For the Love of Sculpture
From the beginning, I have been an artistic child of Savannah who spent my summers in Brookgreen Gardens near Myrtle Beach, SC, climbing all over the sculptures. Without realizing it at the time, this childhood experience sparked my love of sculpture; It just took me a while to figure it out! And, while I did not set out to be a sculptor, my passion and talent grew, and I have been fortunate enough to have displays across the world.
I am primarily a portrait sculptor. I specialize in sculpting historical and living subjects and bring them to life in bronze. I do a great deal of research for all of the historical projects I have been involved in. I investigate the subject’s history and personality, physical attributes, and the appropriate period clothing they would have worn. Historical accuracy is paramount and is the trademark of my sculptures.
Through my subject’s facial expression, body language, and movement of its clothing, my sculptures draw the viewer into the realism and emotion of the time.
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 the arts came naturally. At a young age, Susie began showing talent, and art lessons were the norm. She painted well but could not connect to it. Together with her brother Danny Grantham, they majored in graphic design at the University of Georgia. Returning to Savannah, she married Billy Chisholm. She used her design skills in various jobs, including designing paper bags, creating billboard designs, and 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! Wanting more, she checked out every book on sculpture in the Savannah library to learn everything she could. 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 perfected her technique by participating in the 1997 University of Georgia art program in Cortona, Italy, studying 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 workshop marked the beginning of her ongoing commitment to bring art workshops to Savannah, thus founding the Susie Chisholm School of Sculpture.
In 2008 she produced the very successful and now annual Sculpture in Savannah sculpture show.
Her work is featured in numerous private collections throughout the world. Susie is an elected member of the National Sculpture Society.
Susie’s passion projects include 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 ensure accuracy. Her ability to capture even 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, and clothing movement. Her daily motto is, “It is not how life-like you make a sculpture, but how much life you give it.”