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Gwen O’Brien

Distinguished Alumni Award
‘97, Graphic Design

As Creative Director and Principal at Plenty Creative, a Grand Rapids design studio, Gwen O'Brien is daily steeped in all things visual. This love for art and design was nurtured at an early age – Gwen always loved art class in school, she had an extremely fun and creative mom (former Kendall College of Art and Design instructor Jeanette O'Brien), she attended Kendall's summer youth programs, and even began studying interior design as a high school student (her mother owned an interior design firm where Gwen worked every day after school). Later, Gwen attended Kendall College of Art and Design as a scholarship student, graduating with a degree in graphic design in 1997.

In 2003, Gwen and Dottie Rhodes opened Plenty Creative. They have pulled together a team of top creative professionals, collaborating to create and execute the most effective messaging for a variety of clients, including SOLACE magazine.

In addition to her love for creating art and design, Gwen is dedicated to the Grand Rapids community, serving as Vice President of the AIGA West Michigan chapter she helped start. She also served Kendall College of Art and Design on their Alumni board for many years, becoming President in 2008-2009. And yes, Gwen is passionate about things other than design, like yoga, animal advocacy, and working to end factory farming.