As 2023 begins, Susan Makov is anticipating the publication of poet Gary Stein’s Getting to Heaven (and Other Miracles). Makov’s work, based on images the poets sent as source material, graces the cover.
The book cover was just part of a busy 2022 for the retired professor. She received best of show in Art Fluents’ Elements exhibit; participated in the Open Studios produced by the Utah Arts Festival; exhibited with 15th Street Gallery in Salt Lake City; and received a handsome entry in the recently published Dictionary of Utah Fine Artists (see our review).
Though she taught printmaking and design at Weber State University for 38 years, in recent years Makov has focused more on painting in acrylic and oils “My background in woodcut and letterpress can always be seen in the texture, atmosphere, linear quality and color of the land and trees that I have been painting,” she says. “Working often with accidental marks became semi-abstracted visual work.”
“Discussions with a local dream group has also showed me the importance of friends and investigations into one another’s dreams,” she remarks. “Like visual art, sometimes the subjects of dreams can be literal, other times metaphorical or abstract connections.”
Makov was born in New York and studied at the State University of NY at Buffalo (MA) and Syracuse University (BFA), before coming west and eventually finding her teaching position at Weber State University. “In a way, living in the West partially makes me feel like I am living in the past,” she says. “In my 45 years living here after moving from New York, I have seen the spectacular environment and landscape change. I once saw the West of the 1950s and 1960s, although time-wise it was the United States of the 1970s. So, I got to look backwards in time. Slowly we have been catching up, seeing fast urban growth and rural decay found in the environmental problems of present day USA.”
“As a painter I have allowed myself to touch on various themes of environmental issues, fantasy and abstraction. In my dreams I can time travel. As a reflection of self and environment, my paintings reflect both where we are today and where I think we may be going in the future.”
See our profile of the artist here.
Every January we check in with Utah artists to see what the new year holds in store for them.