DEBORAH WITHEY is a Welsh-American artist who moved to Wales in 2009 because her love of St. Davids, Pembrokeshire, kept calling her back. Somehow she inexplicably knew there would be no better place to inspire her creative growth. Now, her work is held in private collections in the States, Canada, Colombia, UK, Spain, South Africa and Australia.
2012 “Lifetime Achievement Award” the International Society of News Design’s highest honour, for her role as artist, journalist, and industry leader. One of just 5 woman to have received the award in the last 30 years. Deborah is an individual grant recipient from the Arts Council of Wales. Her collaborative project with the ACW is entitled “Crossings” “Croesi” in Welsh, and opened at Oriel y Parc, St. Davids, Pembrokeshire, December 2013 and ran through 10 February 2014.
2010 “Gyotaku” fish monoprints exhibited in ART AT Rhos-y-gilwen.
2011 “Saints in Stones”-first solo exhibition,The Cloister Gallery, St. David’s Cathedral.
Collage relief inspired by the lives of the Celtic saints; reliefs with monoprints, sea stones and detritus.
2011 “Gyotaku” fish monoprints exhibited at St. Davids Studio Gallery.
2012 “Wishes for Wales” exhibition, the Bishop’s Palace, Deb’s creative project inspired by medieval art in Wales and made by more than 500 schoolchildren from England and Wales and supported by Cadw and Farms for City Children.
2013 – “The Welsh Alphabet Illustrated” – second solo exhibition, The Cloister Gallery, St. David’s Cathedral. Painting + Illustration combining her love of words + whimsy in 28 individual Welsh letter illustrations.
October 9 to 20, 2013 “Gyotaku” fish collage monoprints on rice paper and canvas, “Works on Paper”, Brick Lane Gallery, London
2014 “The Welsh Alphabet Illustrated – Continued!”, Torch Theatre Gallery, Milford Haven
“Darlunio/Illustrate” Penarth Pavilion, Cardiff
17 JUNE – 1 JULY 2014: “Boats” The Cloister Gallery, St. Davids Cathedral
22 AUGUST 2014: A special champagne and canapé open evening event, Hammett House, Cardigan, to launch “Coracles on the Teifi” exhibiting through October 2014.
COMMUNITY ART + TEACHING
2010 – Agored Cymru qualification in community arts, Reach the Heights, Small World Theatre, Cardigan.
2010-2012 – Lead Artist/St. Davids, for “Cauldrons + Furnaces”, the 2012 Welsh Cultural Olympiad project, a role involving art directing, teaching and collaborating with the local residents, St. Davids City Council, Cadw, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Pembrokeshire Schools, and Arts Care/Golaf.
2011 – Conceived a year-long Olympiad project funded in part by Cadw, for Farms for City Children, Treginnis Isaf, which brought visiting schoolchildren together with Welsh history in weekly art workshops. The children’s individual, expressive and thoughtful work culminated in an unique installation called “Wishes for Wales.” As a legacy to the project, Cadw has permitted the childrens’ artwork to remain permanently in the Bishop’s Palace, St. Davids.
2012 – Ysgol Dewi Sant, taught 12-week GCSE sculpture course creating winged-creatures for Olympiad performance.
POSITIONS HELD TO PRESENT
– Member of the board of directors of Arts Care/Golaf Celf, Carmarthenshire
– Arts tutor for Learning Pembrokeshire (first tutor in Pembrokeshire to lift classes historically classified as leisure into Agored Cymru accredited courses).
– Internal Verifier for art courses in Pembrokeshire
– Community artist leading nature drawing and printing in situ for mental health group, Walk with Friends.
– Tutor, Pembrokeshire County Council Springboard programme – art for families in disadvantaged areas.
– Duke of Edinburgh Award creative mentor
– Private tutor to Care in the Community. St. Davids.
– Creative workshops in Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and London, under the name Cheese + Pickles Studio.
PRE-WELSH CAREER 1986-2009
– Deputy managing editor for visuals + joint ventures, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk,, Virginia, an American publication with an international reputation for excellence in conceptual illustration, photojournalism, and narrative journalism. Led creative team of 70+ journalists and multi-award-winning redesign of The Pilot in 2006.
– Design director for Knight Ridder Publishing Corporation, USA
– Lecturer, School of Journalsim, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
– Design director, Detroit Free Press, Detroit, Michigan, USA
– Gold, silver, awards of excellence, for art direction, page design and illustration, Society of News Design
– Five of her newspaper designs chosen as the “World’s Best-Designed Newspapers”, Society of News Design
– Awards of Excellence, illustration, page design, New York Art Directors Club, Print Magazine, American Illustration.
– Charlatan Ink Art Prize, New York, for Gyotaku wet paper monoprint “Life, Forms, Merge”.
– Majeri Award for Innovation and Leadership in Graphic Journalism, Ball State University, Indiana, USA
– “Outstanding Civilian Service Medal”, United States Department of the Army, for her illustrations for “Children of Valor”, a book conceived and published for military families who lost loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
2012 “Lifetime Achievement Award” the International Society of News Design’s highest honour, for her role as artist, journalist, and industry leader. One of just 5 woman to have received the award in the last 30 years.
– Magna Cum Laude graduate, BFA Visual Communications, Syracuse University, New York
View her portfolio at deborah-withey.com; follow her on Pinterest; visit Cheese + Pickles Studio on Facebook; listen on Youtube to interviews with Deb about the Cultural Olympiad experience and the making of “Wishes for Wales”. Refences are available upon request