Gary Grimshaw: Poster Artist

Gary Grimshaw
Photo by Leni Sinclair

Love-In Detroit
by Gary Grimshaw

Gary Grimshaw's talent has kept him in demand and in the spotlight in a career covering the rock scenes in Michigan and the San Francisco area for over four decades. For those of us in the Detroit area, Grimshaw's work was our introduction to the psychedelic era. He was the primary poster and light show artist for Detroit's Grande Ballroom through 1969.

At the start of his career, the Detroit native became well known as the Grande Ballroom artist and later as the MC5 artist. These works stand out as the centerpiece of an enormously prolific output of art from the mid-1960ís to the late 1970ís.

Grimshaw was part of a dynamic collective of intellectuals, promoters, poets, artists, musicians - people that spent many years together in some form or another and in different circles of interest. As a Vietnam veteran he was an anti-war activist and a key player in the White Panther Party working to reform unfair laws and unjust incarcerations. His contribution was through art, and his art inspired and energized the people. He was a member of Trans-Love Energies and The Rainbow Peopleís Party. He worked on newspapers, magazines, created posters for music events and artwork for record albums.

In 2011 just months after returning home from a serious health odyssey, Gary worked on the Concert of Colors poster and several PJís Lager House designs. In 2012 Garyís work with re-purposed images has taken center stage; classic Grimshaw designs are receiving an electronic restoration and new colors for a new purpose. He began this practice many years ago when he restored a flyer that was originally a mimeographed work; black ink on colored paper; he created and colored a digital file and enlarged it to the size of his other posters. ìLove-In Detroitî is now one of Garyís best selling and most colorful.