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Jennifer Hawkins Paints What She Feels

New Anderson Artists Guild member Jennifer Hawkins is a long way from home in Auckland, New Zealand, where the weather was milder, the beaches were closer, and Christmas came in the summertime. But since landing here in 2005 with her new American husband, she’s never looked back.

After high school, she trained as a dental assistant before deciding to go into the restaurant and hospitality industry and completed her Kiwi Host certification in customer service, management and hospitality. She worked in restaurants and even had a bed and breakfast for a while.

When she came to America, she had to start at the bottom to get her foot in the door. She started as a hotel housekeeper. But she ascended quickly. Within just a few weeks, she was behind the front desk, and soon she was promoted to guest services manager. When the company was sold, she was promoted to the corporate office, where she rose from staff accountant to senior staff accountant. “I love the company,” she said. “It’s rare to come across a place with a group of people who are fun and enjoy each other’s company.”

To relax, especially during her husband’s five major surgeries, she turns to acrylic painting. “My art has always been an outlet when I’ve had some free time,” she said. “What I’m feeling is portrayed in what I’m painting.” One of her passions is astronomy, and a lot of her work has the moon in it, including a piece where she’s in silhouette reading a book on a swing with the moon in the background.

She works sometimes as a vendor under the name Kiwi Arts and Crafts.

To learn more about Hawkins, visit


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