Gwen T. Samuels is a Fiber Artist creating prize winning Quilts, Art Quilts, and “Punch Quilts”. Punch Quilts are a unique, little-known, no-sew fiber art employing fabric, batting, glue, foam board, tempered board, and a few homemade tools to create works reminiscent of stained glass. In her work Gwen uses techniques such as appliqué, embellishment, beading, digital imaging, mixed media, machine and hand quilting, long arm quilting, fabric painting, and more. Her work has been exhibited in many venues across several states. She has won many awards including several 1st Place Awards, a Purchase Award, and a Best of Show Award from the New Mexico State Fair. Gwen is also a published Poet, a Cave Canem Poetry Fellow, and a member of the New Mexico Live Poets Society. She published her first collection of poems, A 9 Patch Life, in 2019.
Gwen is a native of Florida and was a long time resident of New Jersey where she taught in the public schools and at Seton Hall and Centenary Universities. She moved to New Mexico in 2014 and considers herself a “hurricane sandy refugee”. Faith, justice, and healing inspire Gwen’s work. Creativity, for Gwen, is as much a spiritual as an artistic endeavor. Gwen is mostly self-taught in quilting and sewing and she also creates garments, costumes, accessories, baskets, jewelry, and dolls.
Gwen’s visual inspiration also comes largely from world cultures, especially the cultures of the Afrikan diaspora, Her work is also influenced by Asian and Latino cultures as a result of having lived and studied in Japan, Korea, Spain, Latin America, and the American Southwest. She is a Japan Fulbright Scholar and a Korea Foundation Fellow as well as a Certified Interpreter and Translator. She is multilingual in several languages and has traveled to 14 countries gaining inspiration from cultures everywhere. She continually strives to grow as an artist and master new techniques such as thread painting, dyeing, free motion quilting, mixed media, leather work, acrylic painting, gourd making, and as many other medium as this life will allow.