2018-07-05 / News

Local artist wins Bren Sibilsky award in sculpture

By Paula K. Schmidt
810-452-2647 • pschmidt@mihomepaper.com


Johnson’s winning sculpture, called “All is Lost” was the winner of the Bren Sibilsky Special Recognition Award in Sculpture at a recent competition. 
Photo provided Johnson’s winning sculpture, called “All is Lost” was the winner of the Bren Sibilsky Special Recognition Award in Sculpture at a recent competition. Photo provided GRAND BLANC –— Grand Blanc may be a small spot on the map, but it garners new fame following an award for their resident artist Suzanne Johnson, who recently brought home a First Place Award in the Manhattan Arts International First Place Award competition held in New York, New York.

Johnson is a figurative bronze sculptor and custom jewelry designer based in the city, with a second home in Sri Lanka. Her work has been featured in numerous international galleries and group exhibitions including the Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art and her sculptures are in private collections worldwide.

On her inspiration for the work, Johnson said, “An image kept re-occurring in my mind, and I felt absolutely compelled to create this sculpture. I realized through the process of creating, that the Sculpture All is Lost was a representation of my concerns for friends and distant family members, who were at the time, dealing with a variety of difficulties in their lives. Originally, I had imagined the woman’s hand covering her face, however as I was sculpting I felt that pose carried too much despair, then I realized if I moved her hand to the side of her face, it allowed hope to shine onto her face.”

Johnson’s work ranges from life size busts to monumental figures. Her recent public commissions include The Violinist at the Flint Institute of Music, A Monument to Labor at the City of Flint Municipal Center, and Professor Bell at Kettering University, Flint, Michigan. She also created Vivaldi’s Angels, monumental bas relief stone panels for the Chapel of Angels in Flint.

Additionally, she is a member of the National Sculpture Society, Sculptors Society for the Public Arts, The Portrait Society of America, and Allied Artists of America. Johnson said, “My inspiration dwells beneath the surface of all I see. It resides in the histories and nuances of my subjects. My classical techniques then evolve

to fluently express the intent of my vision and form. When the artwork is fully realized, it is then transformed into the permanence of bronze.”

Juror Renee Phillips says, “For centuries woman artists have inspired, enlightened and informed us with their enormous talent, vision and commitment. Many have served as creative trailblazers. Unfortunately, their contributions have gone under-recognized. Manhattan Arts International has been presenting “HerStory” juried exhibitions since the year 2000. The exhibition provides opportunities for woman artists from around the world.” Phillips added, “Whenever I curate an exhibition I search for artists who have the full package of artistic skills, professionalism, body of work and much more.

Suzanne Johnson’s website is at sjsculpturedesign.com

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