Bio and Resume


Helen Gwinn considers herself a native New Mexican although she was born in Texas. She attended public schools in Carlsbad. During her college years and early adulthood, she lived in various places before returning to New Mexico.
Gwinn’s artworks, representational and semi abstract, expressed in mixed media, collage and clay reflect her life, including her love for the desert where she lives, communication, new life, ancient cliffs and poignant flowers. They have been exhibited and won awards in regional, national and international shows, including THE FLORENCE BIENNALE (in Florence, Italy), THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ART (in New York City) and THE NEW MEXICO MUSEUM OF FINE ART (in Santa Fe) as well as in the NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR’S GALLERY.
Gwinn was instrumental in the development of children’s art classes at THE CARLSBAD MUSEUM under the supervision of CITY SPIRIT, funded by the NEW MEXICO ARTS DIVISION. She has taught private art lessons to children and adults for many years in her own studio, THE PUZZLETREE. Her works have been exhibited and sold in retail galleries throughout the U.S.
A long time member and past president of CARLSBAD AREA ART ASSOCIATION, Gwinn was one of the initial members selected into THE ARTIST GALLERY, a cooperative gallery operating under the umbrella of CARLSBAD AREA ART ASSOCIATION. She has supported and served the gallery in varied positions including several seasons as the director. When the building, leased by the gallery, was offered for sale, Gwinn led a campaign to purchase it. Through her influence a community art patron issued a challenge to donate $75,000.00 toward the purchase if CARLSBAD AREA ART ASSOCIATION would match the amount. Gwinn’s initial donation led the effort and within a short time, the building was purchased.
At the turn of the century, Gwinn painted two life-size replicas of a quarterhorse for THE TRAIL OF PAINTED PONIES, a public art project to focus tourism on the numerous and varied creative artists in New Mexico. Her ROCKING HORSE is now in a private collection in Chicago and BARNYARD PONY, originally owned by the Honorable Representative Robert Light, is now part of the permanent collection of the CARLSBAD MUSEUM.
In 2005 Gwinn received the prestigious A.J. CRAWFORD ARTS AND HUMANITIES AWARD from the CARLSBAD FOUNDATION. The award honored her contributions in Carlsbad and the superb ways she has been an ambassador of the arts in the community, in New Mexico, the United States and internationally.
Gwinn’s works have been the subject of articles in watercolor magazines and in THE NEW MEXICO MAGAZINE; they have been included in numerous art books, invitational shows and shown in solo exhibits. She is an instructor, guest lecturer and juror of fine art exhibits.

Professional Background:

Texas Tech University, B.A.
University of Houston, graduate work
Post-Baccalaureate Studies:
La Romita School of Art-Terni, Italy,
Texas Tech University
University of Texas at El Paso,
University of Houston,
Numerous seminars and workshops with noted instructors

Instructor and Guest Lecturer:

  • La Romita School of Art, Terni, Italy, 1998-2007
  • Watermedia workshops: In US and Europe
  • Private art lessons,1990-2000
  • International Quilt Festival, Houston, TX, 1992-93
  • Fiber Arts Workshop, Zia Quilt and Stitchery Guild, 1989, 1992-93
  • Intermountain Weavers Conference, Colorado Springs, CO 1991
  • New Mexico Art Educators Association, Ruidoso, NM, 1984
  • Seminar on Printmaking for Art Teachers,” New Mexico State University, 1983
  • Who’s Who of American Women
  • Judge & Juror: many locations 1995-present

Papoose Angel by Helen Gwinn
Selected Exhibitions:

  • LHUCA Museum, Invitational, Lubbock, TX, 2022
  • ART>70, Taranaka, New Zealand, 2021
  • Arizona Aqueous XXVIII, 2014
  • The Florence Biennale, Florence, Italy December, 2005
  • International Watermedia XIV, Univ. of Colorado, 2005
  • Federazione Italiana Donne-Arti-Professioni-Affari Terni, Italy, 2005
  • Arizona Aqueous XX, Tubac, AZ, 2005
  • First Frontier Collage 6th Annual International, Austin, TX 2005
  • SoQ, Contemporary Art in Southern NM, NM Museum of Fine Art, Santa Fe, 2004
  • Western Federation of Watercolor Societies 29th Annual, Irving Arts Center, Dallas, TX 2004
  • Washington Watercolor Society, Richland, WA 2003
  • International Society of Experimental Artists, Houston, TX 2003
  • Boots To Berets, Paris, TX 2003
  • Palazzo Gazzoli, Vecchio mondo visto dal nuovo, Terni, Italy, 2002
  • International Society of Experimental Artists, Ball State University, Muncie, IN
  • 28th Annual Exhibition of National Watercolor Oklahoma, Kirkpatrick Galleries at Omniplex, Oklahoma City, OK, 2002
  • Western Federation of Watercolor Societies, 27th Annual Exhibit, Albuquerque Museum of Fine Art, 2002
  • First Frontier Collage Society, Austin TX 2001
  • Trail of the Painted Ponies, NM, 2001
  • Governors Gallery,NM Museumof Fine Art, 2001
  • Jurors Exhibit, NMArts & Crafts Fair, 2001
  • Bunkhouse Gallery, Cypress Mill TX, 2001
  • 175th Annual Exhibition, National Academy of Design, NY, NY, 2000
  • WAS-H, 23rd Intern’tl Exhibit, Houston,TX 2000
  • NM Watercolors, Mill Atelier, Santa Fe, 2000
  • Taos National Exh.of American Watercolors, Van Vechten Lineberry Museum, 1998, 2000
  • B.E.A.C.H. Art Auction & Gala, Spencer Theatre, Ruidoso, NM, 1999
  • Art In The Woods, Overland Park Arts Commission, Overland Park, KS, 1999
  • 1999 Masterworks of New Mexico Exhibition NMWS, Albuquerque, NM
  • Arizona Aqueous National Exhibition, Tubac Center For The Arts, AZ, 1998, award; 2000
  • 49th Annual Texas Watercolor Society National Exh, Hill Country Arts Foundation, 1998,award
  • “Earth Lyrics” Pecos River Artists, Breckenridge Fine Art Center, Breckenridge, TX, 1997
  • Weems Artfest, Albuquerque, NM 1989-2011
  • Western Federation of Watercolor Societies Exhibition, Tucson Museum of Fine Art, 1997
  • “Pecos Valley Potters Guild Show,” Roswell Museum, Roswell, NM 1993-2000
  • “Signature I-VI juried exhibitions , West Texas Watercolor Society, Texas Tech University Museum, Lubbock, TX 1992-1997
  • The Pecos River Artists’ annual exhibit 1991-2006
  • New Mexico Watercolor Society, juried exhibits, 1989-2000, award
  • Fall American Art Show, Museum of the Horse, Ruidoso, NM, 1996
  • Kansas Waterolor Society 7 State Exhibition, Wichita Art Museum, 1996
  • “River Presence-River Presents,” traveling exhibit, administrator/curator/exhibitor, 1994-95
  • Fiber Celebrated ‘95,Tucson Museum of Fine Art
  • “Celebrity Showcase,” New England Quilt Museum (Invitational Show) Boston, MA 1993
  • Giving Thanks to Mother Earth National Exhibition,” Austin, TX ,1992
  • “Round Up On The Pecos,” Carlsbad, NM, 1993
  • “Our Walls Can Talk: HATS” Southwest Crafts Center, San Antontio 1993
  • “The Art of the Hat,” NM Arts and Crafts Exhibit, Albuquerque, NM, 1990(Best of Show)
  • “Printmaking in New Mexico” Governor’s Gallery, a traveling show, 1990-91
  • “Fiber Celebrated ‘89” Museum of Fine ArtSalt Lake City, Utah, 1989
  • “Southwest Arts and Crafts Festival,” 1981-83
  • “Annual All Media Juried Exhibition,” Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach, CA, 1979

Fractured Ridge by Helen Gwinn
Selected Collections

  • American Association of University Women, National Archives, Washington, DC
  • Western Heritage Museum and Cowboy Hall of Fame, Hobbs, NM
  • Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, NM
  • San Juan College, Farmington, NM
  • Hilton Hotel, Houston, TX
  • IBM, Santa Fe, NM
  • Carlsbad Museum and Art Center, Carlsbad, NM

Selected Publications

  • “Hunting and Gathering” by Sarah Strickley, in Watercolor Artist magazine, February 2009
  • “Meet Helen Gwinn” North Light, Fall, 2001
  • Watercolor Expressions, B.L. Schlemm, 1999
  • “The Spirit of Artistic Travel,” American Artist: Watercolor, Summer, 1999
  • The Best of Watercolor:Painting Composition Betty Lou Schlemm & Sara Doherty, 1997
  • “Sensitivity To Textures,” American Artist: Watercolor, Summer, 1996
  • “Special Delivery: Stitched Mail,” The American Quilter, October, 1993

Desert Water by Helen Gwinn

Gallery Shows

  • Timeless Traces, one person show, The Gallery, Roswell NM 2006
  • The Gifts, one person show, Weems Gallery Old Town, Albuquerque, NM 2006
  • Collective With Heart, The Pecos River Artists, The Governors Gallery in The Capitol Building, Santa Fe, NM 2006
  • Cliff Gifts and Canyon Spirits, one person show, Weems Gallery Old Town, Albuquerque, NM 2005
  • Helen Gwinn featured at The Bunkhouse Gallery,Cypress Mill, TX, 2004
  • The Cliff Gifts, one person show, Weems Gallery Old Town, Albuquerque, NM 2004
  • The Pecos River Artists, Lincoln Schoolhouse Gallery, Lincoln, NM 2004
  • Helen Gwinn and Russ Ball Show, Weems Gallery Old Town, Albuquerque, NM, 2003
  • The Abiquiu Exhibit, Abiquiu, NM 2002
  • “Distinctive Viewpoints,” Mill Atelier Gallery, Santa Fe, 200
  • “Helen Gwinn/The Envelope Series”, one-woman show, Flickinger Center for the Arts, Alamogordo and Carlsbad Museum, NM, 1999
  • “By Invitation Only,” and Annual Anniversary Shows, Weems Gallery, Albuquerque, 1990-01
  • Anniversary at Spirit Echoes, Austin, TX, 1994
  • “Reminders, Mementos, Hopes,” one-woman show, Carlsbad Museum and Art Center, 1989
  • “San Juan Selects, San Juan College, 1985
  • One-Woman show, Eastern New Mexico University , Portales, NM 1984