Throughout her art career, Rene Gibson has been motivated and inspired by three things: nature, combining many, very small pieces to create a larger piece and bringing something back to ‘life’. For the past decade, Rene has taken ordinary animal skulls and transformed them into unique pieces of art using Swarovski crystals, beads, gemstones, smalti glass and various other mixed media elements. The joy for Rene is to contrast what people may consider to be ugly with its own beauty. “Bringing out the inherent beauty of each animal is my way to honor the spirit of the animal.”
With an undergraduate degree in interior design, the Pennsylvania native creates pieces with an awareness of how they would be incorporated into a client’s home. As such, the patterns and color combinations she uses are considerate of an interior design perspective. While living in Ireland, Rene earned a Master of Philosophy in Women’s Studies from Trinity College Dublin. Upon returning to the United States, she began to focus more on creating art rather than interior design.
After a breast cancer diagnosis, Rene turned her work from skulls to Swarovski, recently completing a ten-foot marlin covered in approximately 100,000 Swarovski crystals. Marlin has been recently featured in Marlin Magazine and the Palm Beach Post.
While most of Rene’s sales are to private collectors, both domestic and international, two of her skulls have been shown on the Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible show, “Cap’n and the Cowboy” episode. She has exhibited at the Western Design Conference 2012 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and her work has been featured in several publications including Western Art and Architecture, Cowboys and Indians, Palm Beach Illustrated, Cowgirl, Marlin Magazine, Palm Beach Post, Elle (Belgium Edition) and the web edition of Vogue Paris to name a few.
Rene, a mother of three, lives in Florida and is currently working on new projects using Swarovski crystals.