Shawna Gilbertson was born in Columbus, Montana and spent most of her childhood in northern Wyoming. She developed an interest in the fine arts very early in life. She was trained by local artist Karen Dunbar in her middle school and high school programs. Karen offered learnings in various media and was the first to encourage her to enter her work in juried competitions. She received many awards at local art shows and earned her way to the WY State Art Show all four years in high school, achieving awards every year. She was one of Wyoming’s most awarded students her senior year and the first from her town to receive a college scholarship to study art. Coupled with additional art scholarships and scholastic scholarships for her academic achievements she chose to study art at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming. At Northwest, she trained with a number of artists including John Giarrizzo and Lynn Thorpe. Training included drawing, 2D design, ceramics, sculpture, painting (acrylic and oil), and etching. After earning an Associate of Arts in Fine Arts, Shawna moved to Colorado where she decided to pursue her interest in math and science. She attended the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado and earned a B.S. in Geophysics and a M.S. in Geochemistry. Her training in the arts and sciences complimented each other well and she worked first as a shallow surface geophysicist and then as a petroleum geologist. After ten successful years in the highly technical and fast paced petroleum industry, she decided to return to her original passion for the arts.