Eastern Mennonite University

Cyndi Gusler

Cyndi Gusler

Office Phone: (540) 432-4377

Email:

Main Campus, Harrisonburg

Office Location: UC 275G


Cyndi Gusler in the news:

Carnival de Resistance brings earth-friendly performances, art, parade to Harrisonburg

Art Gets Energized by Coffee

TIME not wasted at trash fashion show

At Interfaith Peace Camp, seeds of friendship sprout in fun

Alumni Building Understanding, Both In Faith And Art

Associate Professor

Visual & Communication Arts Dept

Cyndi Gusler is an EMU alum and an MFA graduate of James Madison University. Cyndi has a background in painting and drawing and working with mixed-media.

Much of the current art work that occupies Cyndi’s mind and hands is ephemeral in nature. Pulling substances such as used coffee grounds from the waste stream and re-appropriating them as drawing mediums, is an integral part of the process and content of the work. While sort-lived, these drawings hold potency in the memory of the seer.

Meanwhile, in the studio, paintings are blooming. Cyndi and her daughter Lily, now age 11, have been creating paintings and drawings together for 6 years employing Lily’s free spirit and strong sense of composition to set the tone, pace and structure of a painting while Cyndi’s experienced hand finishes the work. The conversation builds as layers of paint, drawn lines, and instinct intermingle.

Cyndi is also know for her work with cast-off objects which are used as raw material create alluring three-dimensional forms. Her work includes paintings on found fabric, and intricate, found object sculpture. Her show, Conglomerate, a group of sculptures that reference raw minerals, is made from post-consumer found objects. Conglomerate has traveled to California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and to several galleries in Virginia.

Cyndi’s work includes a mosaic mural wall inspired by the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, commissioned by the Massanutten Regional Library in Harrisonburg, VA. The mural which depicts a mockingbird perched atop a tangling vine of bittersweet, is part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read Project.

Additionally, she has directed a series of Trash Fashion shows, runway fashion extravaganzas of innovative attire created from cast-off materials. This year Cyndi directs an invitational at the Phoenix Convention Center on July 4th. Click links below to read and see glimpses from two of the shows: Columbus, OH for Mennonite Youth Convention: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40oh_qVE2ZU

EMU Trash Fashion Show:
http://www.emu.edu/news/index.php/1568

Cyndi enjoys collaborative art-making, organic gardening, biking and hiking with her family, and attending fine arts performances.

Education
  • B.S., Eastern Mennonite College, Summa cum laude, 1993.
    Major: Liberal Arts
    Minor: Art
    Teaching Certification: NK-8th grade
  • Post-baccalaureate course work in studio art and art history, James Madison University
  • M.F.A., Painting and Drawing, James Madison University
Publications

CIVA Seen, Sacred Dimensions (Vol. IX.2). This edition of the SEEN journal examines the intersection of materials and the sacred, 2010

Pathways to Whole video documentary and photo book, by EMU’s 2010 Documentary class, feature artist Cyndi Gusler.

Rocks and Minerals Magazine, Featured Artist, Cyndi Gusler. Nov-Dec. 2008.

The Studio no.15 June 2001

Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts

University Colloquium Presentation, Disintegration, Eastern Mennonite University (Feb. 2012)

Solo and Collaborative Work of Cyndi Gusler, Pen Women of the Valley, Bridgewater, VA (Mar. 2009)

Hybrid, Slide lecture presented in conjunction with artist’s reception and opening of the show Hybrid at Bridgewater College’s Miller Gallery.

Practicing Resurrection with Cast-offs and Left-overs. Mennonite Arts Weekend, Cincinnati, OH (Feb. 2008)

Exhibits, Performances and Productions

Commission:

Tile Mosaic Mural at the Massanutten Regional Library in Harrisonburg, VA for the National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read Project. (Working dates: Aug.-Nov. 2007. The mural is a permanent installation and was created with collaborator, Kurt Rosenberger.)

Solo/ Two-person Exhibitions:

  • Haute Trash Runway Show. Producer, Designer and Model, Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, AZ (July 2013)
  • Disintegrate, Solo Exhibition, Eastern Mennonite University’s Margaret M. Gehman Gallery (Feb. 2012)
  • Ephemeral Art, installations for the Wild Goose Festival, NC (June 2012)
  • Trash Fashion Runway Show. Producer, Designer and Model, Pittsburgh Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA (July 2011)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40oh_qVE2ZU
  • Hybrid. Paintings and Drawings by Cyndi and Lily Gusler. The Smith House, Harrisonburg, VA, sponsored by Arts Council of the Valley (May 2010)
    http://valleyarts.org/index.php/site/gallery
  • Pirate. Paintings by Cyndi and Lily Gusler. McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA (April. 2010)
  • Hybrid. Collaborative drawings by Cyndi and Lily Gusler. Harrisonburg League of Therapists, Harrisonburg, VA. Part of their “Creative Families” series (May 2009)
  • Hybrid. Collaboration with Lily Gusler. Miller Gallery, Bridgewater College, Bridgewater, VA (Sept.-Oct. 2008)
  • Conglomerate. Main Gallery, McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA. (July-Aug. 2007)
  • Conglomerate. Weinman Mineral Museum/Tellus: Northwest Georgia Science Museum, Cartersville, GA. (Feb-May 2007)

Group Exhibitions:

  • 7th Annual VMRC National Juried Art Exhibition, Park Gables Gallery, Harrisonburg, VA. (June 2012)
  • 10×10×10, Juried Exhibition, Second Street Contemporary Art Gallery, Charlottesville, VA (Oct. 2010)
  • Riverviews Juried Art Exhibition. Riverviews Artspace, Lynchburg, VA (Nov./Dec. 2010)
  • EMU Faculty Art Exhibition. Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA (Oct. 2010)
  • EMU Faculty Art Exhibition. Invitational, Blue Ridge Community College, Weyers Cave, VA (Sept. 2010)
  • Art for Climate’s Sake. Invitational, Clementine, Harrisonburg, VA (Jan. 2011)
  • Annual Art Auction. Invitational, Second Street Gallery. Charlottesville, VA (Mar. 2011).
  • 5th Annual VMRC National Juried Art Exhibition, Park Gables Gallery, Harrisonburg, VA. Awarded Best in Show (June 2009)
  • Red, Invitational. Darrin McHone Arts Gallery, Harrisonburg, VA (Dec. ‘08-Jan ’09)
  • Love and Lust, McGuffey Art Center, Members’ Show, Charlottesville, VA (Feb. 2009)
  • McGuffey Art Center, Members’ Show, Charlottesville, VA (July 2008)
  • Mennonite Arts Weekend, Cincinnati, OH (Feb. 2008)
  • Trash Fashion II, EMU (Dec. 2007)
  • 4th Annual VMRC Juried Art Exhibition, Park Gables Gallery, Harrisonburg, VA. Purchase Award Recipient. (June 2007)
  • Transforming Spaces, Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) Conference, Grantham, PA (June 2007)
  • His Gifts His Presence, New England Arts Festival. Portland, Maine (June 2007)
  • McGuffey Art Center, Members’ Show, Charlottesville, VA. (Dec. 2006)
  • Nature Working with Artists, Gualala Arts, Art Center for Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, CA (Sept. 2006)
Church, Community and Professional Service
  • Arts Council of the Valley, Board of Directors (2010-present)
  • Fine Arts Academy, Advisory Board, Harrisonburg City Schools (2012-present)
  • Artist in Residence, Shalom Mennonite Congregation (2008-present)
  • Co-Curator Three (3), Collaborative art show representing the work of art students at EMU, JMU, and Bridgewater College, co-curated by faculty from the three schools. The Miller Gallery, Bridgewater College. Harrisonburg, VA (Oct. 2008)
  • Awards Judge, _ Shennandoah Valley Arts Center Members’ Show_. SVAC, Waynesboro, VA.(Oct. 2008)
  • Juror, Reflections Arts CompetitionThomas Harrison Middle School, Harrisonburg, VA. (Dec. 2007)
  • Curator, three(3); a collaborative exhibition featuring artwork by students from Bridgewater College, EMU, and James Madison University. EMU’s Student Gallery. (Nov. 2007)
  • Volunteer, Keister Elementary School (2003-2008)
  • Sunday School teacher, grades 3-6, Shalom Mennonite Congregation (2008-2009)
  • MFA Thesis Committee, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA. (Dec. 2006)
  • Director and/or Teacher for Summer Art Institute for Children and Youth, James Madison University School of Art and Art History, Harrisonburg, VA (summers 2000-2010)
  • Juror: Student Works, Cleo Driver Miller Art Gallery. Bridgewater College, Bridgewater, VA.(April 2007)
  • Juror: Central Shenandoah Arts Annual Members Show. Houff Community Center, Bridgewater, VA. (May 2006)
  • Juror: The ARC of Harrisonburg Annual Art Show, Harrisonburg, VA. (March 2006)
Honors, Awards and Grants

Best in Show $1000.oo prize, 5th Annual VMRC National Juried Art Exhibition, Park Gables Gallery, Harrisonburg, VA. (June 2009)

$1500.00 Artist Grant, Arts Council of the Valley, Harrisonburg, VA for the Flexible Geography Project, a collaborative project with artists with Greg Stewart and Scott Keen. Flexible Geography includes a mobile, community garden/sculpture in reconfigurable parts; seedbomber attire and accessories, website and interactive blogsite, and educational/outreach activities. (2009)

*Faculty Scholarship Grant for …and this is not everything.
Six SH’s of release time and $500.00. Eastern Mennonite University. (2008-2009)

  • Purchase Award. 4th Annual VMRC Juried Art Exhibition, Park Gables Gallery, Harrisonburg, VA. (June 2007)
  • Arts Council of the Valley Individual Artist Grant; Shenandoah Valley, VA. (2006)
  • Jump-starting Nesting. Eastern Mennonite University Summer Research Grant. $1,500.00 (2006)
  • The Art of Salvadoran Refugee Children. Lilly Foundation Grant through the EMU Lilly Fund to frame and display a body of drawings by El Salvadoran children expressing their memories of the El Salvadoran civil war. (2005)

*Faculty Scholarship Grant, 3 SH Release Time and $500.00.
Eastern Mennonite University. (2004-2005)

Certifications and Licenses

Teaching Certification: NK-8th grade

Professional Memberships
  • McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA; juried member.McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA; juried member.
  • Board of Directors, Arts Council of the Valley
  • Christians in the Visual Arts
  • Women Environmental Artists Directory (WEAD)
  • Greenmuseum.org
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA.
Professional Conferences Attended

Presenter, Workshops and Seminars

  • The Artist as Interventionist, Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, AZ (July 2013)
  • Wild Goose Festival, at the intersection of faith, justice and art, Ephemeral drawings created on site for the event in collaboration with Ted Lyddon Hatten, Shakori Hills, NC (June 2012)
  • Disintegration: Colloquium Presentation/Slide Lecture, Eastern Mennonite University’s Mainstage Theater, Harrisonburg, VA (Jan. 2012)
  • Art for Social Change: Anabaptist Communicators Conference, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA (Oct. 2011)

The Glen Workshop: The Artist and the City. Workshop and seminar with Tim Rollins of K.O.S. (Kids of Survival, NYC). St. John’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico. (July 2008)

Interrupt! Intervene!: Rethinking Art as Social Practice, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA. May 15-17, 2008. Interruptions fostered exchange between scholars, innovative regional and international artists and curators, through panel presentations, performances and indoor and outdoor exhibitions. There was a Wikipedia dedicated to real-time collaboration and exchange between participants. The conference will generate a publication documenting the scholarly and artistic work emerging from this event.

  • The Glen Workshop: Collage and Assemblage with artist Barry Krames (Six days of workshop and lectures). St. John’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Aug. 2006

*The Glen Workshop: Tile Mosaic with Ginger Geyer (Six days of workshop and lectures). St. John’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Aug. 2007

EMU Service
  • Chair, Dept. of Visual and Communication Arts (2003-2010 and 2012-2013)
  • EMU Faculty Scholarship Committee, Elected Chair (2005-2010 and 2012-present)
  • Undergraduate Council (2003-2010 and 2012-2013)
  • Senior Class Advisor (2007-2008)
  • University Consultant for Student-Teachers, Art Education (2006-present)
EMU Guest lecturer:
  • Arts and Peacebuilding, CJP graduate course (2010-present)
  • Passion and Obsession Colloquium (2008, 2009)
  • First Year Seminar (Fall 2008)
EMU Mentoring and Advising:
  • Honors Student Mentor (2005-2009)
  • Advisor, VaCA students (2003-present) and Undeclared students (2007-2008)
  • New Faculty Mentor (2006-2007)
Juror:
  • Biannual Student Art Shows, Campus Center, EMU (2006-2009)
  • Barista, New Menu Item Competition, Common Grounds. (2008 and 2009)