Gail Newman was born in Queens, New York and started sketching at an early age. However, she was discouraged by her 6th grade art teacher who commented to Gail that, “You may draw better than the others, but I’m giving you a ‘C’ because you don’t do enough work!” Newman moved to Cleveland in 1968, and it was then that her passion for her art resurfaced. Her husband encouraged her to take her art seriously and she enrolled at the Cleveland Institute of Art. After off and on studying, she was inspired by the work and instruction of John Pearson, a painter and mentor to Newman. Carl Floyd also influenced her work by introducing Newman to power tools and the concept of negative space. She says that although she started out as a painter she was always meant to be a woodworker; she was “waiting like sleeping beauty, to be awakened to the possibilities of a powerful band saw, and in a sculpture class at the Cleveland Institute of Art this alchemy occurred.”
While at the Cleveland Institute of Art, she attracted the attention of Roger Welchans, who helped Newman get her first show at John Carroll University. Throughout her life her work has been exhibited in a variety of places around Ohio, Illinois, Maryland, and New York. Her work was exhibited in Oberlin in an exhibition entitled, “Drawings” and her collections are all over the United States.
Newspapers, vacations, street scenes, and her own life experiences have inspired Newman’s artwork, which include, but are not limited to, layered reliefs, small sculptures, and paintings.