Over the years, Dawn has studied and taught art in a wide range of contexts, from rural to urban, academic to therapeutic, and traditional to experimental. She earned her BFA from Colorado State University (1985), and MFA from University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana (1987).
Dawn has taught drawing and painting at Century College for the past 20 years and continues to teach there currently. She enjoys working with a variety of materials, techniques, and subjects, which includes a devotion to botanical art, especially peculiar specimens in stages of decay that often go unnoticed, or are thought of as ugly. Other interests include still life and life drawing. Her studio is located in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
Dawn grew up in Colorado with a panoramic view of the mountains always in her vision. As a child, the front range plains of Colorado provided a natural playground made up of rocks and plants. As a young adult, it also provided long hours of solitude to explore and observe processes in nature via drawing, which continues to be her daily practice as she enters her senior years in Minnesota.