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Susie Veroff
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Susie Veroff - USA/Canada

Visual Artist

My name is Susie Veroff. I come from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I was born there, but at a very young age I moved to Canada, so I have dual citizenship, but I probably consider myself more of a Canadian since having spent much more of my life in Canada than in the United States, although the US was formative.

I decided to become an artist when I was age fifteen and went off to study painting at the Banff School of Fine Arts and basically wanted to learn more and more and went to art school in Canada at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and finished at Cooper Union in New York City.

After that, I started making babies, which is a wonderful art form, but it does take a way a little of what you are able to do as an artist, yet I maintained in my heart the dream that I would always be an artist and that I would express myself that way as well, a visual artist--although I have done many other art forms, theatre, writing, music....but I always concentrated on the visual arts probably because I was a very shy child and, it doesn’t show now, but I couldn’t imagine myself performing in front of other people, so it seemed to be an easy way to not be under pressure of having everyone look at me.

The type of artist I am is a kind of instinctive artist, although I did study art and have a very good background. I have never limited myself to a technique or to a way of doing art. I think everything is possible. Although I specialized in printmaking and have done quite a bit of painting, I could myself doing sculpture or video. I’ve done a little bit of these types of forms. So let’s just say I basically am a visual artist. I am kind of an eclectic visual artist, as well, because in the visual arts there have been many different explorations.

But printmaking has been the love of my life. I really enjoy it. It is kind of midway between sculpture and two dimensional either drawing or painting because there is a textual aspect to it. It’s also a progressional type of art. For instance you have to do different steps before you can see what you’ve done. It’s indirect, it is not direct. This causes certain problems, but it also causes wonderful surprises.

Because I also became a Professor of Fine Arts and raised a family, I consider myself to have been a part-time artist up until now. I’m just trying to be honest, because as someone who lived for my art, I never lived by it...Although I sold a quite few things, that was never my livelihood or my means. Now that I’ve retired from teaching, I am now full-time artist professional and devoting all of my time to it. I am quite happy about that although I enjoyed teaching enormously and was enriched by it. I am very glad now to think about what my creative ventures are going to my and what I am going to do next. My main objective right now is to focus and to concentrate on what I’m really trying to say, because that is quite important to me, as Marshall McKuen said, “The medium is the message,” and I do accept that, but for me the message is important to me. It is what you are trying to say to the world. I wouldn’t say I was a political artist but I really would like not to just dwell in the aesthetic, although I enjoy the aesthetic, but also to create thoughts in people and to create questions in people, whether it is about their own emotional lives or something geographical or political. What doesn’t really matter to me, whether its curiosity that happens, an interaction with the art. That is what I am trying to get towards. But in some ways I am an expressionist. I am definitely not a wholly figurative artist or photorealist. I believe in the gestural part of art, the movement of your body and your hands. There is a lot of energy and communication in that, so it is very important to me.

Well, I taught color for 20 years and theory of color. I rather like the emotional quality of color. The book of Kandinsky talks about the musicality of color, and I really enjoy that.

The other part of my life which has been a bit more intellectual is the idea of art as a form for social change. I’ve dwelled on that for a few years and going with other people trying to see if art can be a form that can help people change their own personal lives, but also in a community or a social sense.

In general, I think that art is a powerful medicine. It is a language. And maybe it is a form of reflection that is needed very much in our society today. We need art. Let’s go make a lot of it!




2017 Patricia Goodrich
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