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Susan in her studio at Leverett Crafts & Arts in 2014

Photo by Trish Crapo

Susan Valentine

From Boston, MA

Lives & works in Leverett, MA


CA at Copley Society

Newbury St., Boston, MA

Tilting at Windmills Gallery

Manchester, VT

Salmon Falls Gallery

Shelburne Falls, MA

2014 - 2021 Gallery Committee founder and gallery director, Leverett Crafts & Arts, Leverett, MA

Member, DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum Corporate Lending Program

Artist Statement

If you have been around long enough, you may remember that pivotal scene in the movie Soylent Green (the one in which people who finally relented and chose suicide to relieve a planet burgeoning with humans) were rewarded with the most glorious film depicting the planet’s natural beauties which, sadly, were no more. It was projected on a huge screen, immersing the viewer completely, putting them back in that time, steeped in that beauty. Sure, they got turned into Soylent Green (it’s probably too late to call that a spoiler) but they all died very deeply moved by the sight, the remembrance of their gorgeous blue marble of a planet.
I have always wondered: If the world, as we now know it, ends and I am one of the few left to help raise it from the ashes… How much of it would I be able to recall fully enough to recreate?
I’m not able to remember a single novel well enough to bring it back. I can’t build a car’s engine. I am pretty sure I don’t have what it takes to recreate any medications—no matter how life-saving—or figure out how electricity works.
BUT if I could create some works to communicate the world’s former beauty... If I could be the one person in our small troupe of survivors who would put together works to call back the beauty that once was, that could be my contribution.

My work represents the world around me in a pretty realistic way. I begin with photography and end with many layers of thin paint. I very much enjoy working on large projects and need to cleanse my palate by then working small. In previous years I have tended to look closely and bring forth the details of small characters from my garden, then needed to balance that with sweeping landscapes.

Currently I am deeply curious about capturing the spirit of that which sustains our bodies. The food we keep ourselves healthy and sated. Like a portrait painter, I'm telling the truth but perhaps with a note of flattery or whimsy. 

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