M.F.A., Ceramics/Sculpture, Utah State University, Logan, UT, 1998
M.A., Ceramics, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, 1991
B.S., Art Education, Certified K-12, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, 1983
Dennise Gackstetter has lived a very migratory life. Her wanderings have taken her many places across the country and around the world. She has been a Lecturer of Art at Mohave Community College in Lake Havasu City, AZ and Juniata College in Huntington, PA, the Ceramics Coordinator at the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, NC, and an Instructor of English at the Miyagi Guakuin Women's College in Sendai, Japan. She is an accomplished ceramic artist whose work has been exhibited in many venues including Baltimore Clayworks in Baltimore, MD; Penland Gallery in Penland, NC; Vermont Clay Studio in Waterbury Center, VT; Duluth Art Institute in Duluth, MN, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN; Art Access Gallery in Salt Lake City, UT, and at the Hall Gallery in Portland, OR. Gackstetter has additional studio art experience and has conducted art workshops on hand-bound books, journal making, papermaking, weaving, and ceramics in colleges and public schools around the country.
A dedicated yogini and meditation practitioner, Gackstetter is a 500 hour certified yoga instructor with the International Yoga Alliance. These contemplative practices directly inform her art making, teaching, and daily life. In 2014 she presented a talk, "Body, Breath, Release" for the 3rd annual TEDxUSU; lead a discussion on "MIndfulness and Making" at the 48th annual conference of the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), and was part of a professional delegation of international yoga teachers that travelled to Cuba for cultural and educational exchange.