Tracy Mead, multidisciplinary American artist, lives and works in Paris France, in a loft she created from the ruins of an 18th century stable in the Bastille area.
Mead was born in the state of Connecticut, on the Eastern seaboard of the United States. Her father was a landscaper and she took early inspiration from the flowers, trees, rock formations and currents in the gardens and coastline of her native soil. One of her lifelong mantras comes from Georgia O’Keefe: “Nature is a mode of communication”.
Mead moved from an initial enthusiasm for musical studies to art in her early teens, studying life drawing and watercolors. Mead’s fascination with post-Impressionism and Modernism naturally lead her to France, and she moved there in 1981, eventually earning a BFA from Parsons School of Design at the New School, studying at the New York and Paris campuses.
During her art studies, Mead first became exposed to Islamic culture and artistic heritage: Byzantine art and the gem colored tesserae mosaics have been a lasting influence since her 20’s, in addition to the classical techniques of oil, ink, charcoal, pastel and reliefs she acquired at Parsons.
From the 1980s to the early 1990s, Mead worked as a framer for major French galleries including Galerie Maeght, Galerie Lelong and Galerie de France, connecting intimately with great artists’ work, among them Aki Kuroda, Alechensky, Del Rè, Jan Voss…. She continues to balance her own artistic career with other projects, including a stint as a museum guard at the Grand Palais, a mural painter, and most recently, a teacher. Mead teaches art and English at different education levels, sharing her passion with students at Paris8 University in St Denis as well as two Parisian primary schools.
Among Mead’s many expositions are those organised by the Genie de la Bastille, an artists’ collective she joined in 1988, which sponsors urban exhibits in gardens, among others. This led to her acclaimed series of installations inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Mead explored video installation for an exposition called “Utopia” at the Cite International des Arts, building a miniature orchestra with invisible musicians that plays a haunting melody. Her 2016 duo sculpture, with Natacha Plunkett, “Marianne” was a response to the French Presidential election, and via the celebrated Manzetti husband and wife photographers, “Marianne” was shown at Addict galerie and Espace Joseph, Musée d’Orsay. She has also taken part in international artist exchanges, travelling to Kyoto Japan, Santiago Chile, and Seoul South Korea.
The success of a pastel series inspired by a trip to the Alhambra enabled Mead to realize a life-long dream and visit Jordan in 2018. The work resulting from her trip to Petra is her most inspired fusion of light, landscape, architecture and history to date.