An award-winning artist, Dr. James Gwynne is a professor of visual arts who discovered his talents through chance and circumstance. He initially attended college thinking he would become a doctor. When he took a drawing class during his first year of college, however, he knew he needed to switch majors.
“I knew from then on that art was my passion and I had to follow it,” says Gwynne.
After earning his bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster in Ohio, he went on to earn his master’s from Michigan State University and then his Ph.D. from New York University.
Following his graduation from Michigan State, he received a phone call from one of his former professors at the College of Wooster asking Gwynne if he would like to fill in for two years while professors took sabbaticals. The experience launched Gwynne’s teaching career and he has never looked back.
As an artist, Gwynne has participated in more than 300 exhibitions and is known for his large-scale paintings. Many of his pieces are bold and colorful renditions of the sky, landscapes and the human body. Included among his many honors and recognitions are both the Best in Show and Painting Award from the Westmoreland Arts National Juried Exhibition. His work also is represented in many private, corporate and public collections, including the New Jersey State Museum and Pennsylvania State Museum.
With a passion for both teaching and art, Gwynne particularly enjoys watching students develop their own skills and talents. A member of the CCM faculty since 1972, he notes, however, that success requires more than creative talent.
“Raw talent is a joy to see in a student, but more than that dedication and diligent effort with class projects, good attendance, taking critical advice and trying to apply it are qualities in a student that make teaching exciting and rewarding,” he says.