A French boy who immigrated to Northern California at the age of ten, August Francoise Pierre Gay, called "Gus" Gay by his colleagues and friends, would introduce some unique elements to the northern California school of art.
He attended classes at the California School of Fine Arts as well as the California College of Arts and Crafts. His fellow Society member, Selden Gile was his strongest influence. Many of his works were painted on cigar box lids or art board.
He was a member of the "Society of Six", a group of Bay Area artists that helped one another financially and professionally, while exchanging ideas and theories in support of their "Fauvist" color preferences. The original "Fauves" were labeled this for their untamed palettes and broad applications of bold strokes, and the Society favored such methods. They would work collaboratively, staging exhibitions from 1918 until 1930.
Gay would take a distinct Fauvist attitude with his color schemes, but add elements of Cubism and geometry to his landscapes and scenes of the villages and towns the Bay Area of California. For this reason, his work did not draw much attention until the 1950s when Cubism began to be widely seen and popularly accepted.
Gay moved from the Monterey area in 1919, but continued to participate in the Society, entering his work in their shows at the Oakland Art Gallery until they disbanded. During his life he worked in a local fish factory, Oliver's Art Supply, and for his final ten years he worked as a furniture designer and framer.
Gay's works were exhibited both during his life and following his death due to the increased attention given to his artistic stylings beginning in the 1950s.