Recent paintings by Susan Stephenson, part-time Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at the College, are featured in a show titled, “A Unique Perspective,” at the Cate Charles Gallery in Stonington, Conn. The exhibition continues through July 16.
A far cry from the traditional home most Americans remember, Stephenson grew up in a geodesic dome in Louisiana – she describes it as “a big white half-ball made of multiple triangles.” One of the legacies this house has left her is an ongoing love of circles and triangles as well as the curvilinear perspective now so apparent in her paintings of street and landscape scenes. As a plein-air painter, Stephenson’s studio may be primarily outside, yet in each painting she is essentially creating a “dome of my own – a dome of the atmosphere and space.”
She uses a wrap-around perspective in order to fit as much as possible of her 360 degree visual experience into a rectangular format. This, in turn, has led to painting strange reflections in curved objects and in storefront windows. “I enjoy the contrast between reflection and reality,” Stephenson notes, continuing, “... between flat paint and the illusion of space. I want the viewer to feel as if he or she is standing in my shoes for a split second, seeing what I see.”
Stephenson’s work includes paintings developed on location in southern New England.
Her BFA, Studio, is from Louisiana Tech University and her MFA, Painting, from Boston University. She was an artist-in-residence at the Association for Visual Arts in Chatanooga, Tenn., and at The Griffis Art Center in New London, Conn. She recently received the Painting Fellowship from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and her work is in private and corporate collections throughout New England and the South.
The Cate Charles Gallery is located at 147 Water Street, Stonington, CT 06378. For more information visit www.catecharlesgallery.com