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Radford University’s Gallery 205 to Exhibit Alumna in “Beyond the Tartan: Suzanne Guppy”
The rural rolling hills of the New River Valley are often the inspiration for M.F.A. students at Radford University, but alumna Suzanne Guppy was different. It was the lure of the New York art scene and a unique, educational opportunity that sparked her artistic imagery.
Guppy’s still life and landscape drawings are the subject of the next “Beyond the Tartan” alumni exhibit in RU’s Gallery 205. Her work from the past seven years is represented in the exhibit titled “Poetic Internet: Synthesizing Painting and Drawing,” which will be on display from Sept. 9 to Oct. 18.
Since finishing her degree in 2004, Guppy has shown her work at such galleries as the Painting Center and the Bowery Gallery in New York City. Locally she showed at the Market Gallery and at Signature 9 Gallery. While at RU her work centered on oil painting and drawing though she also studied sculpture and completed two life-size figures.
Under the guidance, professionalism, and encouragement of Dr. Halide Salam, Guppy designed a unique M.F.A. program. Spending the fall semester of 2000 at RU, she moved to New York City the following spring. She worked with faculty and administration so that she could attend classes in Manhattan at The New York Studio School of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture and concurrently enroll in classes at RU.
“I am grateful for Radford’s flexibility and understanding in helping me continue my M.F.A. program. It was a unique opportunity for me to study in New York with outstanding artists and visit all the great art museums the city has to offer,” Guppy says of that time period.
She would commute from Manhattan to Radford to meet with RU’s art faculty several times a semester.
When asked about why she chose to work on an M.F.A., she responds, “I returned to graduate school to deepen and broaden my understanding of art and my skills as an artist. Though I showed my work regularly I felt I needed to take my art to a higher level of professionalism. I learned the language of perceptual painting working directly from life.”
She uses her acquired skills in her art card business – SumiCards. Using a special sume-e (ink) brush technique, Guppy designs and hand paints each card. They are carried in Roanoke, Blacksburg, and Salem. They are also available in Richmond, where she now resides.
Guppy returns to RU this month. There will be an artist reception on Monday, Sept. 6 at 5:00 p.m. in Gallery 205. All are welcome to attend. The gallery is open on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information about this show or other exhibits, please call (540) 831-5754 or visit www.radford.edu/rumuseum.