One of the most interesting, inspiring, and lovable people I’ve encountered in my 8 years doing Goldyn has to be artist Susan Wick. When Goldyn first moved its office to the Taxi building in Denver, we were lucky enough to be grouped into a studio space with this wonderful human. Since then I have been intrigued by her brand of folk art-inspired paintings, textiles, mosaics, ceramics and more. Susan is both prolific and boundary-pushing while still being completely accessible and open. Read on below to see what Susan had to say about her work and words of wisdom.
Goldyn: Have you always been an artist? What was your impetus to be an artist, or was it always just there?
Susan: Well maybe, but I didn’t think it was a profession that could support me and I didn’t think I had the talent to do that anyhow. But I loved the idea and lifestyle, and when it came to be a potential later in life I went for it.
Goldyn: What were you doing before art became your profession?
Susan: I finished undergrad, I traveled. I lived on a kibbutz and had my first professional job as an occupational therapist in Israel. I trained for the Peace Corps. I lived and worked in NYC and got a Masters at NYU in Psychiatric O.T. Then I moved to Berkeley and got an MA in Environmental Design in the Textile Department. I got a grant to study textiles in India. Then a studio in Paris…and so on and on…
Goldyn: You work in a lot of mediums. What medium did you start out with and why? How did your work evolve to include other mediums?
Susan: [I use] a lot of mediums, yes. It keeps me entertained. When I had the opportunity to go to graduate school in environmental design (specifically textiles) in Berkeley it was an opportunity to use lots of different materials to make art and that got me started. I never did take a drawing or painting or sculpture ‘class.’ Anyhow the different materials led to different techniques, and so on.
Goldyn: How does your work influence your style?
Susan: If I can make it, I can have it, live with it, put it in my house, wear it, etc. and it becomes (unwittingly) my style.
Goldyn: How would you define your style in a nutshell?
Susan: Variety. Mix it up, make it accessible, comfortable. Changeable. Colorful.
Goldyn: Was there a favorite piece from your wardrobe in the past that you wish you still had?
Susan: Well, I don’t really wish I still had it, but there was a velvet and faille black evening gown I had and loved. I loved how I felt in it. I did keep it a long time, but that was something I had from about l955-6 and I couldn’t keep it THAT long. Though it would be perfect today for another party, another young woman.
Goldyn: If you could be anyone at any time, who would your fantasy self be and what would she be doing?
Susan: I would be an international traveler, busy making art.
Goldyn: Sounds like you are your own fantasy self then :). What do you love about your space?
Susan: I love [my space]. I have a lot of it and my studio has fabulous light. There is outside space. It’s a mixture of nitty gritty, being down on the rail road tracks, with elegance of scale and it’s accessible.
Goldyn: Any words for girls growing up today about style?
Susan: Go for it. Try different things. Be flexible. Be Yourself.
Goldyn: Upcoming plans for your work?
Susan: I’m working towards a show happening in the fall at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, which is opening Thurs., October 1st. Save the date. After that, more small projects working with other people in Denver and San Francisco.
You can learn more about Susan and her art, as well as purchase her book by visiting SusanWick.com