Grateful Dead Drummer Mickey Hart Creates New Art

Reprinted from Parade

For Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, it’s always been about discovery and vibrations. From music and writing, to science and painting, the musician, author, investigator and artist has always made it his mission to explore. On October 22, 2016, that multidimensional creativity will be showcased at the Wentworth Gallery in Short Hills, New Jersey, with a special exhibition of the legendary percussionist’s paintings.

Hart may have to put down the drumsticks to hit the canvas, but the power of his past, and knowledge and exploration of the dimensions and history of sound, are ever-present in his studio and art. “It’s about the rhythm of all of it,” says the Grammy-winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend who uses drumming and vibration techniques to create his paintings. “Every one of them have been either drummed to life, or vibrated in some form, so it makes for a very interesting composition.”

As Hart prepares to share another facet of his creativity with the world, I can’t help but be intrigued by the nurturing forces that have surrounded him on this journey. There’s the mom who fiercely protected his creativity and drumming practice time. And there’s a universe that Hart can’t stop contemplating. So how did the Grateful Dead fit into the equation?

“I’ve been really very fortunate,” explains the artist, who continues to perform and help maintain the band’s important legacy. “I was able to be nurtured by the Grateful Dead while being in it. And I was encouraged by Jerry [Garcia] and all my mates to do all these—what Jerry would call ‘my enthusiasms’…So they always encouraged me, so no one said ‘no’. This is what happens when people don’t say, ‘no’.”

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