Art Conspiracy, the artist-driven philanthropy, holds its 9th installment in just a little over a week. This weekend, more than 100 artists will gather to create work in 24 hours. It will all be auctioned off at a giant warehouse party on Nov. 16, at 500 Singleton Blvd. To gear up, the ArtCon team has provided us with introductions to a few of this year’s participating conspirators. First up: Ross Grady High.
Ross Grady High has been sculpting, what he considers “seriously,” for 13 years. As a small child, he remembers forming two small birds for his mother out of clay he found in an empty lot next door. But a devotion to the art form didn’t materialize for many years. In 2000, High, who’d been playing drums for more than 20 years, was given a gift certificate to a beginners’ clay class. Next thing he knew, he’d thrown his drumsticks away and committed himself to sculpting.
High first learned of Art Con through long-time friend Mike Arreaga, who has been involved with the philanthropy for years. He had a piece in Art Con’s “Seed” event a few months ago and soon eagerly agreed to participate in Art Con 9. He says he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to contribute to such a great cause, and he looks forward to helping put a smile on the beneficiary’s face. High loves making people happy with his art. He was also excited to challenge himself to draw guidance from the dimensions of the board provided him, and he just let it happen from there. He wanted to do something he’s never done before… and he says he’s achieved exactly that.
Specializing in Raku-fired ceramics, High says he draws inspiration from songs he’s listening to, seemingly mundane daily experiences, and interactions with everyone from clients to friends to new acquaintances. His art also provides an outlet wherein he is able to to creatively vent frustrations and “get s—- out of [his] system.”
High lives in Austin and is an Artist in Residence for Eye of the Dog Art Center in San Marcos where he works alongside owner and operator, Billy Ray Mangham, who High claims is his favorite artist and greatest influence.