SUSAN MAAKESTAD Circuitous Succession Gallery Website CV
Memphis, TN | Painting
Susan Maakestad was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship from Arts Midwest in 1988. She is a recipient of the 2013 ArtsAccelerator Grant from ArtsMemphis, direct purchase awards from the UrbanArts Commission in Memphis and three individual artist grants from the Peoria Area Arts and Sciences Commission. She has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, among others. Her work has been included in the national publication “New American Paintings”. Her watercolors were included in The Drawing Center’s online Viewing Program. Her work has been exhibited nationally including at Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis; Sazama Gallery, Chicago; Steinway Gallery, Chapel Hill; and The Rockford (IL) Art Museum. Public collections include the Tennessee State Museum, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and the City of Memphis. Susan Maakestad was a Professor of Art at Memphis College of Art from 1997-2020. She earned her M.F.A. in painting from The University of Iowa in 1987 and a B.A magna cum laude and M.A. from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. She is a native of Illinois.
I am a bird watcher and a sky watcher. I long to be outdoors but if I’m inside, I look out the window. If there is no landscape to view out the window, I look for one online.
Nature is a solace.
And yet the reports about nature are grim. For example, since 1970 nearly three billion birds have disappeared in North America. This is a sad commentary on how humans have altered the landscape. The collective will to fix the planet is not strong. I want to be an informed citizen but it is difficult emotionally to stay current when the news is so bleak.
And so I paint. I make paintings filled with light and space that reflect the awe I feel when I am in nature looking at the sky, feeling the wind, listening to the birds. Rather than express my feelings of sadness, I celebrate nature and also culture. Landscape abstraction is my means to represent what’s good about being alive right now on this broken planet.
Painting is a solace.