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  • Writer's pictureCamp Goldston Publishing, LLC

The Sensibility of Maria Diz, Owner of Greyhouse Gallery

Updated: May 5, 2023


Maria Diz, Owner, Grey House Gallery

When you walk into Grey House Gallery, Sheffield, AL, you feel the vibe created by its owner, Maria Diz.


Stemmed from the vibrancy of her heritage, Diz's energy reflects her journey. We asked her to spare time from her busy schedule for a few questions about her dynamic life. Gate open on Maria Diz. – Victorine


 


1. Tell us a bit about your background and what brought you to the Shoals, AL, area.


In the '60s, when Castro took over Cuba, my father was a political prisoner. My family fled Cuba and moved to South Florida. I came to Florence in the '80s to study Biology and Psychology at UNA. After graduation, I moved to LA and worked in science, research, endocrinology, and metabolism. I had some publications and even did some Ph.D. work in neuroscience.


It was really a cultural shock experience - moving to South Florida, then to Alabama, and I have so much respect for Southern culture and the kindness of people. It was eye-opening. I made many friends whom I have to this day.


2. And family? Any kids?


I have three adult human babies. My oldest (27) lives in NY, has a software development company, and is a big supporter of local theatre arts. Middle son, (23), is at Emory in his second year of Law School, working in the Public Defender's office with juveniles. My daughter is at Johns Hopkins, graduating this year in Public Health and Physics, and has been accepted to go to UAB Medical School.


3. What are your chief interests?


My interests have always been in science, art, nature, and seeking answers to questions. I love learning anything, like world religions and philosophies. I have been lucky enough to combine my interests in how the brain works, how we behave and find meaning in life, and art. Though I've been lucky, it wasn't easy. For years, I thought it was one or the other; how do we ever bring things together? Learning to do that has been a journey; it's still a journey.


4. Why an art gallery?


I've been carrying some of my client's artwork through the years. When I was doing substance abuse treatment, my clients would move and leave their artwork behind. I couldn't let them throw it away, so I started carrying it. I began to rent storage space to keep their artwork.


I have a Facebook page called "Recovery Art Vault" (I need to activate it again). I would post their paintings, invite them to retrieve their work and send it to them. Then, if they wanted to sell their work, I offered to give them 50% and give 50% to help fund more substance abuse treatment groups. So, this was my initial impetus to do a gallery. Then, I came to AL during the pandemic.


I've been working full-time as a mental health therapist for several years, and I thought I needed to get back into the community. I missed actual contact with people other than Zoom. So I found this space, actually, our second space. (The first one had facility issues). But the point of the gallery is to bring people together to appreciate art and make the art-viewing experience friendly to everyone. I also wanted to use it alternatively as a community space for sharing ideas, perspectives, and concerns. I have a little bookstore in it as well. I hope this is a space for exchanging ideas, diverse perspectives, and feeling safe. And, of course, I love art.


5. You're an artist yourself. Has your work been exhibited?


Yes, I've been in several galleries in South Florida, Virginia, and California and have shown art here at the Kennedy Douglas Art Center.


Where can we find your work?


Instagram and the Facebook Page for Grey House Gallery.


6. What is your vision for Grey House?


I want to do therapy groups of art, soul collage workshops, life phases, and just personal growth gatherings. Anyone with an idea or topic can bring it to the gallery. Even jewelry-making inspired by ancestors…I know an artist…


(Of course, Diz was poking me and my jewelry-making, and I laughed).


7. This issue is about energy. What sustains your energy?


I stay grounded in gratitude to my ancestors; I am very spiritual. Curiosity to learn more and understand fills me; I hope that where I stand today is not where I'll be 20 years from now. Hope.


 



Slide through Grey House Gallery! "The guy looking at paintings is one of our artists, Joseph Melton, and the guy with me is Patrick Tetreault an amazing musician and music producer. "-Maria Diz (Also, Max Russell is playing guitar behind VBGold Creations).


 

Maria Diz


Toro and Lama, Maria Diz's other family members.














(256) 815-9044

400 N. Montgomery

Sheffield, AL. 35661











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2 comentarios


Invitado
05 may 2023

I absolutely loved reading this article. Marie happens to be one of my favorite childhood friends. I always knew she was talented and mystical and amazing, she is that for me still to this day. Our lives have taken us in different directions, but I still think of her and feel like she is home to me. I am not surprised she opened up this beautiful gallery with such great amazing ideas for people to meet and gather, and share experiences. She has the ability to make anyone feel welcome, and to feel special, I am going to make a trip to Alabama just to see my special friend. Sara Davila

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Camp Goldston Publishing, LLC
Camp Goldston Publishing, LLC
05 may 2023
Contestando a

Yes, Maria is truly special. Thank you for your lovely comments.

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