Ginny O'Brien Verified listing Verified

Making art is an expression of our shared humanity


Making art is an expression of our shared humanity


    Born in Chicago and raised in Kansas City, Ginny is a painter and mixed media artist presently living in Buffalo, New York. She exhibits her art in solo and group exhibitions locally and nationally, and is an arts educator with expertise in the field of arts in health. Ginny has practiced as a teaching artist in cultural arts venues and educational institutions, and for over a decade was Education Curator for the University at Buffalo Art Galleries developing and facilitating art making programs for diverse audiences. 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 University and Daemen University, and for UB developed and taught a 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.

    Growing up I spent weeks in Colorado most summers and while there my love for the natural surroundings I was immersed in was awakened and ever since I have relished each moment spent outdoors. My respect for our environment runs deep and impressions of my time in the Rocky Mountains stay with me as do the memories of my childhood dreams filled with radiant colors, expansive skies, vast peaks and valleys. As I move through life, associations of dreams and memories from my past emerge in the art I make and I recognize images or references of places I have spent time in. Making art for me is often a response to a particular place and time spent in nature and it provides a way to make something tangible with what I perceive as real or felt that gives back to others in an expressive form. My work shows what I am feeling and how I imagine things. The healing power of art for both the maker and the viewer can provide respite while we navigate the complex world we live in and can inspire ways to preserve or restore our environment's delicate balance.  A fellow artist recently described my art as "fresh, energetic, and deeply moving, a bold application of media that tells a harmonized story of land, sea, and air." Over the years the evolution of my artistic practice and teaching artist activities inform the art that I make in one way or another. Most of all I love sharing my art with artists, friends, those who collect my work, and students interested in my processes, techniques, discoveries I have made, and what motivates me to make the work I create. While my practice has its ebb and flow, 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 inform the way I make my work and the materials I use in the process. I lay out compositions making marks to create gesture and I continue to develop a tension-filled visual language. Color has been and continues to be a central element in much of my art. I love the challenge of combining colors to make new form, textures, and patterns in a composition that may seem unusual or different, making imagery 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 an affirmation to continue exploring and embracing my process. 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 is an award-winning artist exhibiting her art across the United States and internationally. Her work has been shown in Irvea, Italy; Sophia, Bulgaria; Kherson, Ukraine; Alexandria, Egypt; and Berlin, Germany. She is recognized for her expertise in field of Arts in Health, developing and facilitating visual arts programs for diverse audiences of all ages and abilities in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and cultural arts organizations serving those with medical and developmental challenges. Ginny's art can be found in permanent collections including Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, New York; Lessedra Art Gallery of Contemporary Bulgarian and International Art, Sophia, Bulgaria; the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry,The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa; and the Kirsten Vincent Respite & Recovery Center permanent collection in Buffalo, NY. Currently her art can be viewed in online exhibitions organized and curated by artist Ellen Hackl Fagan of ODETTA Gallery and ODETTA Digital, in collaboration with host SHIM Art Network. Ginny's art has been included in several on-site group exhibitions aligned with and curated by Ms. Fagan with SHIM Art Network that includes the Aqua Art Miami Art Fair; Exquisite Codes Berlin Group Art Installation; and ODETTA Digital's Entry Point, Art-Teenth exhibition, Bridgeport, CT. Visit and Instagram @ginnyobrienart

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