Bio and Statement



Susan Gans is a photographer and printmaker 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. 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.

Additional workshops/master classes in photography have been at the Photographic Center NW, Seattle, the former Newspace Center for Photography, Portland and the Pacific NW Art School, Coupeville, WA with Keith Carter, Sam Abell, Tim Rudman, Eirik Johnson, Daniel J. Gregory, Molly Landreth or online with Laura Valenti’s Photo Workshops.

Susan’s work has been shown primarily in the Pacific Northwest over the past 20 years, but also in a 2012 New York City exhibition at the .NO Gallery juried by Mary Ellen Mark. Her photograph was awarded First Place in its category. Her work is in private and public collections.  She is an Affiliate member of Gallery 110, a non-profit artist space in Seattle, WA but has exhibited at Black Lab Gallery and the Schack Arts Center in Everett, WA, 10 x 10 x 10 Tieton, WA, in shows at the Center on Contemporary Art and at the Photographic Center NW in Seattle.

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.



I grew up in and around older cities on the East Coast with art, artifacts and oddities found in flea markets or small neighborhood shops and have continued the practice of collecting since moving to Seattle. My art is influenced both by this habit of collecting and my past professional work in museums and community services/Family Law as well as my general interest in the history and structure of cities both large and small.

Cities have held my dreams as primary keepers of remembered experiences. As such, I follow neighborhood shifts as cities grow and the impact of human intervention that often results in gentrification, loss of cultural identity and historic building stock. These projects are quasi documentary and question what is progress.

The OnLooker Project concentrates on the idea of emotion often unseen by others that is encapsulated by a back-story about a loner, dreamer, thinker, listener, protester or witness. I am interested in the common threads that bind all of us in our everyday existence one day at a time. This project is much influenced by earlier photographers who have made work in black and white in urban areas, such as Robert Frank, Helen Levitt, Lee Friedlander, Mary Ellen Mark and Vivian Maier. 

Other work is experimental image-making or landscape resulting from travel. Most is photo-based.  Much of this work can be seen on Instagram @susangans.