Gwen Miller Wagner was born and raised in Albuquerque. She received her bachelor’s degree in studio art from the University of New Mexico in 2008, where she fell in love with printmaking. She works primarily in etching and occasionally in linoleum or wood cut. Gwen has loved nature all her life, and has consistently returned to using imagery from nature in her artwork, with a focus on trees over the last few years. She loves New Mexico and much of her work incorporates local tree species, but she also likes to travel and uses photos collected in other places for inspiration as well.
She uses imagery from nature in her artwork because it can be made to relate to the human experience in many ways. Trees in particular attract her attention because they can have so much history to them, evident in their growth patterns and positioning, that in people is usually hidden beneath the surface. They are a metaphor for narrative - the stories we tell ourselves and others about who we are which in turn make up who we are. Due to internal and external factors, both people and trees can change dramatically throughout their lives. The circular motifs used in these pieces represent factors that can be the gentle (or not-so-gentle) impetus for personal change.