Here in the Woodlands, you can’t miss sweet Gloria K. attending almost every church service, special event, or activity – especially if it is arts or painting. Gloria’s passion for art and travel are apparent through her engagement in the morning discussion and stories she shares with fellow residents. She is well known by staff for her beautiful smile and warm personality.
Gloria is a Washington, D.C., native born in 1944. She enjoyed growing up in D.C. with her younger brother and was raised Catholic – and her faith still remains very important to her. In her early twenties, Gloria applied to be a part of the Foreign Service and was accepted to become a secretary! She worked her way up during her time as a Foreign Service officer and was able to travel to many different places.
Gloria served in the Foreign Service for nearly 30 years in a wide array of places such as Bogota, Colombia; Lagos, Nigeria; Monrovia, Liberia; Colombo, Sri Lanka; and Kinshasa, The Democratic Republic of the Congo. She notes that Sri Lanka was her favorite place to live and holds a special place in her heart because of the people. Gloria’s extensive travels shaped her life and love of art. During her career, Gloria also had the opportunity to meet big stars such as Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte; pictures she has taken with them proudly stand displayed in her room. After retirement in 1995, Gloria was able to focus on her art and began experimenting with photography to capture her artistic vision.
Gloria’s focus was on conceptual and fine art through mixed media such as textiles, polymer clay and photographs. Her artworks are influenced by her life experiences and portray themes of spiritual and personal identity. She has had her art widely published and exhibited, and has appeared in a variety of catalogues, articles and art galleries. Gloria’s art has been exhibited throughout the U.S., Ghana, Sierra Leone, Brazil and Cuba! She was even noted in a CBS article titled, “Best Artistic Photographers in D.C.” It reads, “Gloria has been in photography since 1995 with work exhibited nationwide. As a D.C. native who has spent many years abroad, her work takes on themes of local and international significance. As a Black female artist, much of her work deals with identity and nationhood. Gloria has had a profound place in the D.C. arts scene. She is well-recognized as a superb artist, winning dozens of awards throughout the district and the nation.” You can see some of Gloria’s work on the U.S. Department of State website under “Art in Embassies.”
Gloria has one son, Wesley, and she loves to spend time with his family – especially her sweet, 7-year-old granddaughter. Today, Gloria maintains her curious spirit and passion for art, most recently working on some abstract paintings with her friend Nancy. We are so lucky to have Gloria’s talented and beautiful spirit with us here in the Woodlands!