Biography

Social activist artist, civil rights, the Civil War, Gettysburg, mass incarceration, justice, equality

Born in Indiana, I studied painting and printmaking at SACI in FLorence, Italy, received a BFA from Drake University, founded a graphic design studio in Kansas City, MO, and became creative director of Lang & Smith Advertising in St. Louis, Mo in 1986. Parenthood raised my awareness of arts education and I was fortunate to work with the St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM) as an arts educator for three years. As a museum teacher for the SLAM in the early 90's, I was impacted by the analogous relationship of historical narrative in Anselm Kiefer's work and the role of denial and myth in the American slave narrative. I developed and directed a symposium "Art For Our Time: A Multicultural Perspective," moderating a panel discussion of cultural leaders in St. Louis to discuss the role the arts play in bridging culture and diversity. Moving east near Philadelphia, PA in 1993, I founded a multi-disciplinary art school, Cultural Arts in Progress! (CAPS!) based on the methodology of the Art in the Basic Curriculum (ABC) Program at SLAM. Teaching a a fine art curriculum in the context of Cultural Diversity and Art History, CAPS! served almost 5,000 students between 1996 and 2006. Three floods and 18 months later, CAPS! melded into The Artists of Yardley and I moved on to continue my professional art practice. Since 2006, I have taken extensive printmaking courses at Parsons, The New School, investigated my relationship to the the work of Anselm Kiefer during an art residency at Mass MoCA Assets for Artists in North Adams, MA in 2015 and am currently pursuing an MLA in Visual Arts at Harvard Extension School and collaborating with Trenton, NJ graffiti artists and Trenton Elementary School teachers and students, to create a pilot program integrating the arts and historical legacy to enrich the school environment. 

In my ongoing art practice, I pursue the myth of "freedom and justice for all" and the denial of racial equality and social justice. The (ongoing) Civil War in the United States, its influence on our culture, laws and civil society are the focus of my lens. I have participated in over 50 group/juried exhibitions and 5 solo exhibitions.

 

Partial List of Exhibitions

2016 

150 Years After the Civil War, Nassau Club Solo Exhibition, Princeton, NJ

Generation Next, Invitational, West Windsor Arts Center, Princeton Junction, NJ

Tangled Roots, Muse GallerySolo Exhibition , Philadelphia, PA (September)

2015

Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series, Semi-Finalist Exhibition, Rush Gallery, NYC

Mass MoCA Assets for Artists Residency, North Adams, MA

Out Of Line, MUSE Gallery Solo Exhibition, Philadelphia, PA

The Red ShowCheryl Hazan Contemporary, , New York City, NY

Mill One Open Studio, Hamilton, NJ

Princeton Arts Council, Princeton, NJ

HomeFront, Princeton, NJ

2014

Snowflake Salon Invitational, Philadelphia, PA

Pinot to Picasso, Princeton, New Jersey

Indigo Gallery, Princeton, New Jersey

Bucks Beautiful, Invitational Art Exhibit, Bucks County, PA

Open Studio and Art Auction to Benefit ArtSpace, Princeton, New Jersey

MUSE Gallery Members' Exhibition (Act 1) Philadelphia, PA

2013

Indigo Gallery, Princeton, New Jersey

Pinot to Picasso, Princeton, New Jersey

ArtJam, Princeton, New Jersey

2012 

Princeton Arts Council: Members Exhibition, Pinot to Picasso Exhibition 

ArtJam, Princeton, New Jersey

“Best of Bucks” Juried Exhibition: Doylestown, PA 

2011 

Spheres & Foundations, Cynthia Groya & Cindy Besselaar, Pennington, NJ 

Absolutely Abstract, Philadelphia, PA 

Art Jam, Princeton, NJ 

Best of Bucks, Doylestown, PA 

Make a Wish (Juror), Washington Crossing, PA 

Snowflake Salon, Church Street, Philadelphia, PA 

Solo Exhibition: 

2010 

Pulling Paint Solo Exhibition, MUSE Gallery Philadelphia, PA 

Absolutely Abstract Juried Exhibition, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia 

New Members Show MUSE Gallery Philadelphia, PA 

New Dimensions, Rafael Novoa Gallery New Hope, PA 

Ellarslie Open Annual Juried Exhibition , Trenton, NJ 

Salon at Artworks, Trenton, NJ 

Bucks County Community College AOY Exhibition 

Elm Lowne Invitational, Annual Women's Night Out, Yardley, PA 

2009 

Anniversary Show” MUSE Gallery Philadelphia, PA 

Picasso Gallery Juried Exhibition, Washington, D.C. 

Newman Gallery, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA 

Philadelphia Sketch Club Juried Exhibition of Small Paintings, 

Ellarslie Open Annual Juried Exhibition Trenton, NJ 

2008 

Synergy of Interior Design & Fine Art” Rafael Novoa Interiors, New Hope, PA 

Points of Reference” ARTWORKS Gallery, Trenton, NJ 

Absolutely Abstract” Juried Exhibition, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia 

AOY Juried Exhibition , Laceworks Gallery, Lambertville, NJ 

79th Annual Phillips Mill Juried Exhibition , Phillips Mill, New Jersey 

2007 

Sizeable & Signicant Jason Craighead, Cynthia Groya, Luis Bujalance Bucks Gallery of Fine Art, Newtown, PA 

Messages: Spoken & Unspoken Silva Gallery of Fine Art, Pennington, NJ 

Group Show , Delaware River Gallery, Yardley, PA 

2006 and Earlier 

AOY Group Show Gallery of Fine Art, Newtown, PA 2006 

CAPS! Faculty Exhibition Yardley, PA 1996 - 2006 annually 

Abstract Realities” Crittenden Gallery, St. Louis, MO 1993 

Art St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 1992, 1991, 1990 

Prints, Drawings & Pastels , St. Louis Artists Guild, Webster Groves, MO 1991 

Awards: 

2010 Best of Show, Printmaking Ellarslie Open Juried Exhibition Trenton, NJ 

2009 Honorable Mention: Philadelphia Sketch Club Small Paintings Exhibition, 

Philadelphia, PA 

2008 First Place, AOY Annual Exhibition, Laceworks Gallery, Lambertville, NJ 

 

Education:

MLA Harvard University, (current student) Visual Arts 2016-Current

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Assets for Artists Residency 2015

Experimentatl Acrylic Workshops with Csilla Sadlock 2010

Printmaking, Parsons The New School, NYC 2006 - 2010

BFA Drake University, Des Moines, IA 

SACI, Studio Art Center International, Florence, Italy

 

Teaching/Writing Experience:

St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO (Curriculum ABC Program) 1989-93

Symposium Director "Art for Our Time: A Multicultural Perspective," COCA, St. Louis, MO 1992

Bucks County Community College, Newtown, PA 1994-95

Newtown Friends School, Newton, PA (Middle School Curriculum) 1995 -1997

CAPS! Cultural Arts in Progress, Yardley PA (501(c)3), Founder interdisciplinary/multicultural art school. Developed curriculum/lead teacher for students K-Adult 1996-2006

Bucks Country Homeschool Network Curriculum Director/Instructor, Yardley, PA 2006-2010

SHARE, Trenton, NJ, Mentor Soup Kitchen clients, developed workship video award winner (RED) youtube.com/watch?v=jFUEw4yNdeE   2010

The Pennington School, Pennington, NJ, Gallery/Workshop Director 2011-2012

Artists of Yardley, Experimental Acrylic Workshops, 2010 - 2012

Panel Discussion: The Creative Spirit Harry I. Naar, Cynthia Groya, John Suler, Anne Sears Rider University, September 2013

Jasno P

ArtSpace, Trenton, NJ  Division of HomeFront NJ, Volunteer Teacher 2013-2015

Project Manager, Mural Arts Project, Gregory Elementary School, Trenton, NJ Current

Creator/Producer Educational Videos addressing social justice, inner city renewal and mass incarceration (See Video and Residency Links) 2016 - Current

 

 

 

Bibliography:

Gallery Gameplan: It’s First Friday, people

SEPTEMBER 02, 2016

MIKALA JAMISON

http://www.phillyvoice.com/gallery-gameplan-its-first-friday-people/

"Through Plexiglass, Darkly" Artist Cynthia Groya's New Work in Princeton Views Civil War Through Abstract Art" Jan. 29, 2016 

http://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/life-style/local-feature/cynthia-...

The Sly Fox Film Reviews: Tangled Roots - kamwilliams.com

"Reflecting on War Through Art" by Anthony Stoeckert, Princeton Packet (centraljersey.com) 

Shrift, Gwen "Spirit of the Age" PhillyBurbs.com March 28, 2010 "A Morrisville artist interprets contemporary culture... " 

Valerie Reed “Celebrating creativity, culture” Philadelphia Inquirer, 2002