Office Phone: (540) 432-4377
Main Campus, Harrisonburg
Office Location: UC 275G
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:
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
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)
Exhibits, Performances and Productions
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:
- The Shop Show. Paintings by Cyndi Gusler. McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA (Feb. 2014)
- 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 and 2013)
- Trash Fashion Runway Show. Producer, Designer and Model, Pittsburgh Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA (July 2011)
- Hybrid. Paintings and Drawings by Cyndi and Lily Gusler. The Smith House, Harrisonburg, VA, sponsored by Arts Council of the Valley (May 2010)
- 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)
- 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
- Fine Arts Academy, Advisory Board, Harrisonburg City Schools (2012-present)
- Artist in Residence, Shalom Mennonite Congregation (2008-present)
- 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)
- 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, THMS and HHS public schools (2008-present)
- Sunday School teacher/ assistant teacher, Shalom Mennonite Congregation (2008-present)
- MFA Thesis Committee, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA. (Dec. 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)
Certifications and Licenses
Teaching Certification: NK-8th grade
- McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA; juried member.McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA; juried member.
- Advisory Board, Harrisonburg Fine Arts Academy.
- Christians in the Visual Arts
- Women Environmental Artists Directory (WEAD)
- 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) and Hot Springs, NC (June 2013)
- 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
- 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)
- Arts and Peacebuilding, CJP graduate course (2010-present)
- Passion and Obsession Colloquium (2008, 2009)
- First Year Seminar (Fall 2008)
- Honors Student Mentor (2005-2009)
- Advisor, VaCA students (2003-present) and Undeclared students (2007-2008)
- New Faculty Mentor (2006-2007)
- Biannual Student Art Shows, Campus Center, EMU (2006-2009)