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Woody Gwyn was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1944. At age 18, an encounter with Southwest artist Peter Hurd propelled Gwyn to pursue a formal education in the arts, and he made his way to Philadelphia to study at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. After school, Gwyn returned to the wide, western horizons of his childhood. His first solo exhibition was held at the Canyon Art Gallery in Texas in 1965.
In 1974, Gwyn migrated further west to New Mexico. He has maintained his studio in the isolated village of Galisteo, near Santa Fe, since 1976. In 2010, Gwyn received the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the highest artistic honor bestowed by the state.