Susan Gore Gardner
Susan Gore Gardner has been creating affectionate landscapes of the South and portraits of its wildlife for 35 years. A life-long love of drawing became the passion of a lifetime during college days at Kennesaw College when under the tutelage of Thomson Salter and Barbara Swindell, Susan found her calling as a professional artist. Upon graduation Susan embarked on a career of exhibiting her artwork in art festivals and gallery exhibits throughout the Southeast, initially as a wildlife artist. She became known for her lifelike colored pencil portraits of birds and other creatures and exhibited annually at the Lenox Square Wildlife Art Show and the Southern Wildlife Festival in Decatur, Alabama. She was a finalist in the Georgia Wildlife Stamp competition and her wildlife art was featured in juried gallery exhibits including the Salmagundi Club in New York, St. Hubert's Giralda in Madison, New Jersey, the Galerie Triangle in Washington DC and the S. Brown Gallery in Buckhead, Georgia.
In 1990 Susan encountered the medium of soft pastels at a workshop taught by Susan Knight Smith. Color-filled landscapes and unique still lifes created with pastels became her primary method of self-expression. During this same time, music became a powerful source of encouragement and inspiration, and combining pastel techniques with musical inspiration led to the creation of an ongoing series of musician portraits. A remarkable opportunity arose to study privately with nationally known painter Robert Meredith who helped her refine her artistic vision and whose influence led to an evolution in style and subject matter. Painting trips to Ireland, England and France have provided rich sources of inspiration that continue to produce strong drawings. Since discovering pastels, Susan's professional career has reached new heights. Landscapes inspired by European painting trips have been included in three fine art exhibits at her alma mater Kennesaw State University and 7 solo exhibitions. In 2013 Susan's musician portraits were featured in a solo exhibit "From Rock to Bluegrass: Musician Portraits" at the Carrollton Cultural Art Center in Carrollton, Georgia; and "Rock 'N Raku" exhibition with raku ceramist Ann Wallin at Gallery 4463 in Acworth, Georgia.
2014 has brought accolades to the musician portraits with Tony Sim's portrait chosen as Best of Show at the PFAA's Annual Juried Fall Art Competition, Marty Stuart's portrait taking 3rd Place in the Southeastern Pastel Society's Members Show, 'Apostle' Paul Martin's portrait taking 3rd Place in the PFAA Juried Competition, Bruce Jeansonne's portrait snagging an Honorable Mention in the Booth Artist Guild's show at the Harris Art Center, and in June 'Brian Cameron' also snagged an Honorable Mention at the Southeastern Pastel Society's International Juried Competition in Atlanta.
Today Susan creates her artwork in her private studio in Bremen, Georgia on her small farm The Shire (named in honor of J.R.R. Tolkien's literary masterpiece 'The Hobbit').
THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT: "In sharing my artwork with you, I want to draw your attention to the awesome world God has created. Consider the joy of the birds in the air, the small majesty of a cat, and the breathtaking beauty of the countryside here in the southern states as well as in Ireland, France and my beloved England. Listen to music and be blessed by musician's expression of their own creativity - then view my portraits of them and see how inspired by music I've been.
My artwork will reveal to you those things that lie closest to my heart: my heritage, my appreciation of nature & my belief that all we behold is evidence of a magnificent Creator."
Donated artwork to fund-raising efforts of these fine organizations:
Quinlan Art Center in Gainesville, Georgia
Good Mews Foundation cat rescue organization
Georgia Morgan Horse Club
Pro-Am Benefit Classic Horse Show of Georgia
Beastly Feast Auction to benefit Zoo Atlanta
AngelHeart Auction benefiting the E. Clark Variety Center for Children
Southeastern Raptor Rehabilitation Center in Auburn, Alabama
Susan served as Co-chairman of the Austell Landmark Art Competition, a project coordinated on behalf of the city of Austell by the SCAA. From 25 entries featuring landmarks in Austell dating from 1800 through 1940, 4 paintings were chosen to be reproduced as prints and sold to raise funds for historical city projects.
Four jazz musician portraits for a Jazz History Museum in Douglasville, GA
The Marietta Business Association's Summer Concert Series Poster
Playbill art (portrait of trumpet player Clifford Brown) selected for 'Sideman'
Theater in the Square, Marietta
Commissioned by Austell Elementary School to create a pen & ink drawing of a former school building, to be printed on notecards recognizing the school's centennial anniversary in 1990.
Created four pen & ink drawings illustrating the correct treatment of pets and wild animals for the Cobb County Animal Control Department's children’s coloring book
1980 Bachelor of Arts degree from Kennesaw State University
1978 Associate of Arts degree from Kennesaw State University
1975 Graduate of South Cobb High School
WORK EXPERIENCE: ART
1980 - Present Professional Artist
1993-1997 Assistant to the Director of the South Cobb Arts Alliance, Inc.
1976-1983 The Red Cockerill Gallery: retail art & supply sales, framing
Artist Guild of Northwest Georgia Southeastern Pastel Society
Carrollton Artists Guild Good Mews Cat Rescue Organization
Georgia Equine Rescue League National Wildlife Federation
And I've been a member of the South Cobb Arts Alliance since 1980 (awarded a Lifetime Membership in recognition of 18 years of active membership in 1998)
SELECT JURIED EXHIBITS & COMPETITIONS
Paulding Fine Arts Association Annual Fall Juried Art Competition, at the Dallas Courthouse Gallery, Dallas GA. Oct. 5 - Nov. 1 "Best of Show" Award for musician portrait 'Tony Sims'; also in exhibit 'Steve Ferrone' and 'Brian Cameron'.
Artist Guild of Northwest Georgia 7th Annual Fine Art Exhibit ~ Mable House Cultural Arts Center, Mableton Ga. *Reception Saturday Oct. 11 7-9 p.m.* Portraits of 'Keith Dunn' and 'Mark Winchester' Oct. 9 - Nov. 12
Booth Artist Guild 2nd Annual Members Exhibition Cartersville, Georgia. Portraits of Travis Tritt and Bo Bice were in this juried exhibition.
'Sports!' Art Show ~ May 2 - June 28 at the Rockmart Cultural Arts Center Gallery in Rockmart, Georgia. Portraits of the amazing 1990-era Atlanta Braves were on display: Fred McGriff, Terry Pendleton, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddox, and for the first time in an exhibition Dale Murphy.
"Works From the Booth Artist Guild" ~ April 21 - May 30 at the Harris Arts Center, Calhoun Georgia. Portraits of drummer Bruce Jeansonne, mandolin player Marty Stuart, and guitarist Kenny Vaughan were in this juried show. *'Bruce Jeansonne' was awarded Honorable Mention.
'The Flower Show' at the Douglas Co. Courthouse Gallery, Douglasville GA. 'Chateau du Mung', 'Ballymaloe Estate, Ireland' and 'Azalea'.
Southeastern Pastel Society's 16th International Juried Exhibition ~ May 15 - June 22 at Oglethorpe University, Atlanta. A portrait of Reluctant Saint's lead guitarist Brian Cameron is in this exhibition. *Brian's portrait was awarded Honorable Mention in this prestigious exhibition.
27th Annual SCAA National Juried Exhibition ~ 'Nick Ivey' and 'Lupini Farm Door'
PFAA Spring Art Competition ~ 'Tom Petty', 'Paul Bryant', and the Fabulous Superlatives 'Apostle Paul Martin' which was awarded Third Place in Drawing
Southeastern Pastel Society Juried Members Exhibition, May 16 - June 22 at the Carrollton Cultural Art Center *Third Place Award for 'Marty Stuart'
AGNWG 6th Annual Fine Art Competition Oct-Nov. Mable House Arts Center featured Bob Reid and Travis Tritt's portraits.
"From Rock to Bluegrass: Musician Portraits by Susan Gore Gardner" January - Carrollton Cultural Art Center, Carrollton GA Solo Exhibition
"Rock 'N Raku" Musician Portraits & Raku Pottery by Ann Wallin, featured artists in March at Gallery 4463, Acworth GA
Booth Artist Guild Juried Show, May at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA featuring 'Lloyd Nicely and the Holy Grail' and 'Kenny Vaughan'
"People and Portraits" Cultural Art Center Gallery in Rockmart
"To Everything There Is a Season" Summer 2012 art exhibit at Roswell United Methodist Church
"2nd Annual Juried Art Exhibit", West Georgia Community Foundation
Paulding Art Association's 22nd Annual Juried Spring Art Competition (Awarded Third Place, Drawing and Honorable Mention)
"Reflections 2012" Virgina Avery Memorial 3rd Biennial Exhibition, sponsored by the National League of American Pen Women (Awarded Honorable Mention in the Pastels catagory) at the Mable House Cultural Art Center
'Images of the South" major solo exhibition at Artisan Crossroad Gallery at Sewell Mill, Bremen
“Art and Design Showhouse” Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art Juried Exhibit, Marietta
"Into the Woods" Art Exhibition at the GAHA Gallery in Ellijay, Georgia
Booth Museum Biannual Art Guild Juried Exhibition
‘Art Plein Air’ Exhibit, Harris Art Center in Calhoun
“Art of Our Mothers” juried art show at the Quinlan Art Center, Gainesville
Southeastern Pastel Society Juried National Exhibition
South Cobb Arts Alliance Juried National Exhibition, Mableton
“Garden Party” juried exhibit, Red Cockerill Gallery in Austell
“Susan Hayward Retrospective” at the Carrollton Cultural Art Center
2009 and past
Artist Guild of Northwest Georgia Juried Art Exhibit at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art (Awarded First Place in Drawing for "Prescott Gold"
"Key Ingredients" Juried Art Exhibition in Bremen, GA in conjunction with the Smithsonian's traveling exhibit ‘Key Ingredients - America by Food’
"Music Masterpieces" Douglas County Courthouse, Douglasville GA
Kennesaw State University School of the Arts exhibit of alumni & student art at the Georgia Capitol
'Metro Montage II', Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art in Marietta, GA
'The Charm of France', Ann Jackson Gallery in Roswell, GA
"44th Annual Artist's Invitational* at the Coastal Center for the Arts at St. Simons Island, GA
"Southworks" juried art exhibit at the Oconee Cultural Arts Center in Watkinsville, GA
"Art Passions" at the King Plow Art Center, Atlanta
"Cultural Crossroads" juried exhibit, Morrow GA
'60th Grand National Exhibition 'American Realism'' at the Salmagundi Club, New York City; the American Artist Professional League
"International Dogwood Festival" in Atlanta, GA