching for the right encounter. His subjects were “found” in the most familiar locations: under trees, on sidewalks, and in front of their homes.
He positioned his subjects in a way that momentarily sequestered them from much of the visual chaos of the park. This project reflected his personal vision of this very public place, and reveals something about the depth of character of the people who frequent it.
Photo Center is proud to have helped Grenell launch his artistic career. He had a solo exhibition of this work at the Photo Center in 2000. To visit this exhibition page click here. Since then, his work has been shown at King County Art Gallery, Seattle City Hall, Glazer’s Camera, Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, among other venues. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Portland Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Center for Fine Art Photography, Ft. Collins, CO, and Photo Center NW.
Grenell’s photography influences included W. Eugene Smith, Henri Cartier Bresson, Diane Arbus and Shelby Lee Adams.
Five Blocks to Green Lake is currently on display through May at Stacya Silverman & Associates, 614 West McGraw Street Seattle, Washington 98119. (On top of Queen Anne Hill between 6th and 7th Avenues West, across from Macrina Bakery). The gallery is open 10am – 3pm everyday except Wednesdays and Sundays.
Five Blocks to Green Lake, a beautiful hardbound book, can be purchased online here which includes 100 portraits of Grenell’s Green Lake characters. Learn more about Grenell’s photography here: www.grenellphoto.com. Read his obituary in the Seattle Times here.