Grace Barnes grew up in Idaho Falls, Idaho and started ballet at age 5. Dance became a consistent rhythm in her life for the next 13 years. In dance classes with John and Janice Nelson, she found both a disciplined process and permission to be expressive.
As a high schooler who loved performing, Grace dreamed of continuing ballet but felt that she was not competitive enough to make it professionally. Still, she was drawn to the arts.
Grace studied at Whitworth University, majoring in visual art with an emphasis in painting. She started the program thinking she would be a landscape painter, but a figure drawing class quickly changed that. Drawing from live models reconnected Grace with one of the things she loved about dance - the expressiveness of the human form. It also introduced her to a new fascination: how to portray movement on canvas.
While exploring movement in two dimensions, Grace also took advantage of dance opportunities at Whitworth. She took classes with Suzanne Ostersmith, Karla Parbon, Pam Erickson, and Judy Mandeville. She also tried her hand at choreography and was involved in Whitworth’s student-led dance group, Jubilation.
Since receiving her BA, Grace has had paintings on display in the Clearstory Gallery, Terrain, McCarthy Art Company, Indaba Coffee, the West Central Arts Festival, and elsewhere. She participates in projects with Partners Through Art, a local nonprofit connecting artists with organizations working for positive social change.
Grace lives in West Central Spokane. When she isn’t painting or dancing, she enjoys gardening and walks by the river. Check out her latest water paintings at here.
Performance Highlights with VMD
Awakenings, Confluence, Tribute, Together We Dance