About Fine Artist Cindy Chinn
I am a full-time Artist and when I create artwork, I am reminded how lucky I am to have the freedom to do I as choose. That wasn’t always the case in my fast paced world during a long corporate art career. Now that I live in Nebraska, I am able to fulfill my goal of being a fine artist and having the space to explore my many interests.
I work in a wide range of mediums and ship work around the world. Currently I am kept very busy with commissions for my scrap metal art. So if you’re looking for me, there’s a good chance I’m in the welding shop!
After seeing a few carved pencil leads online, I decided to try make one and enter it in a miniature show at a local gallery. I had a lot of fun with it and later in the year, the image went viral across the internet. I was soon swamped with inquiries and commissions and began forging a new path in my art career. I didn’t set out to become “an internationally renowned pencil carver”, but as they say, “if the shoe fits…”.
I have always had a fondness for creating artwork from regular items and my pencil art is a reflection of that long held tradition. I also work in metal and have spent a lot of time creating artwork from common tools like saws and other rusty tools.
I still keep my paint brushes nearby and have worked on several large murals in a variety of public spaces from hospitals to libraries and even a movie theatre.
The Former Chester School was built in 1907 and purchased by Art Whitton and myself in 2006, moving from Las Vegas to Nebraska later that year.
There is a lot of history in this old building as well as square footage, 33,000+ of classroom space which I have turned into art studios, a full gym which we should use more often, and it sits on 3.5 acres of lawn that some would consider a full-time job.
Mainly, it is “our home/office”, though from time to time I have art workshops and hold special viewings of my larger canvas mural projects before they are shipped off to be installed.
Every Christmas we decorate the front of the school for the holidays and entertain the community and travelers from near and far, with a Light and Sound Show of Christmas Lights timed to music. Visitors park out front and tune their radios into an FM station and watch the show. Each year this projects grows through donations from our supportive community.
My future plans for the school are to turn it into an Artist Retreat, where artists of all skill levels and disciplines can get away for a weekend or a week for private lessons and group classes, or to work on a special project on their own.
Special thanks to Art Whitton Photography for capturing my varied work through the lens. Almost all photos on this site were shot by Art.
Recently I have re-discovered a love for wood carving. I have completed a number of commissions and am truly enjoying finding the secrets hidden in a piece of wood. I carved three vintage church pews and added backlit glass mosiacs to them. As a fine artist, I relish the challenges that come with this outlet for my creativity.
-Cindy Chinn (2021)
2021: Featured on NET’s show “Nebraska Stories“
2021: Accepted into group show at Hilliard Gallery in Kansas City, “Things Called Art”
2021: Featured on NET / PBS Radio Show, “Friday Live” in March
2020: Featured on “Good Day Sacramento” for my metal artwork, pencils and wood carving.
2019: Featured in Disney’s “Art Workshop” series on social media, video receives over 2 million views on Instagram.
2019-20: Exhibited at Hilliard Gallery in Kansas City “Small Works” show (and longer).
2019: Exhibited at the Scrap Metal Art Show hosted by the Souq Waqif Art Center in Doha, Qatar (Oct / Nov)
2019: Selected to design Nebraska stripe for national project, Her Flag 2020
2019: Showed at Gallery 9‘s Silver Anniversary Alumni Show – July
2019: Showed at The Grove – A Gallery – Feb-May
2018: Featured on Top Woodcarving Blogs at Toolazine.com
2018: Featured on Blogging.com for Art Blogs
2018: Exhibit at ‘The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures‘ – pencil carvings
2017: Featured in the Fall issue of “Sparks” magazine.
2017: Featured in the book “Creative Extremes“, published in October
2017: Featured in July issue of Home Review magazine
2017: Featured in Dollhouse Miniature Magazine (Mar/Apr issue)
2017: Featured in Nebraska Life Magazine (Jan/Feb issue)
2016: One woman show at the Minden Opera House Art Gallery – Nov / Dec.
2016: Created a custom theatre chair for Bonham Theatre’s Chair-ity Auction
2016: Rated #72 on a list of the top 100 Art Blogs – feedspot.com
2016: Exhibited at Art House LA (Los Angeles) – Miniature Show – February.
2015: Featured on numerous websites such as Bored Panda as an image of my carved pencil went ‘viral’ online.
2015: Prairie Winds Gallery, Grand Island – Two Honorable Mentions, 16th Annual National Miniature Show
2014: Commissioned to create 8’x10′ mural for community movie theatre.
2014: Nebraska State Fair – Awarded title of “All Nebraska Artist – Best Fine Craft”
2014 Prairie Winds Gallery, Grand Island – Honorable Mention, 15th Annual National Miniature Show
2013: Commissioned to create 17′ x 50′ mural for Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Norfolk, VA
2013: Commissioned to create a 4′ x 8′ mural for the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters in Las Vegas
2013: Lincoln Art Fair – Voted Top Nebraska Artist
2013: Nebraska State Fair – Awarded title of “All Nebraska Artist – Best Fine Art”
(3rd ever recipient)
2013: Only artist in the history of the Nebraska State Fair to win the best of show in all three categories (Best Fine Art, Best Fine Craft, Best 3D Art) – Photo
2013: Exhibited at Nebraska Governor’s Mansion
2007: Commissioned to create a 4’x4′ mural, a 4’x8′ mural as well as 25′ circular ceiling mural for a dentist’s office in Charlotte, NC
2004: Commissioned to create 5 large murals, 3D trees and other work at the Summerlin Hospital in Las Vegas, NV