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Counterculture Meets Mall Culture for Grace Slick

Grace Slick, of psychedelic rock fame, at the Wentworth Gallery with Mad Hatter-attired fan John Jacobs and her White Rabbit artwork.
Grace Slick, of psychedelic rock fame, at the Wentworth Gallery with Mad Hatter-attired fan John Jacobs and her White Rabbit artwork. (Photos By Carol Guzy -- The Washington Post)

A photographer snaps a shot. "Jesus, I hate having my picture taken," Slick says.

On the wall, the White Rabbit print is accompanied by one of Slick's musings: "If we had a good time, we can look at youthful indiscretions with quiet amusement."

* * *

A year ago, Slick was struggling for life. It wasn't the drugs, or her battles with alcoholism, that nearly did her in. In an interview, she described her case of diverticulitis more colorfully than a doctor might: "It started with lower gut pain and the doctor screwed around with my intestines and sewed me back up." Complications led to two more surgeries and a tracheotomy, and a medically induced coma for two months while she healed. She says she went into rehab and had to learn to walk again. Scott Hann, her manager, says Slick may be making up for lost time; she plans 35 exhibits this year. "She works all the time," he says.

"Who else can pick up a whole new career and now be at the top of their field?" Hann asks.

Has a near-death experience tamed her or made her religious? She says she rises at 4 a.m. and paints. She'll throw on some sweats and sit in her favorite chair, look out at the Pacific Ocean or her lush garden for inspiration.

She philosophizes, formulating her aphorisms. Like: "Old people should be heard but not seen. Young people should be seen, not heard."

And: "You don't stop your life because of some unpleasantness."

And: "Old people are rotting. I'm rotting. You're rotting."

We all will.

Grace Slick will appear at Wentworth Gallery, Tysons Galleria, 1731 M International Dr., McLean, tonight from 6 to 9 and tomorrow from noon to 2 p.m. Call 703-883-0111.


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