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Painting The Studio Of An Artist Mother With Painter Suzanne Schireson

Suzanne Schireson is an artist based in Providence, Rhode Island. She is the recipient of a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship and two Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grants. Her work has been featured in Hyperallergic, The Providence Phoenix and The Boston Globe. Recent solo exhibits include “Inside Room”, Tiger Strikes Asteroid GVL (NC), “Aftercare”, Eleanor D. Wilson Museum (VA) and “Night Studios”, University of New Haven (CT). Her work has been exhibited at The Woodmere Art Museum (Philadelphia, PA), the New Bedford Museum of Art (New Bedford, MA) and the Sori Art Center (Jeollabuk-do, South Korea). Suzanne attended Indiana University (M.F.A. ‘08), the University of Pennsylvania (B.F.A. ‘04) and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (Certificate ‘03); she is an Associate Professor of Art and Design at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. 


“My paintings focus on the intersection of caretaking, motherhood, and creative practice. This work began just before the pandemic through conversations with other mothers and caretakers about balancing creative practice (be it writing, music, running or painting) with daily care responsibilities. My images are based on a mother or a caretaker, and I paint a studio for them. 


Through painting, research, and installation, I continue to analyze and imagine new ways that motherhood and artistic practice contribute to each other. My paintings invent spaces for nocturnal women, working against distraction in marginal hours of the day. These works are on paper due to a material shift that enabled me to paint at home on a smaller scale at the start of the pandemic.  I am rediscovering color for myself in these works, finding new networks dictated by the twilight of a fluorescent painting ground. I intend these spaces to be more psychological than physical. They are not about escape; they are about a deep desire to reflect and refuel.


My work is inspired by a desire for solitary space, which was so valuable during the pandemic. In quarantine, I occupied more time with those I care for, making flashes of solitude particularly rare. Increasingly, my buildings struggle to hold the figure inside, or the women get to work before the structure is complete. This often leaves an open edge between architecture and landscape, no longer making the studio a fixed place.”



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