Robert Gray is a Colorado native, and his heritage is deeply invested in each vessel created in his Buena Vista studio. The Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains and the Upper Arkansas Valley has provided a spectacular backdrop for his 50+ years of woodworking.
“I have vivid memories of a family trip to Oregon. It was 1957, and I was 14 years old. My first sight of the ocean and giant timbered forests was fascinating. A sign along the road said, “Just Ahead, Woodturning Demonstrations.” I pleaded with my Dad to stop. I stared through a glass window as a wood turner created a beautiful Myrtle wood bowl before my eyes. I was hooked. Wood was in my blood.”
Robert’s interest in wood began while studying for degrees in forestry and industrial arts education at Colorado State University. In 1972 he established the Woodworking Program for Buena Vista Public Schools and, in 1978, opened a fine woodworking shop which he continued for 13 years.
Robert became increasingly interested in woodworking and studied woodturning under several nationally recognized turners, including Rude Osolnik of Kentucky’s Berea College, Dale Nish of Brigham Young University, Richard Raffin of Australia, and Michael Peterson of Washington State.
His interests in the natural history and aesthetics of woods and his dedication to handcraft eventually led him to dedicate himself to his long-term interest in woodturning. He built and ran the Trembling Aspen Gallery, with his wife, Marjie, in Buena Vista from 1995-2005. Here he continued to improve his turning techniques and forms for his aspen vessels. Robert still spends hours in his Buena Vista studio creating his art. The Broadmoor Galleries in Colorado Springs and Rock Run Gallery in Buena Vista continue to represent his work.
Buena Vista Public Library, One Man Show, Buena Vista, CO, 2023
Chaffee Arts, Buena Vista, CO, Open Awards Show, 1990-2022
Foothills Art Center, Golden, Splinter! Colorado Wood Today, 2007
del Mano Gallery, Los Angles, CA, Turned & Sculptured Wood, 2007
Loveland Museum, Loveland, CO, Annual Governor’s Invitational Art Show, 2003-2005
The Eleanor Bliss Center for the Arts at the Depot, Fine Woodworking, Steamboat Springs, CO
Denver International Airport Art Exhibitions, Denver, CO, Fabric, Furniture, and Furnishing, 1997
Arkansas Valley Art Center, Colorado Mountain College, Best of Colorado, Buena Vista, CO,
Arkansas Valley Art Center, Colorado Mountain College, Buena Vista, CO, Woodworkers of the
Upper Arkansas Valley, 2009
Chaffee County of the Arts, Buena Vista, CO, Wood, Feather, Fiber, and Clay, 1990