Laura Van Horne

Fabulous People: Laura Van Horne

Laura Van Horne is a mixed-media artist and owner of Gray Sky Gallery, located in Pioneer Square, the Historic Art District of Seattle. “Art has always been my passion. In 2015, I took it to the next level and opened Gray Sky Gallery. The gallery shows the work of a diverse group of talented Pacific Northwest artists working in a variety of mediums such as acrylic, oil, encaustic, resin, mixed media, wood, ceramics, wire and blown glass.” Learn about Laura Van Horne…

Follow at: @lauravanhorneart; @grayskygallery

Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I have called Seattle home since 1994.

First job: Well, if you are talking about when I was 13 years old, I used to waitress at Mr. Steak up in Canada-haha. I went to school to become a speech therapist so my first “real” job was at Group Health Hospital here in Seattle. The fact that my job now is my biggest passion (painting) makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world.

Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: Painting is my favorite way to spend my free time. I have three kids and run the gallery, which takes up most of my time, so whenever I have a second to paint, I’m in my happy place.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: First would be raising my kids. Next in line to that would be running the gallery. I love helping local Seattle artists boost their careers and I feel so proud to give them a place to display and sell their work.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: I moved the location of my gallery to Pioneer Square in March of 2019; one year later we were in lockdown and things got pretty rough with the COVID restrictions, riots, vandalism and the homelessness problem. It has been a very difficult time to be growing a business in a neighborhood with so many challenges. I wouldn’t say I have “overcome” this obstacle but I am forging ahead.

Gray Sky Gallery Interior Photo-1
Gray Sky Gallery

Someone who inspires you and why: I have always been inspired by my parents. They have shown me that you can do anything you put your mind to and both have demonstrated the importance of living a creative life.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: To any artist out there who wants to make a career of it, I always recommend they keep up with their painting practice no matter what. Always look for opportunities to show your work (coffee shops, clothing stores, wineries, whoever is willing to hang the work) and if you can’t find a place, then create your own!

Favorite quote: “Get in over your head as often and as joyfully as possible.” –Alexander Isley

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I was the Western Canadian Rhythmic Gymnastics Champion in 1982. Yes, 1982. Wow, I am old.

What makes someone fabulous: Fabulous people have the confidence to do what they love, wear what they want, say what they mean, spread joy and give back, making the world a better place.

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