Biography Susan was born and raised in rural eastern Missouri. She received her BFA in drawing from Webster University in St. Louis, her MA in drawing and MFA in painting from the University of Iowa. Susan has shown in venues throughout the Midwest and eastern United States. Her work focuses on landscape themes encountered in the local environment.
Susan has taught at the University of Northern Iowa, Kirkwood Community College (Iowa City Campus), and as a visitor at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. She is the Gallery Coordinator and a Lecturer at Cornell College Department of Art in Mount Vernon, IA, since February 2000.
Susan’s work can be seen at the Guilded Pear Gallery in Cedar Rapids, IA, Quad City Arts in Rock Island, IL, Mount Vernon Creates and First Brick Gallery in Mount Vernon, IA. She lives in Mount Vernon with her husband, Jeff Martin, a golden retriever named Thunder and Toby the cat.
Statement Points of Departure in the Landscape I see my work as a meditation, drawing on memories, questions, and attempts to settle my ever-shifting perceptions. My goal is to be in the studio experience and go beyond the merely scenic aspect of landscape, toward a larger goal of nuanced visual metaphor.
I spend a fair amount of time walking, sometimes with my dog, and often with a camera, taking lots of pictures, especially when the weather or the location is unsuitable for working on-site. I use the camera as a note-taking device to engage my visual memory. Later I’ll sit down with pastels, or paint and brushes to work the page, building the image through a gathering of marks, lines, tones, and colors. I spend a lot of time layering the image, gradually building a rather ambiguous two-dimensional structure, reimagining, and often simply looking at the image. Through a layering of multiple efforts an image forms. It can appear naturalistic, recognizable, and even pleasant, but often carrying another aspect which is less certain and perhaps more open to interpretation.
Through drawing and painting within the open-ended themes of landscape I cultivate awareness of my own inner wildness, as it echoes the wider world. The fragile and fleeting, as well as enduring qualities I find in nature are likewise within me. Not separate but interconnected, like past and present, figure and ground.
Drawing allows for multi-layered interpretations of the visual, and much re-visioning. The process engages all my senses and I feel that I was made for this practice. When I’m working I linger with an awareness of nature as a living presence, embodying source, refuge, and great unknown. The larger theme of landscape provides many points of departure and return.
EDUCATION: The University of Iowa, School of Art and Art History, Iowa City, IA. MFA Painting / Printmaking, 1987. MA Drawing / Painting, 1985. Studied with Ben Frank Moss, Byron Burford, Howard Rogovin, Stephen Schultz, Mauricio Lasansky, Virginia Myers, Keith Achepohl. Visiting Artists: Donald Weigandt, Selina Treiff, Louis Finkelstein, Stan Taft, Ron Graf, Gene Newmann, Julia Fish, Gregory Amenoff, JoAnn Carson, Nathan Olivera.
Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri, BFA Drawing, 1979. Studied with Phil Sultz, Leon Hicks, Kathleen Regier, Tom Lang, Jan Sultz, Jack Canepa, Ferd Lang, Visiting Artists: Alice Neal, Benny Andrews.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Cornell Gallery Coordinator / Lecturer in Art: February 2000 - Present Department of Art, Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, IA. Instructor: Drawing 1 & 2, 2D Studio Basics
Adjunct Instructor: Kirkwood Community College, Iowa City Campus. 1991 - 2000. Drawing I & 2, Design I, Art Appreciation, Watercolor Painting, Intro to Painting Adjunct Instructor: University of Northern Iowa, Department of Art, Cedar Falls, IA. Fall 1994, Spring / Fall 1993, Spring 1989 - Spring 1991. Drawing I, Visual Inventions, Drawing 2. Visiting Assistant Professor: Dartmouth College, Department of Studio Art, Hanover, N. H. Fall 1992. Basic Drawing. Adjunct Instructor: The University of Iowa, School of Art and Art History. Summer 1988. Media of Drawing. Museum Technician: The University of Iowa Museum of Art. Fall 1983 through Spring 1987.
GROUP / INVITATIONAL / JURIED EXHIBITIONS: Lowe Art & Environmental Center, Marion, Iowa, November 10, 2012 – January 13, 2013 Mount Vernon Plein Air Group, Lincoln Café, Mount Vernon, Iowa, September-October 2012 2 Person Exhibition with Doug Hanson , Coe College, Sinclair Galleries, Cedar Rapids, IA, February-March, 2012 Lincoln Highway Arts Festival, Mount Vernon, Iowa, September 2011 The Chait Galleries Downtown, Iowa City, Small Works Show, November, 2010 SIFE Gallery Off First, Mt. Vernon, Cornell College Art Faculty, October-November, 2010 The Iowa Pastel Society Exhibition, Fairfield Art Association, Fairfield, Iowa, July – August 2010 Cornell College Studio Art Faculty, Cornell College. Mt. Vernon, Fall 2009 CornerHouse Gallery, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Featured Artist, Cedar Rapids Area Art Walk, October 2, 2009 Bucktown Center for the Arts, Davenport, Iowa, Venus Envy, May 2 – 22, 2009 The Englert Theatre, 2nd Floor Gallery, Iowa City, IA, Five Women in Pastel, 2008 Plains Justice Law Office, Cedar Rapids, Environmental Art Group Exhibition, 2008 CornerHouse Gallery, Cedar Rapids, Small Works Show, Fall 2007 Quad City Arts Grapevine, Rock Island, IL, June 12, 2007 Quad City Airport Gallery, Moline, IL, Quad City Arts Group Show, 2006 UW, Waukesha, Waukesha, WI, Cornell Art Faculty, 2006 The Chait Galleries Downtown, Iowa City, Four Artists Paint Iowa, 2005 Peter Paul Luce Gallery, Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Cornell College Art Faculty Exhibition, 2005 Iowa State University, Iowa State Memorial Union, Ames, IA, 2004 Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA, Cornell College Faculty Exhibit, 2004 Herbert Hoover Museum & Library, West Branch, Iowa, 2002 Paine Art Center, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, September 16-November 4, 2001 Campbell Steele Gallery, Marion, Iowa , 2001 Quad City Arts, Rock Island Illinois, Nov. 17 – December 22, 2000 Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, “Songs from the Woods”, 2000 Armstrong Gallery, Cornell College Mt. Vernon, Cornell College, Art Faculty Exhibition, 2000 Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, Cornell College Art Faculty Exhibition,, 2000 Dartmouth College, Hanover, N H. Upper Jewett Corridor, Drawings, Paintings Pastels, Monotypes, 2000. Webster University, Cecil B. Hunt Gallery, St. Louis, MO. Friends of Leon Hicks, 1999 Coe College, The Marvin Cone & Eaton-Buchan Galleries,Cedar Rapids, Area College Faculty Exhibit, 1998. Iowa State University, Brunnier Museum, Ames Iowa , Iowa College Salon 25th Anniversary Exhibit , 1998. Witter Gallery, Storm Lake, Iowa, 1996 Holiday Biennial Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids, Area College Art Faculty Biennial 1996, 1994, 1992 Blanden Memorial Museum, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Iowa Art Educators, Personal Sightings I. 1996. Juror: Richard Hagan, Professor Emeritus, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. Arts for Living Center, Burlington, Iowa , 1995. Juror: Tomas Lasansky. Kirkwood Community College, Iowa Gallery, Cedar Rapids, Kirkwood Art Faculty Exhibition, 1999, 1994. University of Northern Iowa, Gallery of Art, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Art Faculty Exhibition, 1994, 1993, 1990. Coe College, Marvin Cone Gallery, Cedar Rapids, Kirkwood Art Faculty Exhibit., 1993. Mount Mercy College, McAuley Gallery, Cedar Rapids, 1993. Quad City Arts, Rock Island, IL, 1992. Stony Brook School, Carson Art Gallery, Stony Brook, New York. Annual Helen Figge Moss Exhibition. 1992. SCAC Gallery, Cobleskill, New York. Schoharie County Arts Council's National '91 Small Works Exhibition, 1991. Juror: Betty Warren, Malden Bridge School of Art. Augustana College, Centennial Hall Gallery, Rock Island, Illinois. 15th Annual Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition, 1991. Juror: David Hannah, Tyler School of Art. Witter Gallery, Storm Lake, IA. Witter Gallery Holiday Biennial, 1991. Juror: Richard Leet, Director, Charles H. MacNider Museum, Mason City, IA.
SOLO EXHIBITIONS: Luther College, Preus Library, Decorah, Iowa , October 28 – December 13, 2013 Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, Cedar Rapids, IA September-December 2010 Lincoln Café, Mt. Vernon, IA, Bittersweet Passage, Local Landscapes, 2007 Black Hawk College, Moline, IL Susan Coleman / Landscape / Works on Paper, 2007 Cornell College, Orange Carpet Gallery, Mt. Vernon, IA, Quarry Drawings, 2006 Ashford University, Cortona Gallery, Clinton, IA Susan Coleman / Landscapes, 2006 Solon Public Library, Solon, IA, Distant Fields, 2005 Artworks Gallery, Mount Vernon, IA, Featured Artist, September 2003 Sanford Museum & Planetarium, Cherokee, Iowa, Of Time & Seasons, 2003 The Lincoln Café, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, Lincoln Highway Series: Winter, 2003 Project Art / UIHC, Boyd Tower East Lobby, Iowa City, 2003 River Art Center, Clinton, Iowa , 2002 Cornell College, Commons Gallery, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, 1998. Kirkwood Community College, Iowa Hall Gallery, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1998. Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Iowa Gallery, Cedar Rapids, 1996. Wittenberg University, Ann Miller Gallery, Springfield, Ohio, 1996 Kettering Government Center, Kettering, Ohio, 1994. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Project Art , Iowa City, 1994. Bucknell University, Ellen Clark Bertrand Library, Lewisburg, PA , 1994 Luther College, Center for Faith and Life Gallery, Decorah, Iowa, 1993. Blanden Art Museum, Fort Dodge, IA, 1992. Cedar Rapids Metro Arts Council, The Chamber Gallery, Cedar Rapids, 1992 Laura Musser Museum, Muscatine Art Center, Muscatine, Iowa, 1990
COLLECTIONS: Hall-Perrine Cancer Treatment Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa ACT, Iowa City, Iowa United Fire & Casualty, Cedar Rapids, Iowa CRST International, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Cornell College, Peter Paul Luce Admissions Center, Wade House, Mount Vernon, Iowa Cornell College Collection, Mount Vernon, Iowa Mercy Hospital, Iowa City, Iowa Modern Woodmen of America, Rock Island, Illinois Mercy Medical Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Iowa City Public Library, Iowa City, Iowa University of Iowa, Pappajohn Business Administration Building, Iowa City , Iowa Blanden Memorial Museum, Fort Dodge, Iowa Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Stony Brook School, Long Island, New York University of Iowa, School of Art & Art History, Iowa City, Iowa COMMUNITY SERVICE / OTHER RELATED EXPERIENCE: SIFE Gallery Off First, Opening Exhibition and Fundraiser, Cornell Art Faculty, Mt. Vernon, IA 2010 The New Bohemia Group Silent Art Auction $ Winter Dance Party, 1st Avenue Live, Cedar Rapids, 2009 United Nations Association Fundraiser, Chait Galleries Downtown, Iowa City, Iowa, 2007, 2008 Juror, 25th Annual Congressional Art Competition, Cornell Commons, spring 2007 Juror, Kirkwood Community College, Student Show, 2006 Emma Goldman Clinic, Spring Benefit 2005, Artwork donated for Auction Juror, “The President’s Best”, Herbert Hoover Museum & Library, 2004 Works Donated: UIMA “Lure of the West” Auction, 2001 St Peter & Paul Catholic Church / Preservation Auction , Solon, Iowa. 2000 Instructor: Kirkwood Community College, Annual High School Art Workshop. Drawing: 1994 - 99 Sight and Sound Auction, Cedar Rapids Museum & Cedar Rapids Symphony, 2007, 1997, 1996, 1995. Juror: Kirkwood Community College, Annual High School Art Exhibit., Cedar Rapids Campus. 1993, 1992.
PUBLICATIONS AND ARTICLES: Cultural Expressions in Caly, The Work of Doug Hanson, exhibition catalogue, Cornell College, 2012, Catalogue Design The Long Surprise, Poems by Barbara Lau, Texas Review Press, 2001, Cover art: Study After Vermeer. Hugh Lifson, The Cornell Years, exhibition catalogue, Cornell College, 2001, Catalogue Design. League for Innovation Literary Magazine, 2000-2001, cover & publicity image: Summer Morning, pastel Iowa Arts Council, Iowa Artist Directory, 2000. Weather Eye, Kirkwood Community College Adjunct Magazine, Summer 1998. Dayton Daily News. Sunday, August 21, 1994, Landscape Artist Charts New Trails. by Carol Simmons. The University of Iowa Student/Staff Directory. 1987-88. Cover Art: Light Breather, Oil on canvas. The Iowa Journal of Literary Studies, Volume 8 , 1987, cover piece: Birds in a Bush, Intaglio. In text: Landscape, Winter , intaglio. The Iowa Journal of Literary Studies , Volume 7 , 1986, artwork in text: Livingroom , Intaglio.
AWARDS: 1st Place, The President’s Best, Herbert Hoover Museum, West Branch, Iowa, 2002 Library Purchase Award, Iowa City Public Library, 1998. Judge's Honor Award, Witter Holiday Biennial , Storm Lake, IA, 1990 Best in Show, Drawing. Iowa College Salon Show, Brunnier Gallery and Museum, ISU, Ames, March 1985. Academic Honors, Art Department, Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri. 1980.