We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandra Grounds and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexandra, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
People make me happy. I am someone who hates being alone. I feel an immediate lack of creativity when I am not able to meet new people and bounce ideas off my friends. My paintings are all about humanity and the relationships we develop, so I inherently need those connections to be an artist.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a 21 year old artist specializing in oil painting. I attend Columbia University in New York part time (online now from Arizona), and work full time in my studio. I have taken part in multiple gallery shows, had my first solo show last fall in New York, and have work displayed in the World Trade Center. My second solo show was supposed to take place in Paris this past June but was canceled due to Covid. I am younger than the typical professional artist. I decided early on, when I discovered this passion in high school, to pour everything I have into my art and see what happens. I knew I might fail but I would never be ok with myself if I didn’t try. I have taken time off of school, fallen behind my peers, but in the end I am doing what I love day to day as work and I couldn’t be happier. The biggest take away I have as well as advice I would give to others is don’t listen to all the restrictions or reasons to not do something. The art world, for example, is a very traditional institution where most of the artists that are discovered have studied visual art undergrad, have gone to graduate school, and from there, have begun their careers. I was told I was too young, that I needed to wait until graduate school to try and be professional, and that I was entering an impossible industry and had no chance of making money. I am so grateful that I was so young when I decided that this was what I was going to do regardless of hearing all of the down sides, because I didn’t understand all of the risk involved. I just went for it and didn’t let anyone get in my way. I think that being so young, I have a unique perspective and bring a new and exciting way of presenting my work to the world which right now is mainly through social media. I paint as a way to express myself and my experiences visually, and am able to reach people all over the globe because of the social media platforms I use.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If you want to see some of my work, head to a nice dinner at Ocean 44 and notice the 6×6 foot drawing of the “Old Man at Sea” on the wall. Weekdays after work: I love going to OHSO after a long day with my puppy. Sitting on the back patio with friends, their dogs, and a pitcher of their lightest beer is my favorite. For a fun night out on the weekend I love going to Buffalo Chips in Cave Creek. It is a country western bar with live music, a bull riding machine, and a pretty lively crowd. Especially great for people from out of town if you want a different and unique experience. Old Town Scottsdale on a Friday or Saturday night always has something new to offer. Diego Pops is fun, as long as you’re ok with a wait, and drinks at the Rusty Spur always a good time (If you can’t tell I am a pretty big country western fan). My favorite restaurant is Chelsea’s Kitchen. Their patio is beautiful with great cocktails and taco platters.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mom, Ellen Houx, who throughout my entire life taught me to never take the typical route. Do what other’s aren’t, create what no one has created, and live as extraordinarily as possible.
Linkedin: Alexandra Grounds