Two practices, listening to stories and interactive engagement with communities, tie together Bornstein’s 43 years of making studio and public art. She began developing these methods while working with Haida basket weaver Lena Dunstan, who taught her to “make her own song by the sounds around you”. The connective tissue of her performance art, artist books, sculpture, installations, and public art are the hidden voices or counter-narratives she seeks to make heard. She calls her art visual poetry where textual and visual elements are interwoven.
Born in the Bronx, NY, Gloria Bornstein attended Hunter College (cum laude 1958), worked in Atelier 17, Paris (1963) and received an MA in Psychology from Antioch University (1979). From 1979-81 she taught performance and developed the interdisciplinary art program at Cornish College. She taught sculpture and public art at the University of Washington from 1991-2005. The artist practiced psychotherapy for 21 years from 1980-2001. She joined Fuel Gallery (1988-91), showed “Still Life” at the Seattle Art Museum (Documents Northwest Poncho Award 2002) and “Public Document” at The Jewish Museum, NY. Her retrospective, “Retelling, Gloria Bornstein 1975-1998” was exhibited at the Bellevue Art Museum. Her public art commissions are placed on the campus of Eastern Washington University, The Seattle Center, Regional Communications and Emergency Coordination Center, Harborview Medical Center and the Azabu Juban neighborhood, Tokyo. She received multiple awards including, the first 2017 Sola Grant, a Washington group that "honors one female artist over 65 for her lifetime contribution to the arts and rewards her energy, vision, persistence, and dedication to maintaining creative momentum over the long haul". Past awards include AIA Project of the month (2009), Design Excellence Award, (2005), Seattle Artists Awards (1993,1995), Artists Trust Gap (2001), Art Matters (1990), Artist Trust Visual Arts Award (1990), Socrates Sculpture Park (1990).