About the Artist

Artist Statement

I like old artifacts, peeling paint, rusted metal and rocks. I incorporate the surface qualities of these objects into my work by creating layers of screenprinted images or by creating visual texture through paper and found objects. These articulated surfaces recall earlier ties to spiritual realms and connections to past cultures. It helps me to identify to the here and now; to know that all things are connected.  -Susan Denniston

Susan Denniston; Artist

Why I create ART…

In another time and place, I had a connection to the spirit within me. It was a relatedness to all things when physical matter combined with emotions and spirit. There was a sense of balance and harmony and a connection existed that allowed us to communicate with the cosmos. Now, collectively as human beings, I feel as though we’ve lost that connection. We find ourselves living fragmented daily lives. Things around us move so fast and we wonder if technology helps or hinders us.

We look at images in rock art and ancient artifacts and vaguely remember memories long past. We know the connection exists because we can feel it. As an artist, I feel too this connection. I visually try to examine how fragmented and fast-paced our lives have become. I cut through many layers in my prints as though I were an archeologist excavating strata for answers to age old questions. My artwork becomes a personal archeology. I use a lot of images and symbols … some from the ancient past, others I’ve newly created. I’m hoping they will help to dissolve the veils from our past. Some of these symbols are as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago. All are combined anew to formulate a new visual language in a new time. See and feel how many are familiar to you. Reestablish the connection!

Resume Susan Denniston

Bio

I was brought up in various parts of the United States and Europe due to my father’s career in the Air Force. My Student Teaching practicum was done in the Panama Canal Zone under the Foreign Studies Program at Pennsylvania State University.  I then graduated in 1976 and went on to work in the technical field of drafting, programming, and engineering temperature control/energy management systems all the while pursuing art in areas of ceramics, watercolor, and jewelry.

In 1989, I returned to graduate school full time and received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking along with an award for Outstanding Graduate Student in the Fine Arts Area. I am currently teaching workshops, doing studio work, commissions and exhibitions regionally and nationally as well as traveling globally to research ancient civilizations. I also work for a non-profit organization, the Center for Unified Research and Education (CURE), developing art and energy projects.

As an artist, the process of creating art allows me to act like an archeologist excavating strata for answers to age-old questions. We look at images in rock art and pieces of ancient fragments vaguely remembering flashes of memories long past. It is a connection to the spirit within, a wholeness, a sense of balance and harmony to the cosmos.

Today, we feel as though we’ve lost that connection and find ourselves living frenetic lives.  I create art to re-establish that connection and to make sense of the fragmentation in our fast past lives. Images and symbols, textures, color and layers are visually combined to bring about remembrance and the hope of dissolving the veils of the past.  I am recreating these ancient feelings and make them as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago.  All the elements
in my art are reformulated in a new visual language for a new time … Now!  It is my personal archeology.

AWARDS

Honorable Mention, “Printmakers ’96”, The Pittsburgh Print Group, Pittsburgh, PA, Nov 1996

Gallery Award, Printmaking, “Panorama”, Erie, PA, Jun 1996

Juror’s Choice, “Heartlands Art Festival”, Lenexa, KS, Jun 1994

First Place, “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”, Oakland Community College, Womencenter, Farmington Hills, MI, May 1994

Honorable Mention, “25th Anniversary Juried Exhibition”, HUB Gallery, Penn State University, Art Alliance of Central PA, University Park, PA, Sep 1993

Honorable Mention, “Open Media National Competition”, Artel Studio, Kearney, NE, Jun 1993

 

SOLO  EXHIBITIONS

Handcast Paper Exhibition, Park Avenue Salon, Fountain Hills, AZ Current

Artists That Have Met the Challenge, Miriam Perlman Gallery, Chicago, IL, Feb 1998

STRATA, Contemporary Prints of Ancient Fragments, Cultural Clichés, and Stone Notes, Erie Art Museum, Frame Shop Gallery, Erie, PA, Aug 1997

 

NATIONAL EXHIBITIONS

Graphic Comment, Lankershim Arts Center Gallery, LA Printmaking Society, North Hollywood, CA, Jan 2001

Printmakers ’96, University of Pittsburgh Art Gallery, The Pittsburgh Print Group, Pittsburgh, PA, Nov 1996

Small Print & Drawing Exhibition, West Chaco Gallery, Aztec, NM,  Sep 1996

Lots of Little Art, Artlink, Fort Wayne, IN, May 1996

Small Works Exhibit, Eclectic Gallery, Tucson, AZ, Jan 1996

Tenth Mini Print International Exhibition, Traveling Exhibition, Studio School and Art Gallery, Bingham, NY, Nov 1995 to Dec 1996

Bag, Sac, Pouch, Purse, Gallery of Artifacts and Treasures, Daytona Beach, FL, Nov 1994

Eighth Mini Print International Exhibition, Traveling Exhibition, Studio School and Art

Gallery, Bingham, NY, Nov 1993 to Dec 1994

Heartlands Art Festival, Outdoor Gallery, Lenexa, KS, Jun 1994

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, Oakland Community College, Womencenter, Farmington Hills, MI, May 1994

Figurative Exhibition, Artel, Detroit, MI, May 1994

CAJE ‘94:  America’s Cultural Diversity, The Center of Contemporary Arts, University Park, MO, Mar 1994

Visual Voices/The Female, University of West Florida Art Gallery, Untitled II, Pensacola, FL, Feb 1994

Making Their Mark:  Women in the Arts, Rear Window Gallery, Winchester, VA, Feb 1994

Showcase ‘93, Cascade Plaza, Beaverton Arts Commission, Beaverton, OR, Nov 1993

Hoyt National Art Show, The Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, New Castle, PA, Oct 1993

My Country Tis…, Invitational, Artel Studio, Kearney, Antiquarian Gallery, Omaha, NE, Sep & Oct 1993

Counterpoint ‘93 National Exhibition, Duncan-McAshan Visual Arts Center, Hill Country Arts Association, Ingram, TX, Aug 1993

…On A Flatrock, Invitational, Artist’s Cooperative Gallery, Artel Studio, North Platte, NE, Aug 1993

 

PUBLICATIONS & VIDEOS

Somerset Studio Publications, “Stone Age Books” artwork of the artist Susan Denniston, May/June 2004 issue

Forum For Science & Art Video, Artist Views on Their Work, Los Alamos, NM Sep 2001

 

COLLECTIONS

Bigsby & Kruthers, Chicago, IL, Mar 1996

Saint Vincent Medical Center, Erie, PA, Feb 1996

Rush Presbyterian Hospital, Chicago, IL, Dec 1995

Ford Motor Corporation, Chicago, IL, Oct 1995

Edinboro University, Bruce Gallery, Edinboro, PA, Permanent Collection, 1995

… and various private collections

 

GALLERY AFFLIATIONS

Crystal Dove, Albuquerque, NM

Willow, An Artisan’s Marketplace, Littleton, CO

 

EDUCATION

M.F.A. Printmaking, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA  1994

B.S. Art Education, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA  1976
(Teacher Certification K-12)

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Workshops in Handmade Paper  May 2002  I instructed individual workshops on handmade paper making including sheet forming and hand casting.   Santa Fe, NM

Volunteer Literacy Tutor Jul 1997 – Jan 1998   I tutored students in English as a Second Language, illiterate adults from work programs with their companies and also students pursuing their GED.  Adult Education Program, Erie School District, Erie, PA.

Workshop in Handmade Paper  Jun 1997  I instructed a two day workshop on handmade paper making including sheet forming and hand casting.   Textures Gallery, Erie, PA

Instructor for Control Systems  Nov 1981 – May 1996  Through out my career with Johnson Controls, I trained customers on their temperature control systems operation and maintenance as well as basic computer skills.  Johnson Controls, Inc., Erie, PA

Silkscreening Demonstrator  Feb 1994   During graduate work, I demonstrated the screenprinting process to Middle and High School Students during High School Art Days.  Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA