Artist Statement

I received my Bachelor of Fine Art in Sculpture and a Bachelor of Science in Education with an emphasis in Art in 2006. Since that time I have gone on to teach and create art in a variety of settings, from teaching in a traditional art classroom to bringing art to students in inner city Baltimore through a mobile art program. Teaching has long been my passion and although I am not currently teaching, creating art is one way for me to teach through opening dialogue among the viewers and encouraging my audience to think critically about the complex issues that my work explores. This is what keeps me coming back to my studio day after day.

Currently I am working as an independent artist whose main focus is sculpture. I also do work in a variety of different mediums. These include gouache, inks and photography. My 2D work covers a variety of subject matter. The sculptural works I create usually focus on one over arching idea that I work through over a span of several separate pieces.

I am currently working on a series I have entitled: Mental Health: A Journey of Recovery. This series depicts the feelings and everyday reality of living with and recovering from mental illness. Each sculpture in the series depicts a unique aspect of mental illness. These vary greatly from one sculpture to the next, from crushing loneliness to the stress of affording the treatment necessary to begin the healing process. The ideas and intent behind each piece aids in determining what material will be used to create the work.  One of my favorite aspects of this series are the various upcycled, recycled, inexpensive and otherwise easily obtainable materials I use in each piece. In this way I am creating artwork that is emotionally and mentally evocative and also demonstrates that fine art doesn’t have to be made using costly materials or equipment.

             

I hope that my work speaks to people, that it helps them feel less alone. Mental illness affects nearly everyone. Many of us are struggling with our own illnesses or know someone who is. I also hope that my work sparks a conversation about mental illness and sheds light on a subject that can at times be viewed as taboo to talk about.

Susan Hershman

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