Truth in Art
Finding the Truth in Art – Publishing in South Mississippi Living
Story by PRISCILLA LOEBENBERG AND photos by JOHN STRICKLIN
Many know Gretchen David as a successful advertising executive with a professional reputation that few creatives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast can match. However, that is only one aspect to an identity that also includes equal parts fun and philosophy.
As creative director of her own studio, David has won a multitude of awards for advertising campaigns and designs, including more than 20 Addy Awards. She is a Leadership Gulf Coast graduate and was named one of the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Top Ten Business Leaders Under 40.
“Being honored as a creative professional in business means a tremendous amount to me,” said David. “It tells me I am doing something right.”
A professional skateboarding fanatic, David was the 2006 International Design Winner for her work featuring pro skateboarder Ryan Sheckler. The project was a labor of love and one of the most enjoyable she has ever completed. But, it is an upcoming project that she feels most passionately about.
“I have a dream of making a mark from an inspirational standpoint,” said David, “with art in its purest form.”
David plans to debut her “Portraits of Hidden Truth” in 2014. The series will depict abstract representations of individuals utilizing multiple aspects of their lives and personalities. The pieces will be large, between six and ten feet tall, and mounted on a swivel. As viewers turn the canvases, they will be able to see more and more aspects of the subject’s being.
“Hidden Truth is an oxymoron,” she said. “The canvases scream deep, dark secrets. We can study the things that define who we are without really understanding them. There are so many levels of perception.”
David plans an elaborate opening for her portraits that involves taking both financial and artistic risks. She said she can only hope that she has accumulated enough karmic credit to rouse the support of the community. Considering the abundance of creative services she has contributed to nonprofit projects and her work with numerous professional organizations, she is sure to see a positive turnout.
She was born and raised on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and it was important for her to remain here and contribute to the community.
Recently, she was part of the Art Can Change Everything crew that consisted of 25 local artists. Over the course of one week in October, the crew used the Kress Building in downtown Biloxi as a canvas for their work. The owner of the historic building, Chase Taylor, plans to turn it into a music and art venue.
“That was one of the most special things that happened this year,” she said.
Another special happening was the opening of Gallery a Go-Go in December, which David owns with partner Cheryl Boudreaux. David said a remodel of the space on the corner of Jackson and Ohr streets in Biloxi is planned.