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Copyright 2019 | Medina County Art League

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MCAL Artist in the Spotlight

Grace Zay is our Artist in the Spotlight


Grace Zay has been a shining light in the Medina County arts community since she and her husband, Arthur, moved to Medina in 1952. As a member of the Medina County Art League, she organized the first Medina County Art Scholarship fundraising benefit in 1971. In 1973, she helped to found the first Art in the Park show and market-- a mid-July event that now brings thousands of visitors to the Medina square each year.

Grace loved to paint since she was young, and so she took lessons from Medina County artists Franklin Bates and Frederick Graff. In the early 1970s, Grace was asked to design the cover of St. Francis Xavier’s church cookbook. She produced pen-and-ink sketches of several notable buildings around the Medina square for the cover and additional sketches inside the book.


In the 1970s, she designed a series of Medina plates as a fundraiser for Welcome Wagon and a series of metal Christmas -- “Ornaments of Hope” -- for Easter Seals. Those plates and ornaments still hang in homes all around Medina, and can be seen in the John Smart House museum run by the Medina County Historical Society. Grace’s artwork has appeared as notecards, on the bulletins of St. Francis Church, and on advertisements for the Bruce Block Realty Company.


Medina artist Grace Zay helped found the city's annual Art in the Park.

This is a watercolor painting she created of the first show, in 1973.


Grace is a life member of the Whiskey Painters of America. She received the Medina County Women of Distinction award in 1993 and the Medina County Historical Society’s highest honor, the Northrop Award, in 2006.


(Edited from an original article by Mary Jane Brewer.)