Contemplating the beauty at the Desert Foothills Library

By SHEA STANFIELD

ARTS COLUMNIST

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts,” Rachel Carson wrote in her book “Silent Spring.

 

Contemplation, inspiration and an ability to move metal and mixed media into exquisitely natural and impressionistic forms is the signature style of local metal artist Susan Canasi. Susan began her creative journey in Detroit, Mich., and attended Wayne State University where she completed a bachelor’s in fine arts.

 

Shortly after graduation Susan relocated to Arizona enrolling at Arizona State University (ASU) in the fine arts program for her master’s degree. This would prove to be a pivotal point personally, as well as creatively.

Susan drew her inspiration from the “never ending blue skies, shimmering light, endless vistas and the unique assortment of desert foliage.” Susan’s imagination was set free through infinite visual inspiration.

 

Her distinctive sculptural style developed using a palette of color, shape, line and texture in her metal work that would become her signature. Susan works from her home studio and the Welding Lab and Studio at Mesa Community College.

 

The raw materials of Susan’s pieces are Arizona copper, brass, aluminum and steel. Susan begins with sheets of metal and 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 pattern that compliment the highly reflective surface.

 

Color is then added to the polished surfaces by using 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.

 

Susan’s latest series is created for outdoor wall installations. Each piece is covered with durable powder coat finish that enables it to withstand the elements. She has also added botanical artworks using the same durable techniques to create accent pieces, which can be placed in ceramic pots, or installed throughout your landscape.

 

Susan’s piece “Atlantis” was selected as part of the showcase exhibition, representing Studio 10 on the annual Hidden in The Hills art tour. The exhibit can be seen at the Desert Foothills Library from now through January 25, 2019 (desertfoothillslibrary.org).

 

Her work is currently represented by The Store at the Mesa Art Center, (mesaartscenter.com), and the TCArt Shop at the Tempe Center for the Arts (tempecenterforthearts.com).

 

Susan’s work has been exhibited locally and nationally and is in over 25 private collections. She is a member of the Sonoran Arts League and participates in exhibits annually with the group. To view a selection of Susan’s pieces, see her exhibit schedule, commission a piece or make an appointment visit susancanasi.com or call 480-759-9550.

 

Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield at flowingquill@yahoo.com.

 

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