After receiving a Masters of Fine Arts from California College of Arts and Crafts in 1977, she began exhibiting her work in the San Francisco Bay Area where she continues to live and work. Carnwath taught at the University of California from 1982 to 2010; she is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.
In 2009 The Oakland Museum organized a large survey of Carnwath’s work, “Squeak Carnwath; Painting is no Ordinary Object.” Museum Director Lori Fogarty said, “This show confirms Carnwath’s groundbreaking artistry and stature as one of California’s leading contemporary artists.” The exhibition’s companion book, “Painting Is No Ordinary Object,” is a 160-page retrospective of Carnwath’s career.
Awards include the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art (SECA) Award from San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, two Individual Artist Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Award for Individual Artists from the Flintridge Foundation.
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