Biography

Mayuko Ono Gray is a Texas based artist whose main medium is graphite drawing. Born in Gifu Japan, she was trained in traditional Japanese calligraphy in her young childhood; later in her teenage she was trained in classical Western drawing. 

After graduating from high school in Japan, she moved to the U.S. She earned her MFA in painting from the University of Houston main campus in 2007. Currently she works as adjunct professor of Art and the Art Gallery director for the College of the Mainland in Texas City, TX.


Artist Statement

Reflecting a life which is both culturally Japanese and American, my graphite drawings hybridize influences from traditional Japanese calligraphy combined with Western drawing practices and aesthetics. 

Growing up in Japan, every Saturday afternoon was spent with my Sensei, a calligraphy master who would assign words for each of us to practice. We would spend hours producing copies of the Sensei's sample. The goal was to imitate the sample, paying attention to the line quality, the varying speed, the pressure and angle of the brush movement. The handling of the brush had to become rhythmic and graceful.

At high school age, in preparation to entrance exam to art university in Japan, I had to take private lessons to learn drawing with graphite and charcoal practicing techniques such as chiaroscuro and sfumato. Saturday afternoons were replaced by a Western style art studio with pedestals, still lifes, and white marble copies of Roman busts, instead of tatami mat calligraphy studio sitting on the floor. The fluid ink was replaced with malleable graphite and ephemeral charcoal. The wet immediacy of calligraphic line was replaced with illusionistic volumes meticulously rendered. Instead of going through dozens of rice papers in a session, one sheet of high-quality cotton paper was given to work on. 

Traditional Asian art-forms have often integrated word and image, and my interest and practice also follow the path in my unique way. In my current works, I mostly use images of persons, animals, and still lifes captured in my daily experiences. A Japanese proverb accompanies each work, spelling out the hiragana and kanji, characters intertwine to create a single line which has only one entrance and one exit. The calligraphic line begins at the top right and ends toward the bottom left of the page, following traditional Asian writing. The single line going through a pictorial plane is a metaphor of a life: one entrance as birth of physical body, and one exit as death and loss of physical body, and all the complicated experiences during existence between these two.



CV

Solo Exhibitions

2020 となりの花はあかい_The Rose is Always Redder Next Door, College of Southern Nevada Art Space          Gallery, Las Vegas, NV

2019 諸行無常_This too, shall pass, O'Kane Gallery, University of Houston Downtown, Houston, TX 

2019 Anything that Takes a Form will Break Sooner or Later, Dougherty Arts Center, Austin, TX

2019 Anything that Takes a Form will Break Sooner or Later, Indiana University East, Richmond, IN

2018  Domestic Zen, Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Houston, TX

2017 形あるものいつかは壊れる: Anything that takes a form will break sooner or later,  Gardiner Art Gallery, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

2016 言わぬが花:Silence is the Flower,Sul Ross State University Art Gallery, Alpine, TX

2016 The Impermanence of Flowers Makes Them More Beautiful, Terminal 136, University of Texas San Antonio, TX

2016 Ars longa, vita brevis, Galeria La Mano Mágica, Oaxaca, Mexico

2015 出会いは別れの始め: Hello is the beginning of good-bye, Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Houston, TX 

2014 疑心暗鬼: Suspicious Mind Creates the Dark Monster, Lone Star College North Harris, Houston, TX

2012心は巧みな絵師の如し“Un corazón es un artista iluminado”Cuatro contemporáneo, Oaxaca, Mexico

2012 Seasons, Lone Star College Kingwood Art Gallery, Kingwood, TX

2012 Reflection of Self in You, Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Houston, TX

2011 Following the PathMary Matteson-Parrish Art Gallery, Lone Star College Montgomery, Conroe, TX

2011 Japanese Calligraphy My WayGalveston Arts Center, Galveston, TX

2011 Japanese Calligraphy My Way- Caligrafia japonesa a mi maneraGaleria 910, Oaxaca, Mexico

2009 Midnight Skinny-Dipping, Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Houston, TX

2007 PiscesThe Project Gallery, University of Houston Main Campus, Houston, TX        

Group/Two Persons Exhibitions 

2019 Cheers to 50! Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Houston, TX

2019 Art Faculty Exhibition, College of the Mainland Art Gallery, Texas City, TX

2019 Mayuko Ono Gray and Naomi Velasquez, Metropolitan Community College Gallery, Elkhorn, NE

2019 Bay Area Houston Community College Faculty Exhibition 2019, UHCL Art Gallery, Houston, TX

2019 BLACK & WHITE: a fine art collective, Envision Art Show, www.envisionartshow.com/black-white

2019 A Contemporary Drawing Exhibition, Indiana University Kokomo Downtown Art Gallery, Kokomo, IN

2018 Shape-Shifter: Drawing from Observation, Beatrice M. Haggerty Art Gallery, Universtiy of Dallas, TX

2017 Art Faculty Exhibition, College of the Mainland Art Gallery, Texas City, TX

2017 Dusk to Dawn, The Martha Fenstermaker Memorial Visual Arts Gallery, Laredo Community College,           Laredo, TX

2016 Twenty Five: A Celebration, Curated by Clint Willour, Galveston Arts Center, Galveston, TX 

2015 Art Faculty Exhibition, College of the Mainland Art Gallery, Texas City, TX

2015 TASA One Foot Exhibition, Texas Tech University Satellite gallery at LHUCA, Lubbock, TX

2015 Mujer Arte Oaxaqueño, Galeria La Mano Mágica, Oaxaca, Mexico

2015 UNITY, Ben Bailey Gallery, Texas A&M University, Kingsville, TX

2015 Poetry Scores Hawaii- Look Like What It Means, University of Hawai’i at Hilo, HI

2014 The City of Houston Citizenship Month Exhibition, Asia Society Texas Center, Houston, TX

2014 Art Faculty Exhibition, College of the Mainland Art Gallery, Texas City, TX

2013 Galveston HangsGalveston Arts Center, Galveston, TX 

2013 Sculpted Words- Sculpted Figures: The Graphite Drawings of Mayuko Ono Gray and Mark Greenwalt, Yellow Cube Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

2012 The City of Houston Citizenship Week Art Exhibition, City Hall Annex Building, Houston, TX

2012 The Evolution of Languages, Mural installation in collaboration with Mark Greenwalt, Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca, Mexico

2012 Faculty Exhibition, College of the Mainland Art Gallery, Texas City, TX 

2011 The Book, Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Houston, TX

2009 Masterworks, Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Houston, TX 

2008 Drawing Room, Curated by Clint Willour, Galveston Arts Center, Galveston, TX

2007 Master Thesis Show, The Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston Main Campus, Houston, TX

2006 Caged Fish and Glory HolesThe Law Office, Houston, TX

2006 Danse de la PaixThe Law Office, Houston, TX

2005 Houston 7, Joan Wich Gallery, Houston, TX

2004 Diverse Painting Exhibition, University Center, University of Houston Main Campus, Houston, TX

2004 Juried Painting ShowCommerce Street Artists Warehouse, Houston, TX

2003 50/50 Association of Sculpture Student Fundraising Event, Commerce Street Artists Warehouse, Houston, TX

Public Collection

Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, NE

University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hilo, HI

Lone Star College Kingwood, Kingwood, TX

Commission

2016     Madame Butterfly, Houston Ballet, Houston, TX 

Bibliography

2020     Art Collector's Choice/ Japan Book https://www.contemporaryartstation.com/acc-book-japan

2019     Contemporary Art Station Interview https://www.contemporaryartstation.com/acc-japan-         book/2019/12/12/mayuko-ono-gray-united-states

2019     UHD news by Mike Emery https://news.uhd.edu/calligraphy-contemporary-technique-co-exist-in-this-   too-shall-pass-at-okane-gallery/

2019     100 Artists of the Future Vol.1, Comtemporary Art Curator Magazing publishing

2019     Voyage Houston Magazine http://voyagehouston.com/interview/meet-mayuko-ono-gray/

2018     University of Dallas News http://udallasnews.com/2018/11/02/art-exhibit-considers-value-of-drawing/

2018     Contemporary art curator magazine, June 

            http://www.contemporaryartcuratormagazine.com/home-2/mayukogray

2017     Coast Monthly Magazine August https://www.coastmonthly.com/2017/07/why-were-here/

2016      TWENTY FIVE: A CELEBRATION Catalog, page 33, Galveston Arts Center

2016     San Antonio Current "Seven Shows not to Miss"             https://www.sacurrent.com/ArtSlut/archives/2016/08/03/first-thursday-and-friday-preview-7-shows-not-to-miss?page=3

2015     Galveston Daily News  http://www.galvnews.com/leisure/article_be8f9c7e-e8a9-11e4-bfb8-e78c1279e198.html

2014     Studio Visit Magazine Vol. 27

2012     Studio Visit Magazine Vol. 18 

2011     TV Interview, TV Azteca, Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico

2009     Radio Interview “Front Row” KUHF 88.7 FM, Houston, TX

http://app1.kuhf.org/houston_public_radio-news-display.php?articles_id=1248382173

Gallery Representations

Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Houston TX, USA

Galeria 910, Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico

Education

2007     Master of Fine Arts degree, Painting, University of Houston Main Campus, Houston, TX

Awards: Andrew Delaney Fellowship, 2006-2007, Dolores Welder Mitchell Scholarship, 2005-2006

2004     Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Painting, University of Houston Main Campus, Houston, TX

Awards: Helen A. Krause Endowed Scholarship, 2003-2004, Dean’s Honor List

Employment

2011 - Current  Director, College of the Mainland Art Gallery, Texas City, TX

2008 - Current  Adjunct Professor of Art, College of the Mainland, Texas City, TX

2012 - 2015      Director, Japan Study Abroad Program, College of the Mainland, Texas City, TX

2010 - 2011      Interim Director, College of the Mainland Art Gallery, Texas City, TX

2005 - 2007      Teaching Fellowship/Instructor, University of Houston Main Campus, Houston, TX

Other Professional Experience

2016 - Current   Member, Texas Association of Schools of Art

2019     Juror, 19th. Student Art Exhibition, Metropolitan Community College, Elkhorn, NE

2016 - 2018      Advisory Board, Galveston Arts Center, Galveston, TX 

2017     Juror, Rio Grande Arts Festival, Laredo, TX

2017     Art Lecture, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

2014     Lecture, Art Lecture Series, Lone Star College North Harris, Houston, TX

2013     Lecture, Conversation at the Center, Galveston Arts Center, Galveston, TX         

2012     Juror, Student Art Show, Lone Star College Kingwood, Kingwood, TX

2006     Juror, Texas Art Education Association Visual Art Scholastic Event (V.A.S.E. program) Houston, TX