Gillian Kennedy Wright is a Jamaican born, Canadian, American Lake Park, Florida visual artist. She received her Associates Degree in Graphic Design along with an informal minor in Textile/Fiber Design from Edna Manley School for the Visual Arts, Kingston, Jamaica.
Gillian’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Jamaica, Spain, Canada and the United States. Her work can be found in private and public collections in Jamaica, Spain, Canada, as well as in the United States.
She creates constantly in her home studio, better known as Kennedy Wright Designs LLC and is also an avid University of Florida, Palm Beach County, Master Gardener.
She continually focuses on both strata of her art, the bold, colorful whimsical illustrations; mixed media collages; home décor creations with Jamaica/Caribbean names and sayings. Along with her more serious mixed media fiber art pieces surrounding themes of multicultural faces, plants, patterns and architectural statements.
My art encompasses two bold diverse themes, the whimsical illustrations on one hand and on the other hand the more serious fiber art themes.
The whimsical illustrations have coined Jamaican/Caribbean characters names that I have met throughout my life. The sayings or “Jamaicanisms” are words of wisdom that my parents especially my mother has always used in my upbringing. These have influenced my versatile whimsical designs. They also include afro centric and multicultural themed art.
As a graphic designer at a T-shirt company, I would sit at the end of my day and draw stick figures. Funny enough I would toss my sketches in the garbage. One year later when I decided to move on to another job. On my last day of work, my coworker presented me with a stack of my discarded sketch book leaves and said, “one day these are going to be AWESOME!” I still have those designs pasted with now yellowing rubber cement in a black sketchbook in my studio. Fast forward… it’s almost 30 years since I drew my first Dafty Duds, Faces and other one of a kind illustrations they have finally come alive again.
Fine Art Themes
On the more serious side…of my work are my fiber art pieces. I am drawn to more in-depth minimalistic, bold, textural exploration of multicultural portraiture. Yes, we are truly one people, in mind and thought but are just separated by geographically imposed extensions of our thoughts and ideologies. I seek to explore, capture and create statements of harmony making meaningful life statements through a myriad of faces.
As an avid gardener I am intrigued by and enjoy exploring the details of plants and showing “the what if’s” of their existence in different forms. World architectural forms, curves, patterns, color and shapes make bold statements in our landscapes. As we “capture” and try to “tame” our environment, architecture is entwined with plants and us as a people. What if they were portrayed in a different color? What if they had different textures from the norm? What if their shapes were explored and reconfigured? This is the essence of my themes as I develop various series that intermingle with each other.
Gillian Kennedy Wright
Florida International University, Miami, Florida
Master of Science, Sports and Recreation Management 2008
Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida & York University, Toronto Canada
Bachelor of Science, Organizational Management & Certificate in Entrepreneurial Studies 2003
Edna Manley School of the Visual Arts, Kingston, Jamaica
Associates in Graphic Design & Informal Minor in Textile Design 1986
DBA, (Doing Business as an Artist), Artserv, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 2015
Skandia, Kingston, Jamaica 1989
Jamaican Consulate, Toronto, Canada, 1991
City of Parkland Library, Parkland, Florida 2015
World Trade Fair, Seville, Spain
Collaboration: African Diaspora, West Palm Beach, Florida, 2016
Big! Artserv, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 2017
Layered, Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, 2017
Sketchbook “An exhibition of artist’s books”, Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, 2017
Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida, Cathedral, Miami, Florida
Grace Episcopal Church, West Palm Beach Florida, 2003
Hot Box Art Attack, West Palm Beach, Florida, 2016
Honors and Awards
Best Photographic Student Award 1986, Edna Manley School of the Visual Arts
Color World Photographic Scholarship, 1984, Edna Manley School of the Visual Arts
Jamaica, Spain, Canada, United States
Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida, Trinity Cathedral, Miami, Florida
Grace Episcopal Church, West Palm Beach Florida
Art Hot Box, West Palm Beach, Florida