Ray Anthony Mc Cray works with a verity of media to construct abstract and representational collages. One of Ray’s major themes of his work is with images of jazz musicians torn from magazines and record albums. Many of his are layered and three-dimensional compositions. There are currently three major works in this series. “Jazz Phenomenon”, a six by four-foot collage which hung at the Jazz Bakery, Culver City for more than seven years. The recently completed “Love that Thing called Jazz”, is a seven by four-foot collage that features drum sticks and piano keys signed by important jazz artists.
His current work is collaboration with Gregory Dahl and Sam Pace. The piece is built around a storied baby grand piano donated to Ray by Joy Magruter. Joy’s husband John Magruter acquired the instrument in 1957 to compose arrangements for big bands and smaller ensembles. It has been suggested that the 1930’s era piano came from Central Avenue, possibly from the old Elks Club. The keys signed by headlining performers at the Jazz Bakery. Sam Pace painted the top of the lid with an image of jazz pianist Thelonious Monk. Ray is working on a three-dimensional collage in the sound box and inside lid of the instrument.
Ray has been recognized by The National Arts Program for the encouragement and development of Artistic expression with Community Arts Division Cultural Affairs Department and the Leonard E. B. Andrews Foundation as winner Honorable Mention in the intermediate classification, January 2000 and awarded a scholarship to the Lankershim Arts Center. He has shown at the Jazz Bakery and in the galleries of Meredith Baer.
In addition to his jazz collages, Ray is working on a series of four by four-foot paper and acrylic abstract paintings on macinite boards.