Brushing beyond boundaries: Gabby Margulies’ journey from studio art to art therapy at Rowan


Here at Rowan University, students are presented with opportunities to pursue whatever their passion or muse may be. Even if students are just interested in what that passion may have to offer, they need to look no further than the school to cater to the endless possibilities we have as college students, helping students like Gabby Margulies with her dream of becoming an art therapist.

Margulies is one of the many student artists here at Rowan University with a passion and thirst for creation. She grew up in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania attended Upper Merion Area High School, and is currently pursuing a BA in studio art with a concentration in painting along with a minor in psychology. Margulies considers her parents as driving factors in becoming infatuated with art as a child.

“My mom makes pottery and is passionate about art. My parents always encouraged me, signing me up for art camps and music lessons as a kid,” said Margulies. “Learning many modalities of art kept me intrigued in the arts, as there is always more to explore.” 

Margulies is a multimedia artist who doesn’t have a specific style and draws inspiration from others. A keen believer in experimentation, her experience here at Rowan has helped shift and alter the way she creates and she’s noticed the way it’s changed her work as well.

“As a multimedia artist, I take on many different styles and draw inspiration from artists with varying styles, experimenting to find out what I like. In my drawing, I find my lines to be looser and free,” said Margulies. “As I continue to learn and grow throughout studio art courses at Rowan, I notice that my work changes in new ways.”

There was a time in Margulies’ life when she questioned her capabilities as an artist and how they would be received by others, but eventually learned to pursue creativity and her feelings regardless of what others may think.

“Art felt like play when I was younger, as I don’t remember being too concerned with whether it was considered “good” or not,” said Margulies. “For some time as I got older, I felt stuck, worried about how it would be received by the audience. Nowadays, I feel pretty free to experiment with different media and styles, focusing on my experience of creating and expressing a feeling.”

Beyond her parents’ encouragement, Margulies finds inspiration from artists like Paul Cézanne and Claude Monet. Her inspirations are also driven by nature, the little details that can be conveyed in art, and how we behave as humans.

“Nature inspires me in many ways, including humans and how we behave,” said Margulies. “I am inspired by beauty in the small moments, including the feeling you get from specific people and places. Portraits are interesting because it is an opportunity to convey something about the subject besides their appearance.”

“I create art because it allows me to experience flow, and get lost in the act of making something,” said Margulies. “Art also lets me express things I cannot say with words, in a way that makes sense to me. Part of the challenge is learning how to convey that meaning to other people. Being immersed in an environment at Westby with so much talent and constant production motivates me to keep creating and improving.”

Margulies’ end goal here at Rowan is to become an art therapist, using her knowledge of art and her passion for it as a means to help others discover the positive mental-health impacts that art can have on one’s mind, further deepening the bond art has and what the definition of art can be.

“My goal is to become an art therapist and help others embrace creative practices to connect with their thoughts and emotions,” said Margulies. “I believe that every individual has the potential to create art and that creating art has the power to transform emotional states.”

“I believe that everything is art. I don’t think the concept of art is limited to tangible objects like a painting or sculpture but can include the people and moments we experience,” said Margulies. “The way someone speaks, the patterns in the tree branches, and your favorite song. The way we interact with and treat each other can be described as art.”

Margulies promotes her art through her Instagram handle @whatgabbysees, Margulies further pushes what College and Rowan University specifically are all about, using her passion and means to create something deeper, using her passion for art and pursuing a goal that will help others in the long run. People like Margulies are the type that we want to proudly represent Rowan and it’ll be exciting to see what she continues to do.

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