Koree-An Gilbert was born Chong-Ok in Seoul, South Korea, and was immediately abandoned to an orphanage. There she formed a special bond with another child, a bond that would ultimately save her life. When she was four, her best friend was adopted and taken to America by an English mother and Irish father, and it wasn’t until she was eight that, at the insistence of this best friend, they came back to look for and find Koree on the streets of Seoul. She then began her new, fresh life in the diminutive township of Gerry, New York. At first, unable to speak English, Koree-An doodled during class and drew the attention of her teacher, who soon made a visit to her mother. They both saw a future artist.
Koree-An’s first painting commission came when she was in sixth grade. Once she graduated, her artwork took off and garnered attention from the local community, and then expanded beyond her little town to larger cities, where she began a successful freelance career. Her paintings include works on canvas, furniture and glass. She is as noted for her portraits of buildings as for her portraits of people and animals. She became involved in community charities that included “Herd about Buffalo,” where she decorated one of the most noteworthy of the fiberglass buffaloes shown around Buffalo in 2000, and “Art on Wheels,” where she painted an automobile for a 2003 Buffalo festival.
Along the way Koree-An received many honors, among them the St Bonaventure award, five summer scholarships to SUNY Fredonia and the Chautauqua School of Art, and a range of one-woman exhibitions, notably at the University at Buffalo SUNY. She has also shown in Australia and England.
Koree-An recently broadened her creative interests to include fashion design and in 2008 received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree magna cum laude from the International Academy of Design and Technology, Chicago. While there she won several awards, among them a GM Student Design Competition scholarship and an invitat
diverse skilled painter and designer Chicago, IL
illustration and rendering Chicago, IL