Hargrave has been painting and working in clay since college, where she studied color theory, ceramics, sculpture, drawing and painting, as well as creative writing. She started a line of functional ceramics as a small business in 1997 after studying with Carol Gouthro, and has worked with metal, oil paint, watercolor and acrylics over the years, but her medium of choice is beeswax. She learned a great deal studying with Jef Gunn and Larry Caulkins at Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle, and later began co-teaching at Pratt (using wax as an element in sculptural collage) with Rickie Wolfe. She also teaches at NW Encaustic and out of her studio.
Hargrave has shown her work in Seattle, Minneapolis, San Luis Obispo, Santa Fe, New York and Atlanta. Her work is in several corporate collections, including University House in Wallingford, Seattle’s Swedish Hospital and the University of Washington Medical Center, Barclays International in Texas, Abri Hotel in San Francisco, the Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland, and Kaiser Permanente in Baltimore. In 2014 she was a panelist for the Inside Art program at Town Hall on the topic of Imagery and Art (curated by Juan Alonso-Rodriquez), her collaborative work with RobRoy Chalmers was on the cover of Art Voices Magazine (Fall Issue), with accompanying article/interview, and she was featured in Jennifer Margell’s book Encaustic Art. In 2015 she was the juror for the Mercer Island Art Council’s Yearly Art Show, and her work entitled Capra Hircus 3 was juried into the Encaustic Art Institute’s permanent collection. In 2016 she received a grant to complete a collaborative permanent art piece at Einstein Middle School that features the work of over 120 students, and was awarded the William Radcliffe Studio Challenge at the KAC Art Auction, and received a project grant from International Encaustic Artists. She, with her Shift Gallery colleagues, was juried into the International Seattle Art Fair in 2017, 2018 and 2019. She has participated in and helped run several artist residencies in Brooklyn at M. David and Co., continues to study with Michael David on an ongoing bases, and recently became his virtual programs director after moving to New York in February 2020.
Hargrave donates to a variety of auctions each year, co-runs Shift Gallery with fellow artists, and maintains memberships with Artist Trust, Pratt Fine Arts Center, the Center on Contemporary Art and the International Encaustic Artists.
Encaustic has been her focus for the last 20 years. It is the one medium that affords all the other materials she has worked in to overlap and inform one another.