Simon H. Gregory
We’ve known Simon Gregory for more than 10 years and over countless lunches we’ve come to have some great conversations about life, art, and being. Here’s 5 questions we’ve asked Simon so that you can get to know a great human the way we know him.
NDG: We know your an artist and a patron of the arts. Can you tell us about your artist scholarship. How did it start and how long have your been awarding artists?
SG: We started the scholarship in 2012 after meeting the art faculty at Wachusett Regional High School in Holden during an exhibit of one of our friends daughter. One thing led to another and we eventually had an exhibit of our own art, your brother Johns included.. Subsequently we went forward to support the department and the art students pursuing a career in visual art. Nancy and I have had art in our lives our entire 53 years of marriage and thought we should give back.
NDG: Can you tell us a few words about your photo essay Combat Tour ‘65 ‘66? And why did you decide to bring a camera?
SG: I put together the photo essay a few years ago after rediscovering my photos from 1964-1966 when I served in the U S Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. Initially, the photos were meant to be for me as they told me who I was. I had buried a lot of my experiences there and the essay allowed me to come to grips with my feelings. I have been taking photographs since I was fourteen or so. Taking a camera was routine for me. I'm glad that I did so.
NDG: We’ve spoken about some works that you’ll be a part of in the near future. Can you share some words about these projects?
SG: As far as new projects are concerned, we are downsizing our collections and are passing things on to others to enjoy. We are gifting some of our African Art to the Fitchburg Art Museum where we are lifetime members. This puts me in touch with the museum staff on a regular basis which I thoroughly enjoy. I have an idea about another project that involves me collaborating with you and John to put together a documentary about some of our Vietnamese-American friends now living in the Worcester area. This will not be just the usual immigrant story, but more in depth about who and their families are today.
NDG: What’s a pivotal moment or time you can share with us that really separated you from the generic masses?
SG: I was separated from the generic masses early on, I'd say about when my mother died when I was eight years old. I had to grow up fast and did so sometimes to the discomfort of others. Facing adversity headon can have a very beneficial effect. Of course, the War also separated me out as well. I saw the best and worst of what existence has to offer. I learned to control my confirmation bias and accept people for who they are. Although I was raised Catholic I'd now describe myself as an atheistic Buddhist with Christian understanding.
NDG: We know you have so much experience under your belt. Can you offer a piece of advice for someone who’s struggling to find or develop themselves?
SG: Most of us struggle to find and develop ourselves. Forget, fear, anger, hatred, ideology and myth. Think knowledge, understanding, kindness, affection and acceptance.
- Check out Simon’s photo essay.