Cynthia Brewster: Portraits and Other Illusions of Reality

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Cynthia Brewster began drawing at an old school desk in the breakfast nook of her parent’s home at an early age. That was a primary occupation as a kid, and her dad was a constant supplier of #2 pencils and stacks of note paper from his office.  She called upon her imagination and gained inspiration from books, magazines, comics, and the natural world that she loved.  Summers were spent in Northern Michigan where her grandfather and dad built the family cabin, and she could explore the shorelines, dunes, and forests.  She was also inspired by the other arts including music, puppetry and theater, in which her parents were involved.  

She graduated from Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, with a BA in Art where her studies encompassed drawing, painting, sculpture, and graphic arts. She went on to the University of Oslo in Norway where she studied industrial art history and design, then explored the European continent and art with backpack and sketchbook.

She relocated to Cleveland to teach school, eventually married, and raised her two children. During this time, she began to study architecture as a possible future occupation.  Overall, her work included teaching primary and secondary school art, architecture, planning, federal program management, and her husband’s residential contracting business.  She also owned a business designing homes and additions for clients.  In the winter she taught skiing. 

Her love of art and life was usually expressed through portraiture of humans or animals, and sometimes cartooning for fun. She was occasionally able to draw and paint during her various work and family obligations, but there was never enough time. One day she decided to stop working for everyone else and pursue art. She continued her education at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and through workshops with several internationally recognized artists, who influenced her work.   

She lives in Concord Township with her husband, and three Border Collies, in a house she designed and her husband built. Luckily, he built her an art studio, too. When not working they like to hike and ski with their kids and grandkids, and enjoy their dogs and little woods and gardens. She loves all kinds of music and enjoys playing the piano. Her family loves getting together with guitars, friends, and voices for “whatever happens” jam sessions. 

She is an associate member of Allied Artists of America, Portrait Society of America, and is a juried member of the Pastel Society of America. Her work can be seen at Stella’s Gallery, Willoughby.  She is also on the Board of Trustees of the Tri-County Fair Housing Resource Center, where she can continue to contribute to community needs.  

Her recent accomplishments include various awards from local art exhibitions, including First Place at the Valley Art Center (2016) with her painting “Bright Daybreak of Peace”; and Best of Show at the May Show (2021), Lakeland Gallery, with her painting, “Irie Peace Fire”.  

Her work appears online at Allied Artists of America, Biennial Associate Member Exhibit, 2020-2022, and the 107th Annual Exhibit. 

Website:  www.cynthiabrewster.com

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