Gary Russell was born and raised in rural Indiana on a farm where his appreciation for nature was born. From painting and photography projects in 4-H, and building elaborate hay forts in the barn, Gary’s interest in art and design led him to architecture school where he had a chance to travel and developed a taste for adventure. From the Midwest to the West Coast, New England, and beyond, he’s lived and worked in a variety of urban and rural contexts. 
Gary moved to Manchester-by-the-Sea in 2010 and fell in love with a crumbling mid-century modern Acorn Deck House, which he and his husband Daniel are (slowly) restoring. The abundance and variety of spectacular natural settings across Cape Ann inspired Gary to rediscover his artwork; much of his current work features local scenes and animals that live nearby.  
There’s no clear label for his style, but Gary’s art illustrates his love of nature with the influence of architecture and geometry. His work reflects how he sees an abstract world where things and energy can be broken down into component parts and pieces. ​​​​​​​
With over twenty years of professional experience in Planning, Architecture, Historic Preservation, and Community Engagement, Gary’s “real job” is working as a professional planning consultant (AICP).  He earned his Bachelor of Environmental Design, and professional Bachelor of Architecture degrees from Ball State University, and a Master of Urban Affairs from Boston University.  
His planning portfolio includes a wide range of projects in roles ranging from government staff, expert consultant, and owner/developer. Projects include rural agricultural conservation projects, academic and residential design, expertise in historic Preservation (a former Staff Architect of the Boston Landmarks Commission), and international environmental and preservation work in Egypt and Iraq. 
Gary believes in investing in the community; along with Daniel and his mother, Beverly Russell, the family has invested most of their assets in renovating two properties at the center of Burnham’s Corner in Essex, MA. The historic buildings at 164-166 Main St (at the intersection of Main St/Eastern Ave, and Southern Ave). Bringing these important community landmarks back to life has been a journey of challenges, but now the corner is home to Pon the Store and We Dream in Color
Essex (un) Common

Copyright © Gary L Russell / Essex (un) Common. All rights reserved.
Back to Top