Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Richards.
Susan, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Like many of your profiled artists I knew I was an artist at an early age. My first grade teacher declared I was one
after I added a leaf to my drawing of and apple. Later, when I became a teacher myself, I realized how important that identifier and the support that followed secured my identity. Since then I have been consistently interested in being a Maker. Set design, sewing, photography, graphic arts were all skills I learned in elementary and secondary school and later applied professionally as a young adult.
I grew up in New Rochelle, NY and in high school spent a lot of time going into NYC to the museums with my friends. I went to Carnegie Mellon University, graduated with a BFA in painting. I also took Art History courses at University of Pennsylvania, a filmmaking class at Skidmore and later, when I moved to Boston, extension classes at Harvard. After graduation I did the requisite jobs; a short stint as a cook, graphic design and freelance commissions. Eventually my interest in books led me to learn bookbinding and ultimately my dream job a job as conservator of books and paper at the Boston Atheneaum.
When I had my first child I stayed home, concentrated on painting and gradually developed as a portrait artist. I had enough commissions to keep me afloat for two years and it really made me hone my painting and professional skills. I also got involved with the Brookline schools, teaching an after school class and helping create a drama program. After my second child became school age I got certified to teach art at Mass Art. I taught art in Lincoln, Concord and Littleton Ma. My personal work through all this time had been and still is, quite eclectic. Now that I am retired I do art in all variety of ways. I still look for the next thing to make and learn.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Because I do a wide variety of work, this is a hard question to answer. I believe in essence my work is about a personal expression of the self that I am; singular but in relation to the worlds’ beauty and mystery. Obviously this can be said of most artists’ work. But now, after years of moving from one media to the next I can see the common thread. What I strive for; is a classic and contemplative quality. On my website you can see the range of things I have done. The paintings go from realistic; figures, gardens and animals, to more abstract renditions of rocks and minerals. My drawings and collages are further explorations of conceptual puzzles. My current exploration is in sculpture and ceramics. I have been taking classes at the Harvard Ceramics program and have met a whole new circle of artists doing interesting work. The workshops, classes and demonstrations are keeping me totally engaged. I am gradually learning how to turn my painting sensibilities into sculpture.
What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
There is always more to learn in art. Classes are frequently the best way to meet likeminded friends. Most communities have art centers that offer a wide range of choices. I have frequently done figure drawing classes at art associations and in adult ed situations. It’s a great way to keep yourself going when work and family life take the majority of your time. Also, universities often offer art classes at a discount if you are not going for credit, some are even free for seniors. We are fortunate to live in a city of schools. Talent and ambition come at all ages so my advice is: jump in!
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I am in the DeCordova Museum loan Program with work situated in a variety of professional businesses in Boston and the suburbs. https://decordova.org/susan-richards. If you are a business it is a great way to have art work in the workplace and for artists, to get your work out of the studio…
I have paintings, drawings and ceramic work at 13 Forest Galley in Arlington.
I will be exhibiting and selling work at the Harvard Ceramics show and sale later this winter.
Up-coming, in 2019 I will be showing my Bather’s Series paintings and drawings at the Concord Art Association.
You can see current and past work at my website: Reeworks.com
- Website: Reeworks.com
- Phone: 1 781 724 7452
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Reeworks1
- Facebook: Susan Richards Hallstein