By Jennifer Gillooly Cahoon
Jennifer Gillooly Cahoon is a self-taught painter and owner of HeARTspot Art Center and Gallery in East Providence. She attended Rhode Island College in the 90s, supplementing her art education in both England and Italy where she studied sculpture. She worked as a public school teacher for nearly two decades in the fields of special and art education, in her final years serving in the role of Art Department Chair. She resigned in 2015, and now runs her own business where she not only teaches, but curates an award-winning gallery and manages a gift shop.
Mainly known for her pop-culture ethereal portraits with a twist, Jennifer was described by art critic Don Wilkinson as “a high priestess” who creates paintings “which are expressionistic with an eye for detail (as she) has an eye for the eyes, the gateway of the soul.” In addition to her entrepreneurial work, Gillooly Cahoon is an active board member on the East Providence Arts Council and continues with her own art practice, often taking commissions and occasionally creating work for the Beyond the Diagnosis traveling exhibit.
In her first year of business, she received the Best Gallery in RI award in the ProJo Readers’ Choice Awards. Her artwork is collected internationally, has been exhibited and sold widely regionally, and has been featured nationwide in places such as the National Institute of Health, the Mayo Clinic, the Broad Institute, at Harvard Medical School where she was invited to speak, and on CBS Sunday Morning via her Beyond the Diagnosis work.