“My inspiration
stems from all sorts of situations.
I find myself constantly looking for it
in everything." (Peter Gray)

"All of a sudden,
I am drawn into something
because of the energy
that it projects at the time."
(Peter Gray)

"I have this fascination with intricate detail and realism and then quite opposite to that, I'm really excited about abstract elements as well." (Peter Gray)

"I want to be able
to find the spirit
behind something.
I’m not interested
in just copying."
(Peter Gray)

“It’s the initial idea
that’s the big thing for me,
getting it down
as soon as possible,
without talking
and in the boldest way
possible."
(Peter Gray)

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Biography

Peter Gray is a multi-award winning artist. He was born in Zimbabwe in 1950 and sold his first artwork when he was 12 years old.

Living near the Hwange National Park and a stone’s throw from the Matobo Hills National Park, Peter grew up with a passion for these wilderness areas that became the nurturing ground for his career as an artist. Peter was educated at the University of Cape Town’s, Michaelis School of Fine Art and furthered his studies in gemology, jewellery design, copper plate and seal engraving.

In 1973, he moved to London, setting up home and studio. From this location, he opened and operated a fine-art business trading in the UK, USA and Zimbabwe. During this time, Peter took on commissioned portraits and participated in a number of group exhibitions in and around London.

In 1983, he relocated to Zimbabwe and established studios, a workshop, foundry and gallery producing and selling bronze and silver sculpture, paintings, commissioned jewellery and objet d’art. Currently, he lives in Cape Town, South Africa with his family and works from his studio in the Silvermine Nature Reserve. His exceptional artworks feature among collections of art enthusiasts, museums, galleries, corporations and nature lovers worldwide.

"The artwork that Peter Gray has submitted for the consideration of Birds in Art jurors in recent years has been consistently strong and beautifully executed. His distinct perspective and artistic skill are among the reasons why Peter’s Birds in Art submissions have met with success. Peter’s work has been included in Woodson Art Museum Birds in Art exhibitions from 2005 through 2011 and also in 2013."

− Kathy Kelsey Foley (Director Woodson Art Museum)

"Year-after-year, Peter’s paintings are always at the very top of my ‘favorites’ list when I am reviewing the SAA exhibition. He is truly a MASTER artist… and I have been in a unique position as former President of the Society of Animal Artists (2008 – 2013) to see the very best of the genre produced by the finest nature artists working today. His work is always exquisitely rendered, masterful in composition, and portrays a lovely use of light. His work is also extraordinarily well-informed, and it is readily apparent to the viewer that Peter Gray is intimately familiar with his subject matter and their appropriate habitat. When he portrays a watery environment for his animal subjects, you’d swear you could touch the painting and feel wet! And I still recall fondly his painting of a little Bat-Eared Fox in the 51st Annual Exhibition. The little fox was resting on a sandy surface and appeared to be almost asleep… until you caught the glint in the eye. It was alert and full of life. Peter’s attention to important little details is remarkable – which elevates the work to an even higher level. Peter Gray should be recognized internationally as one of the foremost animal artists of the 21st century."

− Diane D. Mason (Former President of the Society of Animal Artists (SAA)

"Dad’s passion for wildlife makes it hard to make a separation between him and the natural world. He grew up in a raw and wild environment. It’s part of his upbringing and it forms part of who he is. His expression through art is merely him fulfilling his part in the relationship. It is how he pays homage to this part of himself. There’s nothing pretentious about my Dad or his work and he is not forcing ideas or concepts. His art is his communication and his expression. He’s never really one for big titles or descriptions. His work just doesn’t need that. If I were to sum up my Dad’s work in one word - it would be “honest”. There’s no hidden agenda, there’s just him and his love. His work has evolved from and is fed by where he’s been at different points in his life. And so his art has served as his journal or his biography. My Dad’s work has always been a barometer for where we are, both as a family and a society, in our relationships to one another and our precious environment. I’ve seen things like natural, wild environments disappear from his work or details becoming almost illusionary. If you stand up close to one of his pieces, you notice how economical he is, how simple it seems and yet how fragile each stroke has been. It is only when standing back that you have a formation of substance and reality. In many ways, this has been his comment on wildlife. From a far, we may see the illusion of all being in order, but it is only when you get up close, do you understand how fragile and delicate these things really are. In that, lies our responsibility. How close do we want to look and how are we prepared to act?"

− James Gray

Exhibitions & Tours

2013

  • Birds in Art, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum – USA.
  • Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, Art and The Animal SAA. – New Jersey, USA.
  • Bennington Center for the Arts – Vermont, USA.
  • Stephan Welz and Company, Lawyers Against Abuse (LvA) – Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum – Arizona, USA.
  • Booth Museum of Western Art – Georgia, USA.
  • Heritage Center State Historical Society of North Dakota – USA.
  • Steamboat Art Museum – Colorado, USA.
  • Michelson Museum of Art – Texas, USA.

2012

  • Wildlife Fine Art Exhibition, Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, Tokyo, Japan.
  • Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, Art and The Animal SAA. – New Jersey, USA.
  • The Art Museum at The University of Kentucky – Kentucky, USA.
  • Kenosha Public Museum – Wisconsin, USA.
  • Charles H. MacNider Art Museum – Iowa, USA.
  • The Art of Conservation, AFC – Vancouver, Canada.

2011

  • Solo Exhibition, The Cape Gallery – Cape Town, SA.
  • Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, Art and The Animal SAA. – New Jersey, USA.
  • Dennos Museum Center, Northwestern Michigan College – Michigan, USA.
  • Appleton Museum of Art – Florida, USA.
  • Dunnegan Gallery Of Art – Mossouri, USA.
  • Birds in Art, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum – USA.
  • The Cape Gallery Wildlife Exhibition – Cape Town, SA.

2010

  •  Solo Exhibition, The Cape Gallery – Cape Town, SA.
  • Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, Art and The Animal SAA. – New Jersey, USA.
  • San Diego Natural History Museum – California, USA.
  • The Wildlife Experience – Colorado, USA.
  • Dunnegan Gallery Of Art – Mossouri, USA.
  • Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum Of Natural History – Oklahoma, USA.
  • Birds in Art, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum – USA.
  • Wildlife Fine Art Exhibition, Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, Tokyo, Japan.
  • The Cape Gallery Wildlife Exhibition – Cape Town, SA.

2009

  • Birds in Art, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum – USA.

2008

  • Art & the Animal, Society of Animal Artists. The Neville Public Museum – Wisconsin, USA.
  • The Wildlife Experience – Colorado, USA.
  • Dunnegan Gallery Of Art – Mossouri, USA.
  • Cultural Arts Council Of Estes Park Fine Art Gallery – Colorado, USA.
  • San Angelo Museum Of Fine Arts – Texas, USA.
  • Birds in Art, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum – USA.
  • Solo Exhibition, The Cape Gallery – Cape Town, SA.

2007

  • Art International – Nassau, Bahamas.
  • Birds in Art, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum – USA.
  • Paws & Reflect Canine Show 2007- USA.
  • Commission for Simon Combes Conservation Award, AFC WNAG – Canada.
  • Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, Art & The Animal SAA – New Jersey, USA.
  • The Wildlife Experience – Colorado, USA.
  • West Valley Art Museum – Arizona, USA.
  • Spartanburg County Museum of Art – South Carolina, USA.
  • The Zanesville Art Center – Ohio, USA.
  • Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Art Institute – Arizona, USA.

Awards & Memberships

Special Invitations

Special Note

  • Award of Excellence, Society of Animal Artists. For “Ocean Divers”
  • “Best Nest,” purchased by Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum – Wisconsin, USA.
  • Award of Excellence, Society of Animal Artists. For “Great Expectations.”
  • Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum Purchase Award. For “Great Expectations.”
  • President’s Artistic Achievement Award, Society of Animal Artists. For “Patas Perspective.”
  • Simon Gerson Prize for sculpture – SA.
  • Commissioned by AFC to sculpt the Simon Combes Award for Conservation – Canada.
  • Society of Animal Artists – USA.
  • AFC Worldwide Nature Artists – Canada.
  • National Gallery Zimbabwe
  • National Geographic Society Washington Exhibition – USA.
  • Cullman Hurt Community Wildlife Project – Tanzania.
  • Feline Arts Touring Show – USA. Paws and Reflect Canine Show – USA.
  • Arts and Science Museum, Arizona – USA.
  • Walt Disney Animal Kingdom Gallery – USA.
  • Christies of London Wildlife Art Auction – United Kingdom.
The Society of Animal Artists
The Society of Animal Artists in New York has a panel of jurors that chooses only selected artists to be its members. World renowned artists such as Simon Coombs, David Shepherd, and Ray Harris Ching are included in its membership. The organisation regularly curates exhibitions in the United States and promotes its artists worldwide.

Birds in Art
Birds in Art is organised annually by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. It is the museum’s flagship exhibition and seeks to present the best contemporary artistic interpretations of birds and related subject matter. Globally, approximately only 100 works are selected by a jury review. Since 2005, Peter Gray’s work has been selected for the tour annually.

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