Featured image for “Grace Goad”

Grace Goad

December 15, 2022

Connections Artist Spotlight

Grace walker Goad began painting at age four, a year after she was diagnosed with moderately severe autism, speech/language disorder, and intellectual disability in 1997. Her advanced use of color and composition garnered media attention before age 10.

At 12, she was featured on ABC’s “The View,” and from there, “Al Jeezera America;” covers of three magazines, including The American Journal of Psychiatry; the cover of the book, Making Sense of Autism; The Art of Autism, 2012 edition, and other books. Numerous local and national newspapers, magazines, and other television and online media, including The New York Times, have spotlighted her work.

Grace’s art is featured in the Tennessee Arts Commission’s permanent artists’ collection, managed at the Tennessee State Museum. She has exhibited in D.C., New York’s Soho District, Seattle, North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad region, greater Los Angeles, the Massachusetts’ Berkshires, and across Middle Tennessee and Nashville, which she calls home. She is a featured artist at Shimai Gallery of Contemporary Craft, in Nashville, and Spring Hollow in Ventura, California.

Goad’s originals are in the private collections of individuals across the US, from Miami to NYC to San Francisco, and hangs permanently in various departments of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and other venues. She is represented by ArtLifting, which has sold large prints and originals by her to major corporations, including Google, Deloitte, Wells Fargo, and many others. Her art has been licensed by The Gift Wrap Company; West Elm, and through December 2024, for holiday ornaments sold by DEMDACO.

When tasked with painting the theme of “Connections” for this exhibition, her mother felt that Grace would not understand transferring the concept to canvas. However, her mother began talking to her daughter about all the things in life that connect. When it was time to begin these two paintings, again, Grace was asked to think about “connections.” She replied: “Pink!” “Purple!” Shortly thereafter, Grace and her mother got in the car for an errand. When asked again about “connections,” Grace said: “sunset!” and began naming the colors of a sunset—repeating “pink, purple,” and expounding on other colors, such as green, that can sometimes be found in the sky and were in Grace’s painting.

Lastly, these two paintings are examples of some of Grace’s rare, (for her) representational work. Some viewing the paintings may see a variety of human figures in various depths of field. Might they represent the village that loves and supports Grace in her daily life? We may never know….


To find out more and to explore Grace’s works, visit her website here: https://www.artlifting.com/collections/grace-goad