Gina Hyams is an artist, author, and editor based in Houston, TX. She recently published her first book of photography, Border Run (Muddy Puppy Media), which featured a foreword by Amy Wilenz.

Books that Gina has written include the gift book The Tanglewood Picnic: Music and Outdoor Feasts in the Berkshires (Muddy Puppy Media) and the bestselling travel-design titles In a Mexican Garden: Courtyards, Pools, and Open-Air Living Rooms and Mexicasa: The Enchanting Inns and Haciendas of Mexico, as well as Pacific Spas: Luxury Getaways on the West Coast, Day of the Dead Box, Incense: Rituals, Mystery, Lore (all published by Chronicle Books).

Books that she’s edited include Country Living Decorating with White (Hearst Books and German edition by Busse Collection) and The Campfire Collection: Thrilling, Chilling Tales of Alien Encounters (Chronicle Books). She co-edited with Susan Davis the anthology Searching for Mary Poppins: Women Write About the Relationship Between Mothers and Nannies  (Hudson Street Press and Plume, divisions of Penguin U.S.A.). She has also edited two independently published art books: Whispers in the Thread/Susurros en el Hilo by Lena Bartula (La Huipilista Press) and Common Tide: Port Aransas, Texas by Billie Mercer (Mercer Press).

She is the creator of the “In a Box” series of culinary contest book-kits published by Andrews McMeel Publishing that includes Pie Contest in a Box: Everything You Need to Host a Pie Contest, Chili Cook-Off in a Box: Everything You Need to Host a Chili Cook-Off, and Christmas Cookie Contest in a Box: Everything You Need to Host a Christmas Cookie Contest.

Gina’s photographs have been exhibited at Fábrica la Aurora’s Chrysalis Studio and Carey Berkus Designs in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, as well as at Sohn Fine Art Gallery in Lenox, MA, the Alchemy Initiative in Pittsfield, MA, and Art on Main in Great Barrington, MA. Notecards made from her images were sold at Mixta in San Miguel de Allende. She served as Instagramer in Residence at Guido’s Fresh Marketplace and has enjoyed iPhone photography workshops with National Geographic’s John Stanmeyer. She is also a textile artist, focussing on improvisational quilts. For more about her visual art, please see Instagram.

Gina was a regular contributor to both Berkshire Magazine and Berkshire Living. Her articles have also appeared in CROSSROADS cultural arts magazine, Huffington Post, Newsweek, San Francisco, Organic Style, Ideal Destinations, Healing Lifestyles & Spas, and Salon. She has contributed to Fodor’s Travel Publications, National Public Radio, and several anthologies of personal essays.

Her background also includes extensive experience in marketing and public relations on behalf of Berkshire Crafts Fair, Berkshire Grown, Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, Elements/Jill Schwartz, Hancock Shaker Village, HarperCollins Publishers, Heritage Museums and Gardens, Higher Circle, Holson Productions, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, The Mount, Mother Jones magazine, San Francisco State University Poetry Center, Shaw Entertainment Group, Spencertown Academy Arts Center, A Traveling Jewish Theatre, and Victoria Kirby Public Relations.

Gina has done pro bono work on behalf of Berkshire International Film Festival, Meals on Wheels Association of America, Por Amor a la Guadalupe food pantry, Railroad Street Youth Project, REEL DOCS documentary film series, and WBCR-lp Berkshire Community Radio.

Born in Sarasota, FL, and raised in San Francisco, CA, Gina has spent large swaths of adulthood in the Bay Area, the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, Texas, and as an expat in Mexico. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Long married to artist and musician DJ Barrett, they are the proud parents of a grown daughter, Annalena, and two rescue pups, Bo Diddley and Lulu.

Bo Diddley and Lulu (photo by Gina Hyams)

Personal Essays by Gina

“Enabling the Dead: A Gringa’s Day of the Dead Altar”

Guest post on Rebecca Walker’s Huffington Post blog

“Before and After Mexico”

Essay about living in Mexico originally appeared in the Seal Press anthology Expat: Women’s True Tales of Life Abroad

“Dancing with the Dead”

Salon essay about Day of the Dead in Pátzcuaro

“Don’t Complain, Don’t Explain”

Salon essay about her father

And by the way…

Gina’s sordid youth has made its way to YouTube. She appears in the last quarter of this historic MTV video as Sister Christian’s giggly half-Jewish best friend who flings her gloves into the air once she gets into the car with the band. No, she’s not answering any questions about the experience. She only shares it to give you a laugh.

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