We had the good fortune of connecting with Annaleah Moon Gregoire and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Annaleah Moon, what inspires you?
I’m inspired by a powerful pull toward the strange. I find beauty in looking at the remnants of transformation – what is present yet invisible, what rots and how it transitions over time, and what evokes a visceral reaction. I seek to destabilize traditional beauty standards by exposing vulnerable and sometimes disturbing aspects of my body. When we are confronted with images and experiences that defy our aesthetic conventions, we have been culturally conditioned to label this as grotesque. It seems the more violent one’s repulsion, the more apparent it is that the individual has unresolved issues regarding the subject at hand. By peeling back layers of flesh and bone, I am able to investigate the dualities of the interior and exterior worlds as well as the duelling concepts of grotesque and beautiful. My work sits between the real and fantastic in order to highlight moments where beauty and the grotesque merge. By confronting these dualities, I’m able to reconstruct my own idea of what beauty is.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was exposed to art at a young age by my mom, who’s a visual artist and musician. As a kid, I would wake up before the rest of my family and make art until they woke up. I started exhibiting my work locally when I was 15 years old and have since been featured in galleries and magazines from coast to coast. At 17 years old I began a small t-shirt business, Annaleah Moon Studios, which combines fine art and streetwear. I attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design for my first year, and recently graduated remotely from California College of the Arts with a degree in sculpture. The process of getting to where I am today has not been easy. It has included countless hours of grueling work like keeping up with an online presence, applying to opportunities, and accepting the inherent disappointment of denial when starting to put myself out there. I’ve learned from each win and loss that the act of making is always worth my time. Through dissection and amputation, I have built a visual language with art and science revolving around the visible and invisible wounds of trauma. I use medical and scientific images such as x-rays, as well as historical and contemporary documents, to inform my depictions of the internal form. By exposing spots of trauma layer by layer, my work illuminates the uncomfortable and honest pain of healing.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Western Massachusetts is home to delicious maple and apple products among other farm-fresh produce, so I would make sure we stop at the Sugar House and a local farm stand. I would take them on a white water rafting trip down the Deerfield River. I love showing people my favorite nature spots, so waterfalls, beautiful birds-eye views, and cave exploring would be on the agenda as well. We would visit the butterfly conservatory and top off the trip by dancing our hearts out to live music downtown.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to recognize my art mentor, Peter Ruhf. When I was 15 years old I had an apprenticeship with Peter, who taught me the ins and outs of oil painting and the art world. He has since become one of my closest friends and an immense source of inspiration. I’m particularly drawn to his surreal expressionist paintings made in the 1960’s and the manner in which he morphs human and natural forms. Peter plays an invaluable role in my life and continues to encourage me to develop my work. My mom, Marcy Gregoire, also deserves infinite recognition for her unwavering support of my creative endeavors. There is never a lack of art supplies available at home, and her powerful networking skills have opened many doors for me. My friends and professors have held space for my practice to grow and transform. It has taken a village to get me to where I am today, and I’m grateful for each and every person who has supported me along the way.

Website: https://annaleahmoonstudios.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/annaleah.moon.studios/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annaleah.moon.studios

Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AnnaleahMoonStudios https://www.tiktok.com/@annaleah.moon.studios?lang=en

Image Credits
Matthew Cavenaugh Marcy Gregoire

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.