Patrick Grugan is a mixed media visual artist, whose work uses oil paints, digital photo imagery, glass and light. Educated in Philadelphia the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, he completed his MFA in 2009, and since then has participated in a number of group and solo shows.
In addition to his artistic work, he has for the last 20 or so years been involved in social change work in the Philadelphia area. After having spent a number of years doing organizing work in impoverished neighborhoods in Philadelphia, he realized that he wanted to help build a bridge between artistic work and social change activities. He therefore, in 2002, started the School of Arts and Culture of the University of the Poor. This marriage of arts and community work led to a series of shows that he organized for the Fringe Festival, in 2003, 2004, and 2005. These shows in turn became the basis for expanding the School of Arts and Culture, and getting to collaborate with a number of wonderful artists locally and nationally.
After spending the period between 2007 and 2009 focusing on the development of his art at the MFA level, he developed another arts and social change project, this time co-convening the Media Mobilizing Projects Arts and Culture Collective. This project led to the 2010 Philly Fringe show called Whose City? which ran in West Philadelphia and showcased local artists in various media and was noted by the Philadelphia City Paper as one of their Fringe Picks.
His present work uses mixed media, specifically paint, photo images and glass. These media allow him to explore socially engaged content at times, while also pursuing his formal interests in color, texture and pattern. His present Research and Development series uses digital photo imagery of extremely micro content (computer circuitry, neurons, etc) and extremely macro imagery (satellite images) as elements within paintings.
Since Fall 2011, he has been living in the Los Angeles area. This has allowed him to expand his curatorial practice, working with the Marymount Colleges Arcade Gallery as Gallery Manager.