About Ginny O'Brien
Growing up I spent weeks in Colorado most summers with my parents and five siblings exploring the mountains and hiking trails. While there my love for nature I was immersed in was awakened and ever since I have relished each moment spending time outdoors. My respect for our environment runs deep and impressions of my time in Colorado stay with me to this day as do the memories of my childhood dreams filled with intense colors, expansive skies, vast peaks and valleys. As I move through life associations of dreams and memories from my distant past sometimes emerge in the art that I make and I recognize images or references of places I have been in time gone by. Over the years the evolution of my artistic practice, academic pursuits, and teaching artist activities all inform in one way or another the art that I make at any given time. Most of all I love sharing my art with others especially with my fellow artists, friends, collectors, and students interested in my process, techniques that I use, discoveries I have made, and what motivates me to make the art I create. In turn these interactions give me unique insights into how my art is seen and responded to. While my art making practice has its ebb and flow and sometimes a hurry up and wait scenario moving through daily life, I have learned that allowing the space and time to make it is essential.
I am inspired by abstract expressive imagery in art and by the natural world we are all immersed in, and these inspirations affect how I make my work and the materials I use. I lay out compositions making marks to create gesture and motion and draw lines as if they are woven to make fissure-filled edges, continuing to develop a visual sense of tension and pressure. Color has been and continues to be a central element in much of my art and I love the challenge of combining colors to make new form, textures, and patterns in a composition that may seem unusual or different, making images an artist friend recently described as “looking through a microscope for the first time, that awe of seeing life magnified.” Process is important to me, experimenting with cloth, paint, paper, photos, gel mediums and modeling paste. While difficult to predict, at some point in the process of making I experience a visceral response to the work that serves as a form of affirmation to continue exploring the imagery emerging. I do hope my work attracts those curious to take a closer look, and most of all to enjoy the moment using their own creativity and imaginative ways of seeing the art.
Ginny O’Brien is a painter and mixed media artist. She is an arts educator with expertise in the field of arts in health, and has practiced as a teaching artist in cultural arts venues and educational institutions. She exhibits her art in solo and group exhibitions locally and nationally, and for over a decade was education curator for the University at Buffalo Art Galleries developing and facilitating art making programs for diverse audiences focused on the permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. As education curator the artist developed and taught creative arts programs for medical students and those receiving services from various healthcare organizations. Ginny has taught courses in Fiber Arts and Design at Buffalo State College and Daemen College, and for UB developed and led an undergraduate course Clinical Humanities: The Intersection of Healthcare and the Visual Arts. She worked as a visual arts consultant and workshop instructor for UB medical students enrolled in the medical school’s Center for Medical Humanities. Ginny, currently Resident Artist for the Kathleen and Joseph Curatolo Pediatric Visual Arts Program, provides art activities for clinic patients receiving treatment at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Ginny holds a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art, Fibers from Syracuse University, and from Buffalo State College a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Textile Design and a Master of Arts with concentrations in Textile Design and Art Therapy. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Wichita State University and attended the Kansas City Art Institute studying painting, illustration, and graphic design. Her authored publications and creative works are found in art, education, and health-related journals, including SURFACE DESIGN JOURNAL, Western Humanities Review Literary Magazine, and Family Medicine: Journal for the Society of Teachers in Family Medicine.
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