Gwen Heffner currently works at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea where she directs and handles the agency’s public relations and social media, coordinates the center’s year-round programming (more than 52 events), designs graphics for print and digital ads, and documents Center events. At the Center she also curates four to six annual exhibitions and works as an independent curator across the country. She has extensive writing experience for print publications and has worked with all media.
Heffner has led workshops on promotion and advocacy, sessions in strategic planning and organizational development and facilitated regional meetings for the Kentucky Arts Council. She has given sales and promotion training sessions to artists for the Ohio Arts Council, and has been a moderator or panel member at numerous state and national conferences. These include the American Craft Council, Ohio Designer Craftsmen and the former Craft Organization Development Association, where she led discussions on a wide variety of topics of importance to craft artists and arts organizations.
Heffner’s strong communication and people skills, along with her extensive arts background, networking and advocacy for the arts, give her the ability to work with groups of all sizes, from public forums to smaller group settings. Her consulting focus areas are promotion, marketing, program development and strategic planning.
Heffner has served as a juror and consultant for numerous state and national arts organizations, including the Asheville Art Museum, the Ohio Craft Museum, the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville Clay, Culture Works and the Southern Highland Craft Guild.
Heffner has over 25 years of experience as a working ceramic artist wholesaling her line of porcelain nationwide. She also has 11 years of experience as a gallery owner and retailer in Berea. Her ceramic work is published in nine books and is in the collection of the American Museum of Ceramic Arts, the Ohio Craft Museum, the Mint Museum and the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.
For her contributions to the ceramics field and the arts in Kentucky, Heffner received the Rude Osolnik Award in 2008. She continues to exhibit her work and her teaching experience include sessions in porcelain at Arrowmont School of Crafts and the John C. Campbell Folk School. Heffner has served on the boards of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, the Berea Children’s Center and the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.