Biographical Sketch for Gwendolyn English
Gwen has been teaching Art for 20+ years. For 14 years, she taught Introduction to Studio Art, Studio Art 1 & 2, Advanced Placement Art-Drawing, and Advanced Placement Art-3-D Design and Digital Photography at The Hutchison School in Memphis. Gwen now teaches with The Bridge and also independently at Studio Bloom.
Gwendolyn received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Printmaking from Southern Illinois University in 1989 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Papermaking and Bookarts from Memphis College of Art in 1995. She is a teaching artist trained in both the Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center model for arts integrated learning. She is a teaching artist for Delta Arts and Arts Memphis. Gwen continues to create, exhibit, and sell her paintings, jewelry, and unique art books. Her work has been shown in the Brooks Museum of Art and Delta Axis in Memphis, highlighted in Mid-South Living and Southern Women Magazine as well as HGTV’s, That’s Clever.
She works with students in her specialty, individual portfolio development, to develop their unique artistic gifts. Her students have been recognized by Scholastic art awards at city and national levels, have presented work at the Frist Museum in Nashville, and have been selected for the Governor School for the Arts.
According to Gwen:
“My philosophy of art education is that everyone is creative by nature having been made in the image of the great Creator. My job as a teacher and facilitator of art is to help students connect to their creativity even if they think they are not creative. In my teaching, I take students through a variety of projects in different media and subject matter while fostering a comfortable and safe environment, which allows students to experiment artistically and build technical skill.
The focus of my teaching is based on process not product. As students become more comfortable building a sustainable creative process as their primary goal, the result is beautiful works of art. I believe that students must learn the tradition before they break the tradition, so we focus on techniques of the masters before moving into more contemporary works of art. In my experience the greatest obstacle that students face when creating art is not a lack of ability or skill, but a belief that they are not able to create. We begin here rebuilding faith that we are all meant to be creative. As students connect to this truth their confidence builds along with their artistic skills, which leads to a unique artistic journey for each child.”
Some of her students have obtained Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degrees at the following prestigious colleges and pursued careers in Architecture, Graphic Design, Painting, Photography, Film, Fashion Design, and Interior Design.
- Rhode Island School of Design
- Cooper Union School of Architecture
- New York Studio School
- Washington University
- Southern Methodist University
- Savannah College of Art and Design
- Boston Museum School
- School of Art Institute of Chicago
- Ringling College of Art and Design