DOWN TO THE BONE: SUSAN ERIKSON HAWKINS – ART WALK NEWS

DOWN TO THE BONE: SUSAN ERIKSON HAWKINS

SUSAN4I am a sculptor/artist native to Southern California who lives and works in Long Beach.  My figurative sculptures in polychrome plaster, bronze, terracotta, and steel evoke a sense of turbulent motion and inner conflict.  I began my formal training as a painter at the age of eight and then turned to sculpture in college in my early twenties.  I have exhibited my work throughout Southern California and have pieces in public collections, including that of California State University, Long Beach, University Extension Services, as well as many private and corporate collections.

I have taught sculpture classes at Fullerton College, The Academy of Art College, and California State University, Long Beach, from which I hold a Masters of Fine Arts in sculpture as well as a Bachelors of Fine Arts in drawing and painting.  Since then, I have shown my work at various Southern California galleries, art walks and invitational exhibits.susanhawkins1

Recently I worked for the major California art fabricators, Carlson and Co. and Handmade, on a large-scale sculpture for world-renowned artist, Jeff Koons.
For several years, I have opened my studio to the public as part of the Long Beach Open Studio Tour, a free tour of artist’s studios in Long Beach. I have also offered drawing and sculpture workshops to the public at the Stephen Werlick Studio in Long Beach.

How did I get started in sculpture?
Apparently, I am good  at smushing things with my hands. SUSAN2

I started young.  With mud-pies and snails fresh from the garden, (pictures prove this), and moved on to crayons and fabric paint, cookie dough, and various musical instruments.  But I didn’t really pursue art in any serious way.  In college, after multitudinous tries at different majors, I spent a long time thinking about what I was most suited for and I realized that I was at my best when I could make things directly with my hands, plus that I really wanted to draw.  So I settled on art which allowed me to smush things with my hands and didn’t require math.

When I was nearly done with my BFA in drawing and painting, I took a required beginning life sculpture class, fell in love with clay, and knew I had finally found where I needed to be.  I stayed on to complete my MFA in sculpture.

I work predominantly with the figure.

I have always been interested in the human body; the way it moves, how things connect under the skin.  I started out with traditional materials: clay, plaster, wax, and bronze. The pieces have evolved into multi- media structures of direct plaster, steel and wire mesh. While I love the way the density and pliability of clay relates to the physical mass of the human body, after seeing the work of Deborah Butterfield, I became interested in the idea of volume without mass; being able to create a sense of the interior spaces of the body, and how its internal forms interconnect. This led me to explore the open and transparent forms that you see in my latest sculptures.

FMI: SUSANERIKSONHAWKINS.COM