Gaul Culley

Artist Statement

artist amberly a gaul culley - imageAs an advocate of environmental education, my working methodology is Abstract Realism combined with community/place-based learning. My art describes visual aspects of nature that have a universal significance of refuge, sanctuary, transformation and healing.

As Aristotle stated, “The aim of Art is to present not the outward appearance of things, but their inner significance; for this, not the external manner and detail, constitutes true reality.”

Over the last five years my art practice has focused on understanding and using my visual art tools to articulate the history and significance of water to the communities that I have lived in.

In part, the work focuses on how identity is linked to place. My interest in this genre of work began in 2009, while living in San Francisco near Lake Merced. Lake Merced has been used as a municipal water source for the city of San Francisco since 1860 while continuing to be a place of recreation for residents. It was established as a city park in the 1950’s and continues to evolve as a major water, recreational and natural resource. Migratory birds depend on this large freshwater lake, located on the Pacific coast flyway, as a place of refuge,rest and cleansing while on their journey.


In San Francisco I was introduced to the industrial processes that include the CNC Waterjet machine. This new tool enabled me to scale my work for public site-specific art, and environmental educational display, with materials appropriate for both indoor and outdoor use.

The Sammamish River, located just north of Seattle in the Cascade Foothills, was the portal into the densely  wooded areas that have now been developed into the cities of Redmond, Woodinville, Bothell and Kenmore. This easily navigable yet meandering river allowed settlers a means of transporting goods and services to and from the city of Seattle, provided nourishment to the agricultural community.  The river now guides bicycles and pedestrians along the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish River Trails. I have used the creative process to not only create visual artworks, but also engagement events for the communities that lie along this river. My work has received acclaim from King County Art’s organization 4Culture, along with media sources like the Seattle Times. In addition, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, King County Council member Rod Dembowski, the City of Kenmore, the Snohomish-King County Watershed Council and the Friends of the North Creek Forest, have honored me for my contributions in engaging the public with this significant river.


a gaul culley portrait - image

A Gaul Culley Resume – click here to download or view resume in pdf format.