Gail Werner earned her M.F.A. in drawing and painting from California State University, Long Beach in 1985. She is a painter working in oil, mixed media, and encaustic. She also specializes in the monotype printmaking process. The Southern California desert and mountain landscapes, plant and animal life, and cultural elements related to her Native American background, such as creation stories and traditional songs, basketry designs, and pictographs (ancient rock art), inspire her work. She is part Cupeño, Luiseño, and Kumeyaay, three tribes located in north San Diego County.
Recent shows include Voices from the Rez, at the La Jolla Historical Society, Stories of the Land, at the Santa Ana College Art Gallery, Common Ground, at the Embed Gallery in Chatsworth, The Skies Above, sponsored by the Autrey Museum at the Historic Southwest Museum Mt. Washington Campus in Los Angeles, Protecting Mother Earth, at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton, Meditations, a four-person inaugural exhibit of the new Long Beach arts registry at the Collaborative gallery, and The Sweet Breathing of Plants: Indigenous Arts of the Neshkinukat Artists at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden Library. She painted a mural for the 2016 POW! WOW! Mural Festival in downtown Long Beach and has been commissioned to paint a mural by the La Jolla Mural Project in 2023.
"Landscape, color, light and imagery, abstract designs, stories and songs from my Native American background–all of these elements merge together for me to evoke a sense of place." – Gail Werner