Born and raised in Greensboro, Sunny Gravely grew up watching a show called “A Different World.” She loved this show because it showed African American students attending a HBCU (Historically Black College or University) and learning about themselves and how to make their community better. One of the characters on this show was a young lady from the South who wanted to be an art dealer.
Gravely grew up with a father who is an architect and a mother who is a chemistry professor and photographer that exposed her to the “arts” at a very young age. The main character on this show confirmed in her mind that her future was definitely in the arts.
With a Bachelor’s degree from Howard University in Art Education and her Masters from Pratt Institute in Art & Design Education, Gravely is dedicated to the process of art transforming lives. She is one of three co-founders of The Artist Bloc on Gate City Boulevard in Greensboro.
“I found through the arts you can teach an individual anything and they’re more likely to understand because of the interaction and creativity that is used in the visual arts. Students are forced to use their analytical skills to problem solve and find solutions to creating a strong and meaningful composition. Once I became a teacher I literally fell in love and I haven’t gone back.”
Gravely has seen Greensboro go through many changes, making “great strides” to become a place that recognizes arts and those trying to build this city up. “I’d personally like to see more outlets, murals and overall support for businesses and establishments that showcase the diversity of the city and reflect the people and the social issues that are prevalent in our society today. I strongly believe that art is not only about expression, but also about giving a voice to the voiceless.” !
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