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Susan Jamison

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RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), 1991, MFA

surrealism, installation, mixed-media, sculpture, figurative, drawing, painting, Egg tempera, feminist


A R T I S T    S T A T E M E N T

My mother passed down to me her secret feminine knowledge of plants, birds and wildlife on walks into the deep forest during my childhood. She instilled the symbolic meaning of spotting a fox, an orb-weaving spider or a trillium. These memories and my lifelong sense of connection to nature strongly inform my imagery. The figures in my allegorical egg tempera paintings are like Pictish warrior woman decorated for battle, like Mother Nature who’s skin is literally blooming, or perhaps like a Fascinatrix luring through spells. Combining amazement with revulsion, alongside this enchanted, flower woman, are curious animals, some displaying genetic anomalies. They are the others, the freaks and the ones who are different. Sewing implements, thread and lace banners bearing messages within the paintings honor traditional women’s arts of stitching, lacemaking and embroidery. Resisting a specific narrative, my paintings are enchanted moments from my highly feminized vision of nature.


In my sculptural and installation work I’m embellishing and augmenting found objects and using crafting techniques such as sewing and embroidery to create poetic, symbolic forms which are feminist social commentary, that memorialize, or that invoke magic rituals. The body or body parts, birds, bouquets, anchors, veils, tear catchers, chatelaines, and hoop skirts, are forms I am working with. My materials including vintage textiles and lace, horse hair, well-used domestic tools, and women’s clothing and accessories are methodically chosen and resonate with the emotional residues of their past histories. Enchantment and mourning are tempered with amusement in my reconfiguring of parts. References to sewing and handcraft are a constant connection to my personal history. 


Susan Jamison is a visual artist who paints in egg tempera and creates sculptural forms and installations that focus on feminine subject matter. Her allegorical paintings of women and animals are drawn from personal narratives, myths, folk tales and dreams. Her recent sculptural work is primarily textile based. She holds a MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she received the Award of Excellence. Her distinctly feminine imagery has been exhibited in museums and galleries nationwide including solo exhibitions at the Taubman Museum of Art, William King Museum of Art, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, and Second Street Gallery.

Jamison's works are held in the collections of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, POM International Corporation, and many highly regarded private collections. She has been featured in three volumes of “New American Paintings” and she was profiled in two national publications, “Garden & Gun” and “Local Quarterly” magazines. Jamison was awarded a fellowship from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation for a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. In 2013 she was given The Karen Shea Silverman Fellowship to return to the VCCA for another residency. In the Summer of 2012 she attended an International artist residency in the city of Opole, Poland. She was an artist in residence at Santa Fe Art Institute in summer 2014. She was a recipient of the Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation Grant for painting in 2014.

Jamison makes her home the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia where she works in her studio and practices bear whispering.

Recent Exhibits

Susan Jamison participated in these exhibits:

Jun, 2015 Farewell
William King Museum
Jan, 2014 Home Sweet Home
Eleanor D. Wilson Museum
Jan, 2013 Animatopoeia, A Most Peculiar (Post Modern) Bestiary
Cleveland State University Art Gallery
Jul, 2012 Permanent Collection
Nancy Margolis Gallery
May, 2011 Summer 2011 Visual Overture
Visual Overture Magazine, Printed Publication
Mar, 2010 Into the Forest
Taubman Museum of Art
Click here to see all exhibits for Susan Jamison
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