A creative and spunky pair, NAU employees and alumni Greg and Trace Glau, will host their first father/daughter art show at local restaurant La Bellavia this month.
While creativity prevails in the Glau family, both artists tested different avenues before discovering their own style and landing in Flagstaff. The pair’s encouragement and support of each other’s individual ambitions helps cultivate both father and daughter’s artistic direction.
Greg Glau, director of the University Writing Program and associate professor of English, has a long history with words and more recently developed an enthusiasm to capture the subtle beauty of nature with photography.
When asked about his history as an artist, he says, “It depends on how you define art. I’ve always written.” But the writer now keeps both a pen and a camera at hand while on the prowl for fleeting moments in time, which he captures with a closeness that grants audiences an intimate look into nature. “If it’s just pictures of flowers, it’s just pictures of flowers. There has to be something different—the lighting or angle or a bug—to set it apart.”
While her father sticks with a lens and ink, Trace Glau, Cline Library specialist and an art instructor for Coconino Community College, gets her hands dirty in multiple art media including watercolor, handmade nests, recycled art, ceramics, silversmith, photography and printmaking.
Inspired at a young age by her grandmother’s love of art, Trace found her true passion for art at Northern Arizona University. She wants viewers “to have room for self-interpretation,” describing her watercolors inspired by human form and nature as “primarily abstract with slight figurative form.”
“I found art on my own,” she says. “But my dad inspired me through his writing and being consistently devoted to art. He taught me to apply myself fully in whatever I am passionate about or care about.”
The Glaus are an enthusiastic pair and part of a family in which art has become a strengthening tie. “We work well together and have great communication,” says Trace, sending a smile in her father’s direction. “If I can’t figure something out, my dad can help, maybe see it from a clearer perspective.”
Greg also returned to higher education at NAU. Unable to find a teaching job in Prescott after earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in English education, Greg joined his father in running a small heating and cooling business. When the business struggled during a recession in the 80s, NAU beckoned. Greg received his master’s degree in rhetoric and composition at NAU, his doctorate at the U of A and worked at ASU for 14 years.
“We are all trying to come home,” Greg said about his move to Flagstaff two years ago, partially influenced by Trace’s urging. “NAU is a place you want to come back to. I love the people, the weather and the university. NAU is the most collaborative and cooperative university I’ve been involved with. Everyone works with each other and that’s unusual in any profession.”
With the beautiful background of northern Arizona and a highly supported art scene in NAU and Flagstaff’s one community, the Glaus’ artistic interests are firmly planted and certain to thrive.