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Susan Ferrari Rowley: 5 Questions + 1 #FunFact


See you soon Cincinnati!

Susan Ferrari Rowley is a pioneer in the medium of fabric sculpture. Her career was launched in the late 1970s when she was selected to participate in “Young Americans: Fiber/Wood/Plastic/Leather,” a competition held every decade by the American Crafts Museum to discover artistic talents under the age of 30. A distinguished panel of judges chose Ferrari Rowley based on the novelty of her approach to sculpture. After gaining notoriety for her craft, the charismatic artist cemented a name for herself in Manhattan art circles, the result of a decade-long showing at the famed OK Harris Gallery.

Today Ferrari Rowley who resides in Rochester, New York, divides her time between her career as an art professor and her love of pushing the boundaries of sculpture. Her latest large-scale piece ‘She’ will is currently on a six-month display at the international exhibition  “TIME SPACE EXISTENCE” in Venice, Italy. This iconic exhibition, being held as a collateral event to the city’s International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia, will feature the best contemporary artists working in the realm of sculpture. Ferrari Rowley was one of only seven Americans invited to participate!


To open our 2019/2020 season, Susan will be joining us at PAR-Projects to create a one-of-a-kind art installation in our Nook Gallery Space, so we thought we’d introduce our friends and supporters to this ball of creative energy!

Below is a quick statement from the artist about her work. Immediately following are the five questions (well, six this time around) & fun fact that are directing this series of brief interviews.

Thanks again for tuning in!

Via Susan Ferrari Rowley:

My medium of welded aluminum and sewn polyfiber, combined in sculptures that deal with human emotion. Line, space, and form interact equally in these opposites of hard and soft materials. The interior and exterior of each form and the negative space in and around each sculpture are equally critical. White and translucent, they react to changing light and cast shadows, elements of a complexity that goes far beyond their minimalist appearance.

Describe your studio practice:  
My studio practice is consistent.  My sculptures start with a thought process; I get images in my mind, and then act on them by going directly to my sketchbook.  After a brief time of reflection, I make a rough model to get the proportions right.  The next step is to purchase the aluminum and start making the piece.

Describe your current body of work
Voluminous, planar forms that are pierced with line.  Simultaneously I explore the energy of lines that integrate the wall and floor and seek to express their presence and implied motion in space.  The Venice piece, 'She,' is the first in this series.

What excites you about exhibiting at PAR-
As a creator and sculptor I most enjoy developing work that is a reaction to space.  I want my sculpture and the space around it to be dependent on each other through total integration. PAR Projects is perfect for this because with such wonderful, “empty” space, I am afforded the opportunity to be incredibly creative.  I get to do all the exciting things I see in my mind because the space allows me to do that which means a totally unique experience for the viewers and the community.

What has been the most important moment in your creative career (so far)? 
The most important moments so far have been all about exhibitions. First, the milestone ones such as Young Americans and the Venice show.  Getting in my dream NYC gallery, OK Harris, was just that, a dream come true.  I never 'get over' being awarded exhibitions through competitions, but the most exciting opportunities are the surprises, like the Delaware Contemporary Museum, and PAR Projects, that were completely unexpected.  When I get a letter from a great venue, it is rewarding, and I am driven to do my best to work with the institution.  Getting to know the people involved and develop relationships with communities is also very rewarding and makes the world a little smaller!

What do you work toward in your free time? 
My free time centers around staying fit.  Exercise has been a constant in my life and has given me the 'quality of life,' strength and energy that the physicality of my artistic career demands.  It also is a great stress reliever and allows me to be in a place where I can be free of everything for a short time.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? 
I would be tangerine.  Intense yet warm.

How about a #FunFact? 
Believe it or not, I used to run marathons!

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And yes, as the opening line suggests, Susan Ferrari Rowley will be joining to celebrate Billy Colbert's exhibition on Saturday, September 15th! MARK YOUR CALENDARS now; then look forward to meeting both Susan Ferrari Rowley and Billy Colbert.

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