Susan Stamm Evans
In all of my work I try to express small gestures and quiet emotions, for it is in those private moments of introspection that we are the most connected to ourselves and akin to others. This series came out of a time of personal loss. From that I became deeply moved by the importance of our connections to others, and of tender kindnesses. The states of aloneness and togetherness fascinate me. This piece is about our interactions: our intimacies and the distance we keep between us, what we share and what we hold back, and the words spoken and unspoken.
Born and raised in Albuquerque, Susan is a third generation New Mexican. She graduated from Highland High in ’70 and did her undergraduate studies at the University of New Mexico. It was there she fell in love with sculpting in clay – and with her professor and future husband, Dick Evans. After she received her BA in ’75 they moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dick taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Susan did her graduate work there, receiving her MA in ceramic sculpture in ‘78. It was in Wisconsin that Susan began exhibiting. Her first solo exhibition was immediately after graduate school. She was known initially for small delicate porcelains figures in unassuming poses. The work then, as now, was quiet and introspective expressed in small gestures and unclear emotions. Susan and Dick lived in Milwaukee for 15 years. In 1990 they returned to their beloved Southwest drawn back by the mountains, the light and family. Their home and studios are now in the foothills outside Santa Fe. At the urging of Dick, in 1995 she began making sculptures to be cast in bronze. The medium quickly led to new opportunities for gestures and scale. The figures became larger and increasingly simplified. Instead of full figures, sometimes all that was necessary to express the desired feeling was the head, portion of the head, or small selection of the body. Later the focus was narrowed to only a fragment of a face – no eyes, revealing only a hint of emotion. The scale, texture, and focus of the imagery has changed from series to series but the core of the Susan’s work is always an intimate glimpse into just being human, an expression of our quiet times. For it is in those moments of introspection that we are also the most connected to ourselves, and to others.