Grace Slick at Wentworth Gallery focuses on art in a post-rock ‘n’ roll career
1965 by Grace Slick   Bookmark and Share
by By Skip Sheffield

Former Jefferson Airplane lead singer Grace Slick will greet her public and talk about her flourishing career in art from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Wentworth Gallery at Town Center at Boca Raton. Slick will also appear from 6 to 9 tonight at Wentworth Gallery in the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens.

Grace Slick was always feisty and outspoken as front woman of Jefferson Airplane and Starship, and she is no shrinking violet at age 65.

She gave up performing in 1998 because she felt it was silly for a woman her age to sing rock music and try and act like a teenager. She had her first public art show in Fort Lauderdale in 1989, and art is where she channels her creative energy now.

“There a lot of us former rock people who are doing art now,” he offers by telephone from Malibu, California. “My old bandmate Marty Balin is doing quite well. So is Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, and so was Jerry Garcia before he died.”

Slick first painted furry animals (the white rabbit is still a favorite) and beautiful nudes. Her agent suggested she begin doing portraits of musicians she knew, and she has obliged with portraits of Jim Morrison, Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin and Sting.

“I let my agent deal with the so-called art world,” she says. “He makes suggestions and sets up my appearances. I just paint every day as the spirit strikes.”

Slick was born Grace Wing Oct. 30, 1939 in Evanston, Illinois, but she was raised in San Francisco. She attended the University of Miami in 1958-1959, but admits she was more a partier than a scholar. After graduating from Finch College she returned to San Francisco and married Gerald “Jerry” Slick, a cinematographer. She joined Jefferson Airplane in 1966, replacing original singer Signe Anderson, and sang two of the group’s signature songs, “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love.”

Slick divorced and remarried and divorced and became an outspoken anti-war activist as well as a self-admitted rowdy drunk. In 1971 she and Jefferson Airplane guitarist Paul Kantner had a daughter, China Wing Kantner, with whom Slick remains close.

“China is now working on a Ph.D,” Slick reveals proudly. “Her special study is spirituality.”

Although she performed with former bandmates Marty Balin and Paul Kantner for a post-9/11 concert, Slick says she is officially retired from public performance.

“I don’t walk to be one of those old relics doing the oldies circuit,” she protests. “There are a few signature groups that can get away with it. The Rolling Stones need it, evidently, and they are still one of the best rock ‘n’ roll groups in the world. I’m going to be 66 next month, for God sakes. Art is my focus now. I do it all the time. I’m just grateful some people like it well enough to buy it.”

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