The Journey of Anne Grandin’s African Light

By Aly Schuman on June 2, 2017

It was on safari in Tanzania in 2015 that Anne Grandin was struck by the vibrant sunsets and sunrises over the African plains. Every morning, Anne and her husband awoke at 6 AM to watch the sunrise over the plains, and then, at the end of the day, watched the light fade behind the acacia trees. Moved by these experiences, Anne began painting, keeping the memories of the influential trip alive through her artwork.

Katavi, acrylic, 48×36

“Witnessing nature in its glory and splendor made me realize how privileged we humans are to be on Earth and how we must protect it for future generations,” Grandin explains. “When I returned home, I decided to capture the joy, spirituality and colors of the African landscape.”

Masai Youth, acrylic, 36×30

The experience was very sacred for Anne, who bases much of her work on Native American spirituality. The rising and setting sun represents the cyclical nature of the day, and beyond that, the greater cycle of life. All nature moves in rhythm together. Anne explores these themes in her acrylic paintings through the textures, light, and colors of the sunrays over the landscape.


In Memory of Big Bird, acrylic, 36×24

African Sunset, acrylic, 24×36

Anne has returned to the region multiple times. On one of her trips, the Copley Society donated painting materials for the kids in a village Anne visited, including paint, paintbrushes, and small easels.

Mahale, acrylic, 36×24

10% of the sales Anne earns from the paintings will go to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for Orphaned Elephants. The trust takes care of baby elephants whose parents were killed by poachers or who fell into man-made wells. Anne has “learned about the mannerisms of the small elephants and [found] that they are much like human beings. When taken away from their mothers, these infants are traumatized and need lots of acre. Nairobi keepers sleep with them, feed them, and give them lots of love.” The Trust then reintegrates them into the wild herds of Tsavo.

Kilimanjaro, acrylic, 48×36

Anne Grandin’s solo show, African Light: Sunsets and Sunrises, is on view now through June 20 in our Red Room Gallery.