Bio and Statement

Bio

Susan Gans is a photographer and printmaker based in Seattle, WA.  She has an MA in Art Education and Printmaking from New York University and a BA in Studio Arts from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. In 1994, she completed a 1 year certificate in Printmaking to update skills and in 2000, a 1 year Certificate in Photography, both from the University of Washington Extension Program in Seattle, WA. Susan also completed the Artist Trust EDGE Professional Development Program for visual artists in 2008.

Workshops/Master Classes in photography have been completed at the Photographic Center NW, Seattle, Newspace Center for Photography, Portland and the Pacific NW Art School, Coupeville with Keith Carter, Sam Abell, Tim Rudman, Eirik Johnson, Daniel J. Gregory, Molly Landreth and online with Laura Valenti’s Photo Workshops. Susan also has taken printmaking workshops with Don Messec and Dan Welden in Santa Fe, NM.

Susan’s work has been shown primarily in the Pacific Northwest over the past 20 years, but also was included in a New York City exhibition at the .NO Gallery in 2012 juried by Mary Ellen Mark. Her photograph was awarded First Place in its category. Work also is in private and public collections.  She is a member of Gallery 110, a non-profit artist space in Seattle, WA and currently is on the Board of Directors. She also exhibits at Black Lab Gallery in Everett, WA and is a member of the Center on Contemporary Art (cocaseattle.org) and the Photographic Center NW(pncw.org).

Her background includes working in museums and arts centers for more than 20 years while living on the East Coast and in the public sector for more than 15 years since moving to Seattle in 1990. Presently, she is a full-time artist.

 

Statement

I grew up in and around older cities on the East Coast and lived in places with art, artifacts and oddities found in flea markets or small neighborhood shops, in someone’s basement or on a beach and brought that practice to Seattle where I have been for many years. My art has been informed from the habit of collecting and the ongoing wonderment about the history and structure of cities both large and small. Cities have held my dreams and hopes for a long time and are the primary keepers of my remembered experiences.

I gravitate to being a witness to life around me, an observer who has taken on the role of  “documenting” unseen moments in a way that will make them meaningful. I look for beauty in how light plays on an urban street, an urban landscape or bounces on the window of a storefront, on the objects within or shards of glass sitting in the window of an abandoned building. I make images to encapsulate a back-story about a loner, dreamer, thinker, listener, protester or witness. I am interested in the average life and the common threads that bind us in our everyday existence.  When it is time to shift gears and refresh, I venture into small towns and travel to the desert or less inhabited places to capture the mystery of open or empty spaces and protected lands.