Linda Pace, STAY, 2006. Wood, adhesive and artificial flowers© Linda Pace Foundation.

As we continue to celebrate Linda Pace’s birthday, we’re highlighting yet more gifts of her work to the Linda Pace Foundation Collection at Ruby City!

Pace was not only a committed philanthropist, collector and friend to artists, but she was also an accomplished artist herself. Influenced by psychiatrist Carl Jung’s work on dreams and the unconscious, Pace practiced interpreting her dreams and their underlying ideas and emotions. Pace summed it up in Dreaming Red: Creating ArtPace, stating: “My dreams became my nightly compass, my way of listening to my inner authority rather than allowing external events to shape my life.” This emphasis on dreams and the unconscious in turn drove and inspired her artistic practice. Beyond making drawings based on her dreams, explored in the previous newsletter, Pace sometimes realized those drawings as sculptures. This is evidenced in the J. Travis Capps Jr. and Lee Anthony gift, STAY (2006).

STAY, currently on view at Ruby City, is composed of faux flowers adhered to wooden letters that spell out a simple, grief-stricken plea to “stay.” The cool color palette of blue and purple communicates a sense of loss. And, the use of carnations, among other flowers, reminds the viewer of standing floral arrangements placed on gravesides of the recently deceased. Deeply evocative of loss and longing, this work came out of a dream about moving Pace experienced shortly after her mother’s passing. Kelly O’Connor, Head of Collections and Communications and Pace’s former studio assistant, comments that “there were only a few drawings that Linda wanted to realize as sculptures, STAY was one of them.

Linda Pace, STAY, 2006. Colored pencil on vellum© Linda Pace Foundation.

We began devising a plan to create the armature of the sculpture to mimic the personality of her gestures in the drawing.” The result was a lush, haunting sculpture which speaks to Pace’s ability to create emotionally vulnerable art that moves those who experience it.

This work was sadly foreboding of Pace’s passing as well. O’Connor states, “just one year after the completion of STAY it was installed at her memorial service in Chris Park.” It’s a lovely addition to the collection, reflecting not only another facet of Pace’s artistic practice beyond drawing, but also her ability to convey and reflect a complex universal emotional such as grief.