Printer Friendly Version

Never-ending Shimmering Light


Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

Frozen moments in time, in their own breath, mystical memories and dancing, shimmering forms, are all aspects of artist Susan Canasi’s work. Creating across time and space, Susan has managed to master painting, drawing, sculpture, and mixed media for an exciting and soul-searching portfolio.

Susan began her life in Detroit, Michigan, where she attended Wayne State University and completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She was destined for a long and adventurous life in the arts. Shortly after graduation, Susan relocated to the desert southwest, which would prove to be a pivotal point personally, as well as creatively. 

While completing her studies at Arizona State University in the Masters of Fine Arts Program, she was mesmerized by the “never ending blue skies, shimmering light, endless vistas, and the unique assortment of desert foliage.” This is where Susan’s imagination was set free through infinite visual inspiration.  Her distinctive style, using a palette of color, shape, line, and texture, became her signature. She works out of her home studio, as well as the Welding Lab and Studio at Mesa Community College. Her work spans decades representing the birth and life of the creative process as it follows the ebb and flow of the desert moods.

In the last ten years, Susan has focused on her metal sculptures. She uses one of Arizona’s well know “Cs”: copper, along with brass, aluminum, and steel. Susan begins with sheets of metal; using a plasma cutter she forms a molten line through the metal as the image is drawn. With the use of various grinding tools, she creates textures that define each piece with patterns that complement the highly reflective surface. Color is then added to the polished surfaces through the use of an oxy-acetylene gas-welding torch. The torch becomes the artist’s “paintbrush” in the production of rainbow warm hues that form as the metal is heated. The dance of brilliant reflective light and glowing metal surfaces expand and contrast with the shifting light of the environment in which they live. Each piece promises to thrill the unexpected observer.

Currently, Susan is represented by the Silver Linings Gallery in Carefree, AZ and Ouray, Colorado, Corporate Art Consulting Services, Tempe Center for the Arts-Art Shop, and the Mesa Arts Center Store, Artists Cooperative Gallery. Susan has exhibited locally in numerous venues, including the Phoenix Art Museum, Tucson Museum of Art, Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Arizona Museum for Youth, and the Tempe Fine Arts Center. Nationally, her work has been exhibited in New Mexico, Utah, New Jersey, Florida, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Michigan. She is a member of the Sonoran Arts League and exhibits annually as a juried member at the Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour every November.

Susan has been commissioned to create artworks for a host of private collections. She enjoys the collaborative process of creating commissioned works of art for individuals and organizations in both public and private sectors. Susan has worked extensively in Scottsdale, Cave Creek, and the Carefree areas. For more information, visit her Web site at or call (480) 759-9550 for an appointment.

Contact arts columnist Shea Stanfield at