Gayle Montgomery

Posted by on Nov 30, 2009 in Inspired by Dan

Gayle Montgomery is a mixed media artist who works primarily in collage and bookmaking. She began as a paper marbler studying with Polly Fox and Curtis Finley. The volume of paper began to grow and she expanded into the bookarts followed by collage.

The past several years have found her immersed in expressing life and its journey in her artwork.

In July of 2003, she completed a 22 piece series “Safari Is A Way of Life” to honor Dan Eldon’s philosophy and to honor his legacy. 2004 marked the 50th anniversary of the widely acclaimed Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo, and Gayle completed her ‘Frida’ series. Currently, she is working on a series of tragic love throughout the ages entitled “Love Is A Four Letter Word” which will debut at the New Grounds Gallery in Taos, New Mexico in September, 2005.

As a result of her ‘Safari’ series, National Geographic featured Gayle in their “National Geographic On Assignment” as an artist inspired by the life of Dan Eldon. The film won first place in the New York Indie Film Festival held in November, 2004 in the category of “Best Broadcast Documentary”.

Gayle has exhibited in the Greeting Gallery, the American Visions Gallery and the late Art Attack gallery all located in St. Louis, Missouri and Art Divas Gallery, Two Graces and the New Grounds Gallery in Taos, New Mexico. She has sculptural books in the permanent collection at Taproots School of the Arts in St. Louis. Her artwork is found in collections across our Nation and in Canada and England.

Her current goals are to continue the pursuit of life’s great “safari” or journey in her artwork and to share her joy of life through her art.

Gayle resides in Taos, New Mexico with three indoor cats and many, many outdoor cats.

Gail met Dan Eldon in the autumn of 1998 in Yellow Springs, Ohio. You may say this is impossible for Dan had long left behind his earthly journey, but you are wrong!

There are those who live on and impact lives for years to come. Dan was such a phenomena. The truth be told, it was in Yellow Springs that I found “The Journey Is The Destination: The Journals of Dan Eldon’. I began to read the short introduction and peruse the collages compiled by his mother, Kathy Eldon. There I found the semblance between Dan and I…thus, our journey began. His love of mankind and desire to divine a difference, his miscellaneous roamings and ramblings which he referred to as ‘safari’ and the collages were all reminisce of my years past.

At this point I began to make noted changes in my life, but it was not until the publication of “The Art of Life” did I make Dan’s creed my own. I began by making each visit to shops, to work, or merely wandering throughout my neighborhood my own personal safari. The result was Dan joining my adventures.

Dan encouraged me to take those goals that I had set for a ‘future’ date and make a reality in the here and now. He so inspired me that I began my first collage in my ‘safari series’ as a gift for a friend. Dan told me to not stop there. I put my house on the market and had a contract on it the very next day. A month later it sold and I moved to my Shangri-la – Taos, New Mexico!

With Dan still urging me on, I continued to do collages relating to my concept of the various journeys or ‘safaris’ one takes in life. When I had six or seven completed, I contacted Dan’s mother and she liked them. There were several collages in process and I finished them, then I went one step further. I determined to do twenty-two collages for each of Dan’s years on Mother Earth.

It didn’t stop there. I made an appointment with Art Divas Gallery in Taos to show my ‘safari’ portfolio. The gallery owner liked what she saw and agreed to give me a show. I told her that I wanted the show to be in July of 2003 because it marked the tenth year after Dan’s death. With a bit of rearranging, I got the date I wanted and asked Kathy Eldon if she would like to come. She said ‘Yes”.

Dan and I will continue to travel together. My goals after the July show are to get funding for the traveling exhibit of Dan’s work to be shown in Taos and to do a ‘collage journaling’ with a local group that caters to youth between the ages of 14 and 25 called ECO.

A percentage of all my sales from the show and my website will be donated to the Creative Visions Foundation that helps those youth in our world who aim to make a difference.

Perchance my efforts, too, will make a difference. Dan is with me every step of the way!