Tundraland News Segment Interview 7/2017
Green Bay Press Gazette March 1, 2015 “Finding a vibrant vision” article
Frederic’s voice comes through colors and technique
By Daniel Higgins , Press Gazette Media
“You have to lose yourself to find yourself.”
That’s a bit of wisdom and a mantra for Gregory Frederic, one of the artists participating in the 25th annual Artigras next weekend at Shopko Hall in Ashwaubenon.
It’s not unusual for him to get so lost in his work that he’ll work through the night, only realizing how long he’s been painting because the sun begins to flood through the bountiful windows of the living floor in his Suamico home where he works.
“I can stare one or two hours at one painting. People are going to think I’m crazy. Sometimes I lay on the floor and think what did I see.”
The result of Gregory’s journey artistic forays is a painting that is somewhat cubist, a bit abstract but always bursting with vibrant colors and uniquely his style.
“It’s something I feel, because I have so many colors; colors are always coming.”
Growing up and attending school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Gregory never took an art class — none were offered. The lack of formal art education couldn’t quill his artistic passion. As he talks about art, he often repeats the phrase, “keep moving, keep moving,” as if the artistic force bubbling inside him couldn’t be contained even if he wanted to.
“When I was little, I liked drawing. They don’t really teach that at school in my country,” said Gregory. “I kept drawing and drawing at home, but my parents didn’t care about that because they don’t know about it, because it’s not taught at school.”
After graduating high school in 2006, Gregory knew he didn’t have money to attend university but was mentored by a friend and professional artists. Eventually he was traveling around with artists who painted murals all across Haiti.
“After high school, I can’t let this brain stop,” said Gregory. “I need to figure out something. I say this is one way I’m going to speak to people; what I know in my head. I choose my color, I use my technique to talk to them.”
(Photo: Submitted) Gregory w ith a student he is mentoring at an orphanage in Jacmel, Haiti. Gregory was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and regularly travels back to his home country to teach art to children. How Gregory came to have a home in Suamico and be part of Artigras is the story of boy meets girl. While working a job as security a few years ago for a mission group, he met Amy, an Oconto Falls native who has lived in the Green Bay area her entire life. They were married in August 2014.
This winter isn’t Gregory’s first. The 2013-14 winter was his first. Prior to surviving one of the coldest, snowiest Wisconsin winters in recent memory he was visiting Artstreet on a day when it was literally hotter here than Haiti. Amy says on that day, she checked the temperature in Port-au-Prince, and not only was it hotter, but also more humid.
Regardless if Gregory is in Wisconsin or Haiti, the subject of many of paintings tackle issues facing his home country including rape.
Another subject he’s passionate about is the need for clean water. And while he may know he wants to address a particular subject, the vision of the painting is something that reveals itself to him as he works.”The first idea I had when I started this painting (about water issues) is I know in some countries, and my country, they have problems about water. I say, ‘let’s do something about water,’ and I’m going to put water in it but I don’t know what’s coming,” said Gregory of a painting that depicts a bird near water while the people are distanced from it. “I just let my idea keep moving.”He says he put people in the trees and has the bird in the water because while the bird can make full use of the water, it makes the water too dirty for the people to drink.Not every painting Gregory does addresses tough issues. There are paintings with music, religion and other subjects.There’s even one with Aaron Rodgers, though that remains incomplete — for the time being. The painting shows Aaron Rodgers, in Gregory’s unique styling, passing the ball. In front of him are two white outlines of players. Those were going to be the teams the Green Bay Packers beat in the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl.Gregory works mostly in acrylics and some oils. He uses a piece of glass as his palette, and when he’s finished with that it, he often frames it as a piece of art as well. He’s done commission work, including a chameleon for a business in Waupaca and a beach scene mural in a bathroom that included a turtle.There are also necklaces, jewelry and t-shirts, lots of t-shirts from mission trips, that are also canvases for Gregory’s work.Gregory has been helping children at orphanages across Haiti explore the world of art through his program CrewlArt he started in 2010. Crewl is his childhood nickname and he likes it because it sounds similar to cool.”Being an artist in Haiti is one of the top careers,” said Amy. “If you’re the artist in the house, you can feed the other people.”For Gregory, the artist’s life is sporadic, given to long hours of painting, staring and thinking. Often several pieces are in progress at once.”(His) work flow is very artistically random,” said Amy.Paintings she’s thought were done one day, are completely revamped the next. Now she knows how to tell when Gregory has decided to stop working on a painting.”When it’s signed it’s done. You almost have to say once it’s signed you don’t pick it up again,” said Amy.Though, Gregory contends that a painting is never truly complete; that in some ways it would keep moving and changing if allowed.”It’s never done; you stop it. If you don’t, you keep seeing something to change,” said Gregory.
— Daniel Higgins, USA TODAY NETWORK email@example.com, facebook.com/pgdanhiggins click this link… http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/life/2015/02/28/frederics-voice-comes-colors-technique/24144997/
February 2016 edition of Frankly Green Bay magazine cover and “Art for All” article Excerpt from the article….Mosaic recognizes exhibiting artists who excel in a variety of ways by awarding several monetary prizes during Artigras. There are five Awards of Excellence given, an award for Best Display, a Purchase Award, as well as an award for Best in Show. Being Best in Show comes with a handsome cash prize, as well as public notoriety as was discovered by last year’s winner, Haitian-born Gregory Frederic. “Winning ‘Best in Show’ at Artigras 2015 has increased confidence in the quality of my artwork. The award also brought public recognition for my work as a respected local artist,” says Frederic. Frederic, now a resident of Green Bay, has had no formal art education, and is largely self-taught, save his artistic mentors in Haiti. His paintings are rich and colorful with his use of acrylic paint. “I custom mix most of my colors to create the desired depth and vibrant synergy with my own technique,” says Frederic. And when it comes to what inspires him to create that synergy, Frederic only has to look around himself to find it. “ I am inspired by the people I meet, personal everyday situations and stories of injustice. Music also plays a significant role in the creative process.” Seeing Frederic’s work displayed publicly is more powerful than simply viewing it on his website. “It is vitally important to have the public feedback from viewing my artwork live because of the emotional connection people feel whenever my pieces ‘speak’ to them. I also enjoy all the hugs I receive from people touched by my work and meeting the next generation of young artists.”-see the full article @
Gregory Frederic – Crewl Art
“Clean Planet” Austin Straubel Airport Installation~1/24/2020
A Community Collaboration Sculpture by Gregory Frederic
Members of our community, under the instruction of artist Gregory Frederic, painted these bottles to raise awareness for the widely recognized problem of plastic waste. While it is an important material for our economy, providing multiple benefits to modern day living, plastic takes up valuable space in landfill sites and is polluting the natural environment, having an especially significant impact on our oceans. One million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute, and this number is set to increase if we do not act. A number of organizations and countries are banning the use and production of disposable plastics, and we too can extend a helping hand to the global movement of reducing plastic waste. It’s never too late to start using less plastic and support efforts to leave a cleaner planet for the next generation.
Presented by: Titletown Development LLC in collaboration with The Art Garage and Austin Straubel Airport
“Plastic in the Air”-Video Link Below…
January 2020 issue of Fox Cities Magazine article “Artists to Watch 2020”
Wisconsin State Journal-
July 5, 2021
Art Fair Off the Square ‘featured artists’ appreciate the honor-Gayle Worland | Wisconsin State Journal
Painter Gregory Frederic, who was named featured artist for the 2018 Art Fair Off the Square, will be bringing many new works to this year’s event in Downtown Madison scheduled for July 10-11.
It’s an honor appreciated by other recent featured artists, as well.
Haitian-born painter Gregory Frederic said he was “shocked” when he was named featured artist in 2018.
“This experience was unforgettable,” said Frederic, who lives in Green Bay. His colorful paintings were turned into artwork for T-shirts and postcards promoting that year’s Art Fair Off the Square. “Since then, my artwork has been well received in Madison,” said Frederic, also a 2019 blue-ribbon winner for painting. He’ll be bringing new original paintings and prints to Art Fair Off the Square next weekend, he said.
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Geneva Daily Herald-July ’21
2022 Greater Green Bay Destination Guide
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Greater Green Bay Black Herstory/History Makers of 2024
Each day in February, we are featuring a local, Greater Green Bay Black Herstory/History Maker.
Reason Nominated: Gregory is a force in the art community in Green Bay and nationally. His work to mentor others, especially youth and underrepresented artists through Aspiring Artists and Art Education for the orphanage children in Haiti, is core to how Gregory is. Besides being an award-winning artist, Gregory is always looking for ways to give back to the community.
Social Justice and Activism