T H E W E B S I T E O F G A R Y G R I M S H A W
If he hadn't been the poster artist for the counterculture, he could have been its poster child.
-- The Detroit Free Press, " Michigan's 100 Greatest Artists & Entertainers of the Twentieth Century
Gary is a graphic artist specializing in the music business since his first concert poster design in 1966. He was the primary poster
and light show artist for Detroit's legendary Grande Ballroom through 1969. During this time he also created art for Detroit's notorious
rock & roll band The MC5. Currently an album cover design for the MC5's first album "Kick Out The Jams" painted
in 1968 is on view at Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame & Museum. Gary established a connection with the SF Bay Area
with frequent trips out west 1966-1970, where he worked for the beautiful newspaper, The San Francisco Oracle.
A Vietnam veteran, Gary was consistently active in the anti-war movement after his discharge. The 10 year sentence
imposed on his friend, poet John Sinclair, on a conviction of possession of 2 joints resulted Gary's work on the
John Sinclair Freedom Rally with performers John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Stevie Wonder, Bob Seger and
many others in December 1971. Within days the Michigan State Legislature reduced the penalties for possession from
a felony to a misdemeanor and John was freed.
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Subsequently Gary became Art Director for the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz festivals in 1972-73. In 1974 Gary returned
to Detroit and concentrated on its thriving rock & roll scene. For the next 14 years he produced posters, recording packages, logos
and graphics for all the major promoters and dozens of bands and clubs in the Motor City. Gary was also associate art director of
Creem magazine from 1976-1984. In 1984 Gary co-founded MSA, a agency that had among their clients The City of Detroit,
The Music Hall Theatre, as well as many bands and clubs. MSA also produced the Detroit For Africa concert in 1985.
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The publication in 1986 of the Art Of Rock: Posters From Presley To Punk by Paul Grushkin was a watershed in
Gary's career. Iggy Pop, having seen The Art Of Rock, hired Gary to design the cover art for 1987's Instinct on A&M Records.
In 1988 Gary joined the poster publisher Art Rock as art director and moved to San Francisco with his wife Laura. After his resignation
from Art Rock in 1991 Gary returned to freelancing(including 5 posters for Bill Graham Presents), reprinting his early concert
posters and creating CD cover art. Exhibitions of Gary's work include three one-man shows in Detroit in 1984, 1987 and 1996,
the Visual Jams show during the opening of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1995 and the San Francisco Rock & Roll
Poster Revival show in 1999. In the fall of 2000, Gary teamed up with fellow Detroiter Dennis Loren to form Artists Workshop West
in Oakland CA and is opening a shop, PaperSong at Swan's Market, in downtown Old Oakland.