For Susan Wolf there has always been a shifting dance between roles of caregiver, educator and artist. These lifelong roles replicate in her creative practice as a multimedia artist which she defines as an ongoing act of healing, translation and exploration.
Across a range of media, she is arranging and re-contextualizing materials at hand, creating monotypes, making fragile poetic assemblages, or taking apart and repurposing fiber to paint, dye and stitch. Artifacts travel from the studio into community spaces with zines and simple book forms. At times her work is performative. Self portraits negotiate identity and place, playing with costume and terrain.
Susan grew up alongside mental illness. Her role was to witness and translate the mood and to watch for triggers and shifts into and out of well being. This same finely tuned witnessing of personal and social dynamics informs her art practice. Ongoing projects are anchored by questions and followed by research. Her observational lens, as witness, holds care with the insight of tangential thinking. The resulting translation informs the artifacts she makes and anchors her work including her current ongoing project inquiry about carrying/caring.
Susan’s decades long public practice as facilitator and researcher, supporting and mentoring (TK-12) educators with immersive arts based, liberatory redesign of learning spaces continues to influence her art practice. Strategies striving for spaces of belonging and healing require reflective opportunities for making and conversation at their center. Connections with contemporary artists and exhibition spaces become transformative spaces for teaching and learning. Destinations for her work with educators have included the Oakland Museum of CA, The Jewish Contemporary Museum (SF), and the Museum of African Diaspora (SF). Currently as an artist-in-residence at Kala Art Institute, (Berkeley CA) her focus has shifted to approach community engaged work by beginning with her own personal inquiries and creating a range of artifacts later supported by and held by conversational prompts for gatherings and community celebrations of understanding.