For the Love of Sculpture
What happens if you are an artistic child of Savannah whose favorite childhood summer pastime is climbing all over the sculpture in magnificent Brookgreen Gardens in nearby Myrtle Beach? Without realizing it at the time, this childhood experience gave her a love of sculpture. It just took her awhile to figure it out. And, while she did not start out to be a sculptor, she became a remarkable one.
The Modeling of a Sculptor
Talented, passionate, and driven to find her artistic niche, Susie was led to sculpture through a journey of personal discovery. Growing up in a home where artistic expression was valued, interest in art came naturally. Showing talent at a young age, art lesson were the norm. She painted well, but could not connect to it. She and her brother Danny Grantham both majored in graphic design at the University of Georgia. Coming home to Savannah, she married Billy Chisholm and used her design skills in a variety of jobs that included designing paper bags, creating billboard designs, and finally, designing and building exhibits for the Savannah Science Museum. During this time, she also raised three children.
Still unsure of her artistic direction, she happened upon an ad in a Savannah newspaper for a portrait sculpture class. She tried the class to see if she had any talent for this three-dimensional art form. After three lessons, Susie was hooked! Working with clay made sense to her, and it was fun! She wanted more. She checked out every book on sculpture in the Savannah library, learning everything she could about her new medium. Immersing herself in as many aspects of sculpture as possible, she also sought out the experts across the country who shared their knowledge through workshops.
Susie continued to perfect her technique by participating in the 1997 University of Georgia art program in Cortona, Italy where she studied sculpture and bronze casting. During a workshop in 2003 in Italy, Susie persuaded the sculpture instructor, Paul Lucchesi, to hold a workshop in Savannah. This marked the beginning of her ongoing commitment to bring art workshops to Savannah, thus founding the Susie Chisholm School of Sculpture. (see workshops)
In 2008 she produced the very successful and now annual Sculpture in Savannah sculpture show.
Her work is in numerous private collections throughout the world and in Reynolds Square Fine Art Gallery, 31 Abercorn Street at Congress Street, Savannah. (see map) She currently has a studio in the Art Center in Historic Savannah's City Market where her work can be seen by chance or appointment. (see map)
Susie is an elected member of the National Sculpture Society.
Susie’s passion is representational, figurative portrait sculpture. She enjoys making “real” people and bringing them to life in bronze. She spends a good deal of time before beginning a project getting to know the subject and strives to master all of the details needed to insure accuracy. Her ability to capture the subtlest details of ordinary people doing everyday things defines her work. Her sculptures tell a wordless story, conveying the emotion of a movement in time through facial expression, body language, the movement of the clothing.
“It is not how life-like you make a sculpture, but how much life you give it.”