All of my art is about holding the earth sacred. Whenever I am overwhelmed by the chaos of life, I find that if I can just "touch the earth", -actually physically put my hand on it and feel the sacredness of it- then I can begin to restore my balance with nature and with life.

                                                              -Gretchen Bainum, artist


Artist Biography

I have been making art all my life. My parents, well known Montana artists Robert and Gennie DeWeese, believed that art is life and life is art. Consequently,  my four siblings and I still make art in one form or another to this day.  Though I studied art briefly in college, my parents have been the biggest influence on my art. They taught me that art is a “response-ability”, that is, a vital and meaningful way to respond to any life event, both internal and external. For me it is the most reasonable way to respond to people, places and events that have made up my journey through life. I have found that there is no limit to the possibilities of self-expression. My rich and varied life experiences are the substance of my art. I have worked on ranches is the southwest, worked for the forest service in the northwest, raised a family on a farm in rural eastern Kentucky, and taught in elementary classrooms.

I was born in Bozeman, Montana, went to school at U of Montana and Montana State U, lived and worked  in Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming during my early years. My husband and I moved to a farm in Fleming County, Kentucky in 1980 where we raised our three children, though I have always found a way to return to my beloved Montana every summer. During this time I  taught elementary education. I love children’s artwork and watching their creative process. I have found that their work often sparks my own creative energy and inspires me to  continue my own work. I find myself eager to experiment with all kinds of materials including acrylic, oil paint stick, collage, papier mache’, watercolor, and digital art. I have created paintings, drawings, sculpture, mobiles, greeting cards and children’s books. 
In 2013 Fleming County went through some severe budget problems which resulted in many lay-offs and position rearrangements, my job as an art teacher being one of the casualties. After adjusting to this disappointment, I began an after school art program for children which kept me connected with their wonderful creativity, and left me more time for my own artwork. It was an exciting time for me to continue to grow and change as an artist, continually developing my own “response-ability“ as I helped children develop theirs.. 
While I no longer teach on a regular basis, I continue to participate in many children’s art programs while I develop my own art.

My work is represented in the collections of:
Eric Overlie, Belgrade, MT
Mrs. Rudy Autio, Missoula, MT
Mrs. Linda Curtis, Bozeman, MT
Mr.  Wally Hansen, Bozeman, MT
Ms. Glenn Close, New York City
Mr. and Mrs. Tim Carter, Wallingford, Kentucky
Mr. and Mrs. Ron Thomas, Flemingsburg, Kentucky
Buckhead Mountain Grill, Louisville, KY

Exhibitions include: 
“A Day in the Country”, Folk Art Festival, 2017, Morehead, Kentucky
Angels Among Us, 2014-15, Jens Gallery and Design, Billings, MT
MAGI 2014,15,16, Annual Exhibit, Perkins Center, Morehead, KY
MAGI/CAG Exhibit, 2014, Rowan County Art Center, Morehead, KY
G. Bainum and Students, 2012, Rowan County Art Center, Morehead, KY
Equine Art Exhibition 2010, Rowan County Art Center, Morehead, KY
Kentucky Derby Festival “Gallopaloosa”, 2004, 2006, Louisville, KY
Images From the Mountains, 1986, 87, 90 and 94, Whitesburg, KY (Merit awards in (87 and 94) 
“Women’s Work” Montana Bicentennial Traveling Show 1989-90.
“Yellowstone Fire”, Exit Gallery, Montana State University, 1988
Bracken County Art League Exhibit, Brooksville, KY1986 (Best of Show Award)