Susan Watt Grade

  • Visual Art

I wanted a chance to write a story that went beyond an art review. My desire became tangible through the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship program.

Susan's renewal period started in August 2011 with a trip to Ireland to attend The Creative Writer's Workshop: Writer's Retreat/Memories into Memoir at the Markree Castle Estate in Ireland. Her mother, a professional writer, joined her for the workshop and through the rest of her travels. Guided by actors performing works by Irish writers, her writers' group explored the castle's rich heritage, including stories of ghosts and the room "where Johnny Cash once stayed." With her mother as companion, Susan explored Fingal's Cave on the Isle of Staffa.

She visited numerous cultural sites from libraries to public murals to pubs and even participated in the Dublin Liter- ary Pub Crawl. Susan saw Francis Bacon's relocated studio and viewed the early Middle Age manuscripts of The Book of Kells at Trinity College Library. In Belfast, she toured the city's political murals and reaffirmed "that art is a prevailing tool for expression, communication, and change." Her journey ended in Glasgow where she toured The Glasgow School of Art. During the fellowship period, Susan felt her "desire to make art slowly returning" and strong affirmation of her joy in educating others.

Creative Renewal Arts Fellow, 2003-2004, 2011-2012

20 years as an artist, writer, educator, youth worker, curator, and nonprofit administrator
Director of Community Learning Programs, Herron School of Art and Design, IUPUI

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