She began her career teaching art to young children in the Hudson Valley and
until 2012 directed two graduate programs at Winthrop: the Master of Arts in
Arts Administration and the Master of Arts in Art Education. She is a
letterpress printer and book artist and has worked as an illustrator and
specialty painter in New York and the Carolinas.
Gardner has received numerous grants and awards in the areas of pedagogy,
service learning, arts education, book arts, and letterpress printing. In
2015-16 she and colleague Dr. Laura Dufresne were awarded a National Endowment
for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Seminar for College Teachers Grant to lead a
transdisciplinary investigation into the commonplace book to study how humans
managed information overload and made sense of the world before the digital
age. They led the seminar, Take Note and Remember: The Commonplace
Book and its American Descendants, to 16 university scholars
at UNCA in Asheville, N.C, July 2016.
Gardner continues her study and practice of letterpress printing and book arts
at Goodfriends Press in Charlotte, Penland, and BookWorks Asheville. She
exhibits her work regionally. Spring 2017 semester she will be on
sabbatical printing, working in a letterpress foundry, and
making books in Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina.