Deborah L. Hildinger

Deborah L. Hildinger

Gourd Art gourdsnthings@gmail.com

Deborah Hildinger received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas with a double major in Printmaking and Painting in 1979. Upon graduation, WED Show Production employed her as a finishing artist during the construction of EPCOT Center at Walt Disney World. She believes this to be one of the greatest learning experiences of her life. Before moving to California in 2004, Deborah was administrator of the permanent art collection at Orlando International Airport and responsible for the works of art produced by internationally acclaimed artists such as Doris Leeper, Miriam Schapiro, Jacob Lawrence, Duane Hanson, and Dale Chihuly. Ms. Hildinger is an award-winning artist in her own right within the mediums of printmaking, painting, pastel, digital imagery, and crafts. While in California, Deborah was employed as a Library Artist and Cultural Events Coordinator for the Santa Maria Public Library and an adjunct art instructor at Allan Hancock College.

One day while reading a local newspaper in California, she came across an article on gourds as a fine art craft. After researching the field, Deborah chose to move away from two-dimensional to three-dimensional art For Deborah; working with gourds has an element of the unknown that is so reminiscent from when she was involved with printmaking.  Today she follows an intuitive process with gourds, as no two are alike, letting the gourds tell her where to go next with each design.

Upon retirement in 2016, Deborah and her husband returned to Florida and settled in New Smyrna Beach. Where her dream to become a full-time artist finally came to fruition