Interior design alumna to deliver Grisham-Trentham Lecture at Auburn University

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Courtney J. Garrett, a 2006 alumna of Auburn University's interior design program, will be the keynote speaker for the 29th annual Grisham-Trentham Lecture Series Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 10 a.m. at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.

The Department of Consumer and Design Sciences in Auburn's College of Human Sciences sponsors the lecture each year, which is free and open to the public.

Born and raised in rural Alabama to a Southern tole painter and a draftsman, Garrett used the insight she gained while studying the design of environments and how they affect human interaction and emotion to develop and evolve a career as an artist.

"My studies at Auburn University were pivotal, I gained access to an invitation on how to think for other people," she said. "I learned how to create spaces that affected the everyday function of its inhabitants; it was in these moments of visual perception, choice of material and execution of my intent, that I answered the calling of an artist."

Garrett captures images of storms, rural landscapes and architecture in oil paintings and mixed media works. She is a prominent name amongst emerging American artists, garnering national and international attention, as well as contracts for exclusive showings of her work.

In 2010, she was chosen by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund to create the foundation's first historically documented international series, translating the life and work of activist Dian Fossey using a mixed-media process. In 2014, her work appeared in the exhibit, Skylight: Landscapes, Traditional and Contemporary, at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art in Atlanta.

"You never forget where you came from, even if you don't stay there," she said. "Our stories have to propel us forward. It's the only thing we can do – just keep moving forward."

Garrett is set to release her newest series this year. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children.

The Grisham-Trentham Lecture Series was started at Auburn University in 1987 by Professor Gary Trentham as a way of bringing world-class designers and business leaders to campus to share their experiences with Auburn students. It is supported by an endowment created by the late Charles Grisham, an Auburn alumnus, and Betty Grisham, an artist and textile designer, from Huntsville, Alabama.

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