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Susan Chiquelin: Antlers and Reeds

11 Jun 2022 - 09 Jul 2022

Contemporary Basketry

Using traditional over/under weaving techniques, Susan Chiquelin innovates her basketry designs using deer antlers found in nature and gifted from hunters.  Both her utilitarian and abstract designs incorporate natural and dyed reeds to present unexpected forms, as do the organic lines of the antlers. Through Susan’s vision and sensibilities each piece transforms the ordinary materials into unique works of art.

I am an artist; what a joy it is to say that.

The joy I feel in saying that I am artist comes from internalizing the fact that human beings innately have the capacity to create. I had to discover that I have the same capacity. “Art/creativity” was not something that I believed existed inside me.  I loved seeing art and appreciating it, but I didn’t believe that I could create art.  When I found ceramics, I found that the capacity to create art does exist in me.  Ceramics introduced my journey into other media – fiber and encaustics – through which I express my creativity.

I am an artist; what a joy it is to say that.

Susan Chiquelin

About the Artist:

My life as an artist only began as I approached retirement age.  I knew I had to have “something- to -do” after I left my challenging and hectic career in educational administration. I was raised in New Orleans and was exposed to Newcomb pottery at an early age, so ceramics came to mind.  Wheel thrown pottery derives inspiration from nature and focuses on centering not just clay but also life.  So, I began taking lessons and I have never stopped.

I began my work in ceramics in 2003 and now in addition to creating ceramic art I teach wheel thrown ceramics at Pottery Alley, a local studio.  Since the beginning I have taken lessons from local ceramics teachers and enrolled in many weeklong classes at both John C. Campbell Folk School and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.  The University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers ceramic classes and I attended there for nine semesters under the direction of John Gargano, Department Chair.  Ceramics exposed me to the vast world of visual arts, and I have expanded my work to include fiber (basketry) art and encaustic painting.  I am a member of the Louisiana Crafts Guild and have earned Master Craftsman certification in clay and have been juried in for fiber as well. I am on the Board of the state crafts guild as well as the Board of the Lafayette Art Association. My pottery and basketry have been exhibited in many local galleries including the Hilliard Museum Gift Shop, Sans Souci Fine Crafts Gallery, The Acadiana Center for the Arts, Alexandria’s River Oaks Square Art Center. 

In pursuit of my art and my desire to fulfill my need to create I have focused on creating ceramic or fiber art that expresses beauty, joy and functionality.  As does the Newcomb pottery that I love, I take nature as a source of inspiration.  Therefore, in my fiber (reed) baskets I have combined mundane material used in traditional basketry with deer antlers to express unexpected forms driven by the unique shapes of the antlers.  The results are innovative works of art that are both beautiful to look at and useful to own.

  • Date: 11 Jun 2022 - 09 Jul 2022
  • Location:Acadiana Center for the Arts Coca Cola Studio
  • Curator:Jaik Faulk