gene gnida  -  bio


Gene Gnida was born and grew up in Somers, New York.  He designed a house and saw it built at age 16.  He received his Bachelor’s degree in History from Concordia University in Montreal, but found himself drawn back to the world of art, sculpting in Stone, Bronze and wood.  In the late Sixties, Gnida’s work was shown in Canadian galleries, and in 1968, Bell Canada sponsored a solo exhibition of Gnida’s sculptures at its pavilion at the Montreal Expo fairgrounds.

Seeking to hone his woodworking craft further, Gnida studied in the early 1970’s with Ian Kirby, the renowned founder and director of the Kirby School of Design, then in Bennington, Vermont.  By the mid 70’s, Gnida had settled into a career as a furniture designer and woodworker.  In 1983, Fine Woodworking Magazine chose his work for publication in its Design Book Series. 

Gene met his wife, Talya Baharal, a jewelry designer, in 1984, and moved to New York City to begin his own company, Integrated Interiors, specializing in furniture and cabinetry design.

Over the years, the continuous creative collaboration of Gene and his wife had a broad and sweeping influence on each other’s work.  The artistic and personal relationship flamed their innately intense curiosity and attraction for working with new forms, materials and techniques.  In 1988, they decided to channel their creative energies together and as a team founded Baharal-Gnida Designs.  The confluence of Gnida’s creativity with sculptural forms and strong technical abilities as well as Baharal’s strong conceptual and design sense has impacted their individual as well as collaborative efforts and and their work has evolved into gallery caliber jewelry and sculpture pieces.

By 1989, their work was accepted into the Smithsonian Institution’s annual craft show and the American Craft Council juried shows.  In the following years they also exhibited their work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art craft show, American Craft Expo in Evanston, Il., and Crafts at the Castle in Boston.  Throughout the 1990’s and up until today Gene and Talya continue to exhibit their work at well-known galleries across the United States.  They have also taught a workshop at Peters Valley Craft Center in New Jersey and Gene taught a die-forming workshop at Suny New Paltz.   Their jewelry collaborations have been published in American Craft, Ornament Magazine and in Dona Meilach’s new book ART Jewelry Now published in 2003.

In the mid nineties, whilst still collaborating with his wife on the jewelry and metal sculptures, Gene turned his creative energies to ceramics.  He has been exploring the world of clay for the last eight years and has reconnected with his sculpting roots.

Clay’s earthy and sculptural qualities have created a new and fresh energy in his work.  Inspiration of nature’s crusty textures, rock formations and primitive clay building techniques are the primary motivation in his ceramic work.  Gnida showed his clay work for the first time at the American Craft Council show in San Francisco in 2000 and won Best of show prize awarded by the San Francisco Museum of Folk and American Art.  Gnida’s work was featured in Ceramics Monthly Magazine in 2001.  His ceramic work has been shown in the Virginia Breier Gallery in San Francisco, Iota Gallery in Dallas, the Woodstock Guild show at the Kleinart Galley in Woodstock,  NY, Objects of Desire, Louisville,  KY, and the Marna Anderson Gallery in New Paltz, New York.   The most recent solo show was at Obsidian Gallery, Tucson, AZ.  He was part of a four person show at the Catskill Mountain Foundation - “Artisan as Sculptor” show in July 2004.

Gene Gnida and his wife, Talya, live and work in the Hudson Valley just north of New Paltz, New York.