In this illustrated talk, Susan shares her art and the emotional journey of being an artist. With 40 years experience in the arts and analytical skills developed as an English major, she tackles issues such as self-confidence and the lack thereof, patience, commitment, and the importance of learning from your own work and letting it be your guide. She openly shares the hard-won lessons she has learned in the hope that they will inspire the audience to a deeper connection to their own creativity.
In 1978, Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord began her life in the arts at her kitchen table in North Billerica with pen, paper, ink, and a growing collection of instructional calligraphy books. Her love of words, nurtured through my study of English Literature, was the foundation that grew into a fascination with letterform, design, and expressive mark-making. Susan was active in the Lowell art scene of the late 1970s and early ‘80s. She was known for her calligraphy and her work with Art Alive! The Greater Lowell Art Co-op.
After moving to Newburyport in 1985, she turned to the book form as her primary method of expression, beginning with books with calligraphy and slowly transitioning to wordless ones, first with photocopier imagery and then with natural materials. Her most significant body of work is the ongoing (since 1992) Spirit Books which express her reverence for both the book and nature. She currently works with words, natural materials, and photographic imagery.
Her work is in the library collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Wellesley College, Bowdoin College, and Yale University. Solo and group exhibitions include the Center for Book Arts in New York City; Carney Gallery at Regis College; the University of Indiana Art Gallery; the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design; and the Seungnam Book Fair, Korea. Her work has been featured in magazines (Somerset Studio, Fiberarts, Bound & Lettered, Letter Arts Review) and books (1,000 Artists’ Books, 500 Handmade Books, Cover to Cover, The Art of the Handmade Book, Handmade Books And Cards). She is also known internationally for her advocacy of the educational and personal value of simple bookmaking with recycled materials. She is the author of books and articles on bookmaking with children as well as the creative process.