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MoonTree Studios Presents Tangible Evidence by Susan Sutherland Barnes

January 23, 2013

   01/24/13 MoonTree Studios is inviting the community to the opening reception for Tangible Evidence to be held Saturday, January 26, 2013 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. The artist is Susan Sutherland Barnes, a ceramic artist who uses clay to build abstract works in nontraditional ways. Barnes’ intricate, colorful glazed pieces are often composed around a single leaf, many with bright mosaic tile details, and even baskets, with woven wicker around the edges. Tangible Evidence will be displayed through February 24, 2013.

Susan Sutherland Barnes was born and raised in Niles, Mich. She holds a BFA in Fibers from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., and studied Painting and Printmaking at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. She left this area about 20 years ago when her husband, Rick, was transferred by AT&T to West Virginia, then Omaha, Neb. In the fall of 2010 Susan came home to Michigan to be closer to family, bringing her husband, son, studio, and art career with her.

Susan had established her first clay and fibers studio in Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1997. Prior to that, she worked in art education and administration, creating studio art only part-time. Today she maintains a full-time clay and fibers studio in Paw Paw.

  As Susan contemplated this Tangible Evidence show at MoonTree Gallery, her thoughts turned to coming back to the Michiana area, and the changes that move has wrought in her work. In her own words: “I recently came home to Michigan after twenty years away. I did not know how my life would change. I did not know how my changing life would alter my creative path.  I did not know that I would have to go back to the garden, put my hands in the literal dirt, and begin again.”

“These artworks are then an emotional response to my return to and experience in the natural world. They are metaphors for my Life pushing up and against itself in the process of re-discovery. They are the Tangible Evidence of a journey taken in Mind, Spirit, and Body.”

“The sky in Iowa is open; you can see forever … or until the next hill, whichever comes first.  Around my Michigan home, hill or no hill, I usually have to go find the sky.  You might think that wouldn’t matter, but it does. Connecting one’s creative spirit with a new piece of earth and the world surrounding it is an awesome experience. This is the adventure that pushes me forward and brings me to this current place, here and now, and in this moment. And so the process begins again. Art comes from life; life comes full circle.”


   About Moon Tree Studios

MoonTree Studios is a ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. Through participation in MoonTree experiences, people explore the interconnectedness of art, nature, and the Spirit within, to awaken to their creative potential and sow the seeds for a more mindful, compassionate and sustainable Earth Community. To learn more, please visit

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