POSITION: Professor; Program Director - Visual and Communication Arts
DEPARTMENT: Visual and Communication Arts
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.
Currently in the Chestnut Art Studio are oil and acrylic paintings combining Cyndi's physical environment with her imagined reality. Daydreams is an evolving playground of imagery that grounds the artist and allows her to fly.
Materiality is always in question as Cyndi explores the potential of materials to become "paint". 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 her ephemeral artwork. While physically short-lived, these drawings hold potency in the memory of the viewer.
In her hands, cast-off objects become the raw material for creating alluring three-dimensional forms. Her show, Conglomerate, a group of sculptures that mimic mineral formations, is made from post-consumer found objects. A reclaimed hollowed log tediously set with broken blue-glass shards and cut water bottle labels, Azure Dasanite, puts a clever and critical eye on the misuse of water and it's ownership. Conglomerate has traveled across the US and was featured in the Tellus Science Museum, a Smithsonian Institution-affiliate.
Cyndi’s work includes a mosaic mural inspired by the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read Project. The mural wall, depicting a mockingbird perched atop a tangling vine of bittersweet, guards the exterior patio of the Massanutten Regional Library in Harrisonburg, VA.
Always exploring the potential of objects to be transformed from undesirable to stunning, Cyndi has created work for and directed a series of Trash Fashion shows, runway fashion extravaganzas of innovative attire created from tossed away materials. Locations include the Convention Centers in Phoenix, AZ, Pittsburg, PA and Columbus, OH. She features her students and guest artists in these productions.
Cyndi's best of life list: new ideas, painting, growing food, biking, hiking, water, laughter, and other people's inspiring creative work.
MFA, James Madison University (Painting and Drawing)
BA, Eastern Mennonite University (Liberal Arts/Education with a minor in Art)