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Cyndi Gusler

DEPARTMENT: Visual & Communication Arts Dept

POSITION: Professor

LOCATION: Main Campus, Harrisonburg | UC 275G

PHONE: (540) 432-4377


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:

EMU Trash Fashion Show:

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


  • 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, 2001.


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)