BA Studio Arts/History of Art and Architecture (Highest Honours), ASA
Gwendolyn (“Wendy”) Borglum is an award-winning artist and pianist, a published travel writer and photographer, the mother of three children, and much more.
She was born in the university town of Champaign, Illinois to immigrant parents (her father a professor of civil engineering from Northern Ireland, her mother a nurse from Canada). Further exposure to the international atmosphere of a large, world-class university helped to expand her outlook and shape her esteem of education from an early age. Since that time she’s earned three degrees and worked professionally in writing, editing, corporate management, graphic design, art, and photography—and lived in three diverse states and two countries. The call to Canada came from the alternative energy industry, and with a calm and confident sense of fate she landed in Calgary over eighteen years ago (with her scientist husband, toddler son, and three cats). She is today a dual citizen of Canada and the US.Wendy holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Studio Arts and the History of Art and Architecture (double major, highest honours, University of Pittsburgh) as well as English (high honours, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts). She began her university studies as a piano major though, a year early, at the age of 17. In her first year she competed for and won a full four-year music performance scholarship (University of Illinois).
She enjoys art as an adventure and journey of expression—experimenting with different techniques and exploring many media. Within a notable range, she strives to create work that is contemporary yet timeless, personal yet universal, characterized by an elegance of design, and, at times, haunting ambiguity.
To date, her work has been selected for over thirty juried regional, national, and North American exhibitions in gallery, art institute, and museum settings.
Visual artists have the opportunity and the ability to be creative and productive their entire lives; to strive to capture the profound, the meaningful, the inspiring, or simply the beautiful—for enjoyment now and for generations into the future. Because of this, I cultivate my own artistic development with a long-term view and endeavour to create a legacy of high quality work and exhibitions.
The practice of art, for me, is about the journey as much as the destination. Within sight of one of the world’s most epic and unspoiled mountain ranges, I knew when I moved to Western Canada 18+ years ago that landscapes/the natural world would be a big part of my artistic future. Being thus inspired by nature and the seasons, I choose a cyclical approach to subject matter. My work is personal and reflects my own immediate environments, experiences, or imagination, but often has a broad, iconic appeal—perhaps because I appreciate those things that others may take for granted, but recognize as intrinsic.
I work in paint (primarily acrylics), mixed media, and photography. I rarely use a brush. I’m a lifelong learner and draw upon my diverse creative and educational background to inform and enrich every artistic decision. In creating a work of art I value originality, imagination, experimentation, and risk-taking—combined with considered design and chosen colour theory: these days the end result is frequently atmospheric realism combined with abstraction.