Susan Holt

by Dana Kester-McCabe

Susan Holt, of Salisbury, Maryland, breaks out from traditional art supplies to create thought provoking art installations, large three-dimensional works of art which are meant to be immersive interactive experiences for the viewer. Her creations take the viewer to unexpected places.

Susan received a bachelor of fine arts in painting and then traveled to Italy where she stayed for sixteen years. What began as a plan to return temporarily to the U.S. evolved into growing permanent roots here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, working in the graphic arts and eventually teaching. In 2010 she returned to school herself earning her master’s degree. Until that time she describes her work mostly as abstract expressionism.

Susan has served on a committee that brought a permanent collection of public art to Salisbury which inspired an interest in the history of the Downtown Plaza which led her to her masters’ thesis which was an installation called Memories of Downtown Salisbury which has developed a life of its own.

With the help of a few volunteers Susan developed a large weaving with phrases from the interviews written on cloth strips. Visitors to the installation could participate in interviews and have their memories interwoven into the interactive sculpture. The piece has been shown several times and has it Facebook page where people continue to share memories:

Susan teaches both art and Italian language at Salisbury University. She also organizes study abroad trips. Most recently Susan led group to Venice for the Biennale. Susan’s latest installation piece was influenced by the porticos she saw in another trip she led to Bologna. The project was a fabric portico which she built to transform the space of a recent faculty show at the University.

Tenacity, humility, and openness are the keys to the creative process for Susan. She continues to be influenced by the art and architecture seen on her travels. An upcoming project will reflect the architecture and cultural layers she experienced in a recent trip to Spain.

Susan’s work can be seen in upcoming Salisbury University faculty shows and often downtown at Salisbury’s Third Friday art strolls. For University students interested in Italy, Susan is working on a proposal for a study abroad trip to Perugia in 2014.

Venice Biennale - on Facebook

Arts In Italy - on Facebook