“The respect and recognition in the community through receiving the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship has certainly had an impact on my life and therefore my career. I often joked that I was one of the best unknown artists in the city. I will honor this time as a point of reflection and a time of renewed motivation about my philosophies as an artist.“
For visual artist Susan D. Brewer, the omens of positive change began manifesting immediately upon receiving her fellowship. “As soon as I received the fellowship, the building adjacent to my studio, which was a yellow brick color, was painted a dark green. All of the reflective light of the yellow brick was now a dark shadow. I started a small series of automatic drawings to try and deal with the disturbance of working in a darkened studio. Using a format of 8 by 10 inch drawings challenged me to think of composition on a different scale.” This is the spark that ignited Brewer’s new body of work.
With this new focus, she turned to various metaphysical scholars, first Dr. Ibrahim Karim and his theory of ‘BioGeometry’ and later Dr. Joe Dispenza. The inspiration she drew from these thinkers clarified the nature of her work as a contemporary abstract expressionist. For Brewer, “Experimenting with day to day life is the most fundamental medium there is for an artist. It has been a process of dissolving so many struggles and bringing forth a future that uses the wisdom of the past.” As she delved deeper into her renewal experience, Brewer found herself in Carmel, Indiana working as an artist in residence at the Evan Lurie Gallery. There, she grew to be more comfortable with painting outside the privacy of her studio space. This was a breakthrough in her process, enabling her to work faster. She then moved on to new work in ceramic sculpture, the first time she had touched clay in ten years. Of this she says, “It seemed like time had not passed and the connection to my body and work was still in place.”
Brewer’s renewal process advanced not only her body and spirit but also her professional career. She secured another temporary space to begin more large canvases that will culminate in a solo exhibition at Gallery 924 at the Arts Council of Indianapolis in May. Viewers will see the large canvases she created as the main expression of her renewal, along with her works on paper, and her new ceramic sculptures.