Getting to Know Alumna Gerry Frost '73 | Trinity University

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Getting to Know Alumna Gerry Frost '73

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Trinity alumna Gerry Frost

We asked alumna Gerry Frost a few questions to get to know her better.

by Susie P. Gonzalez

Gerry Frost ’73 loved studio art at Trinity University and has never stopped evolving in her artistry. After earning an MFA in studio art at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, she has shared her knowledge through lectures, art creation, and mentoring. Her three-dimensional art installations require the viewer to “enter” in and take part in a created experience within the space. She uses film and digital media in a cross-disciplinary approach that is informed by sculpture, film, and theater.

Frost also has volunteered with children and women prisoners in Lima, Peru, and formed an art studio while living in China to help create an interface between Chinese and Western culture. From 2010-15, she chaired the Historic Preservation Committee for the Monte Vista Historical Association in San Antonio, organizing a history walk, designing three brochures, and conducting 23 personal meetings to promote better understanding of the historic neighborhood.     

Frost says artists never retire, so we can’t wait to see what other brilliant works she creates.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Trinity?

There are many good moments to remember. I loved sculpting in the courtyard behind the art building. Another great memory in later years was when I returned to the campus to design a set for Shakespeare’s Othello at the Stieren Theater for director Mary Ann Colias in the drama department (now known as human communication and theatre.)

Who was your favorite professor or class at Trinity?

History professor Don Everett

Describe Trinity in 3-5 words.

Exceptional learning environment, beautiful campus.

Were you one of the first women artists in the 1970s to use multimedia in your work? If so, how did you discover this medium and where did the work take you?

If one looks at the historical data, I was certainly very early in the use of film within an illusionistic stand-alone installation medium. Also, film/video effects that I used in my work predate those of national artists working in related art forms.

My interest in photography and also film started from an early age, as there were always film cameras around our home at our disposal. Also, I was involved in theater, costume, and set design at school. So I’d say my core work evolved in part from that beginning, versus any moment of discovery. My art has continually involved the use of time-based media within constructed spaces, and later room-sized and even larger built environments.The installations require the viewer to “enter” to take part in a created experience within the space. My use of film and digital media that is then set within a three-dimensional space has resulted in a cross-disciplinary approach to my work that is informed by sculpture, film, and theater.

How are you participating in the San Antonio Tricentennial as an artist?

I’m participating as one of the 300 Tricentennial artists. Each artist has been selected to represent an assigned year to celebrate the Tricentennial of San Antonio. My designated year is 1917, and I produced a new work informed by that year. My work, “In Remembrance of 1917,” was designed to address major historical elements occurring in 1917 which impacted San Antonio. The style, material, and methods used are consistent with my core work using time-based digital media and built elements. The digital painting is 23 minutes in length and is encased in a mounting box and framed for mounting. The focus is on World War I just after the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917. When that happened, the country saw a major buildup of military capability, and San Antonio was no exception.Fort Sam Houston and Kelly Field opened in 1917 and Brooks Field served as a training facility. The exhibit continues through Sunday, April 29 at the Progreso Building, 1300 Guadalupe St. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and on Sunday, April 29.

Please share some of your career milestones.

These were multimedia installations employing original sound, video/film and a built environment:

1.      1975: “Studio,” my first film and room installation at Cranbrook Academy of Art for MFA show

2.      1998: “Postal Desde El Peru” (Postcard from Peru), shown at Casa Osanbella, Lima, Peru, as part of an American Video show in conjunction with the first Biennale of Peru

3.      2005: Delivered a bilingual lecture on “The History of Art and Technology, mid 19th Century to 21st Century” at the Guangdong Museum, Guangzhou, China

4.      2016: “Still Life Still,” a series of time-base digital paintings at St. Mary’s University, Americas’ Letters “Unfolding Symbols Through Time”  

5.      2017–18: time-base digital painting, “In Remembrance of 1917,” for the San Antonio Tricentennial, Common Currents exhibitions

Who inspires you and why?

An early liberating inspiration came from Robert Irwin and James Turrell. Their artistic focus was on the importance of perception and experience over the production of traditional art.  

Where would you like to retire?

Artists don’t retire!