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artist statement

I create to please me...to unburden...

I create to please me, to unburden, to lighten an over-full psyche. I strive to shine a light on animal issues that I find compelling and in need of a voice, which are many. Ideas seek expression, well up, find a way out through my art. My wish is that other animal advocates may unburden themselves when viewing my pieces or placing one in a special room. My hope is that they too would feel a sense of peace with it in their home, feel understood by another human. An animal consciousness is hard to live, there is much pain and suffering with little understanding by other humans. To be able to express some of that, give it purpose, through beauty and art educate others, would indeed be a noble aspiration.

Ideas come, an image sets up a chain of thought, pictures come together in my mind. A digital camera is my constant companion; I capture tons of images, animal and otherwise, to catalog and use for future pieces. A BA in graphic design and 16 years in the field sway my art toward design vs. traditional painting or drawing. Here there is a major difference: this work is done to please ME, I am both client and artist. I used photoshop exclusively, pulling together images and type in a way that pleases the eye, holds meaning, and through process becomes art. I rarely know the road I travel until I get there.

The conflict of opposites is a major component of all my pieces. I struggle with the day to day drudgery of animal care, the messes to clean up versus the beauty the animal holds within. In my art I bring beautiful objects and animals together, insinuate that all is beautiful and can coexist together in harmony. Am I trying to convince myself or the viewer? I delve too into the most negative aspects of animal work: animals killing or being killed by humans or other animals. At times I am overwhelmed by the emotions that arise from these killings, and the need to somehow make sense of it all, make sound choices when I must.

My major artistic endeavor has been the Little Girl Looking Series, a series of seven pieces in which I catalog my journey from one who did not see the plight of animals at all to one who, even in the midst of pleasure, cannot forget their pain. This series has touched many an animal advocate, who recognize the struggle as being one they themselves faced, the journey as one they too undertook without perhaps even realizing.

The struggle within and around me continues. My need to illuminate it also continues, leading me down a path both provocative and unknown. —Tamira Ci Thayne (formerly Tammy S. Grimes)

Read Endorsements for Tammy's Work

One-Woman Art Shows in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia
to Feature Piece Censored by Blair County Judge, September 2008

"Falling Star, Rising Son: The Football Player
and the Pit bull" Art containing NFL
Football Tickets to be Auctioned on E-Bay, September 2007

Artist, Arrested for Helping Dying Dog, Wins Award for Piece which Pays him Tribute:
"When the Circle of Compassion Extends to All" Receives Honorable Mention
in Pennsylvania Art Show, May 19-20, 2007

Grimes Releases "Love Is...A Day without Chains" Piece
in honor of Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week
January 2007

Grimes Releases "New Orleans After Katrina" Series January 2006

Grimes Releases "Little Girl Looking" Series January 2005

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