Susan Togut believes in the power of creativity to engage fully in life while transforming its challenges. A public and gallery artist, educator, therapeutic facilitator and curator, she integrates personal perspectives and community-based, worldly concerns. Over thirty-five years she balanced her artistic evolution while facilitating individual and communal arts engagement. She orchestrated art programs and public art with intergenerational people of all backgrounds and abilities in community, educational and healthcare settings. She earned a BFA from Washington University, St Louis; an MFA from Pratt Insititute, Brooklyn, NY.
Inspired by nature’s cycles, Susan’s public and gallery art focuses on the fragility of life, strength, uncertainty and resilience, death, metamorphosis, regeneration and ascension. She creates wallpieces, sculptures, installations and contemplative public places, interweaving natural and ephemeral materials, often with illuminated painting. Her work is featured in galleries, sculpture gardens, hospitals and private collections, internationally. Numerous grants include Gottlieb Foundation. Pollack Krasner, Ford Foundation and NYFA Fellowships.
For many years Susan created Lifeforce environments along regional waterways with related gallery and museum installations. Her contemplative places include Healing Arbor, involving those touched by cancer in Kingston, NY (1997-2017). Her changing environments have been sited at Unison Art Center’s Sculpture Garden, (2011-ongoing) and Woodland Pond, New Paltz, NY (2014-ongoing), the Brydcliffe Arts Colony, Woodstock, NY (2013-14, 2019-20), and the Catskill Interpretive Center, Mount Tremper, NY (2015-19). In 2019 she created several outdoor contemplative and ecological environments, and exhibited in galleries, including Upstate Medical Center; Syracuse, NY.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Susan is mountingTransforming Uncertainty: Public Art During Challenging Times which links three projects that positively transform uncertainty. One is a social media process; two, an outdoor sanctuary now underway, and three, a collaborative Living With Uncertainty Sanctuary, planned for 2021-22. More information can be found on her website, facebook and instagram.
Susan imparts comprehensive lessons to the community through the synthesis of various dimensions. She teaches individual and collaborative visual arts; writes and lectures about community and individual renewal through the arts. For twenty-three years she orchestrated Engagement With Life, fine arts programs for all kinds of people, including those challenged by cancer, mental illness, autism and other illnesses or disabilities. For eight years she directed a Fine (and Performing Arts) Program for traumatic brain injured people of NCSC; Lake Katrine, NY. For the past five she’s been working with Holocaust survivors, seniors, youth, people with developmental disabilities and dementia. Currently, she is establishing an ongoing, intergenerational program model that includes public art, for her regional and other communities.