Suzanne Sbarge: Observatories

With the Observatories series I am exploring house and tower forms as metaphysical homes for birds, faces, and figures. My fascination with birds is inspired by the paradox between their freedom of flight, and the stability of their domesticity. Birdhouses are characters in my work, in the process of change -- crumbling, looking, walking, and growing.

In these pieces, the landscape is made up of fragments. Bits and pieces create spaces within spaces. The surfaces bring together oil and acrylic painting with collage elements celebrating forms and rhythms in nature. Plant life, roots, blossoms, and birds become the habitat for metaphors of fertility, regeneration, and spiritual freedom.

I am inspired by the alchemical tension between the paint and collage elements. The combining of media is integral to the message. The juxtaposition of paint and collage causes the viewer to be jarred into an altered perception. This "collaged state of mind" is what I look for in my own process and what I also hope the viewer experiences. The dialogue between the real and the surreal highlight life's essential mysteries while serving as metaphors for life's ambiguities.

-- Suzanne Sbarge, April 2005


Born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1965, Suzanne Sbarge has lived in Albuquerque since 1989. She has exhibited her work locally and nationally in over 50 group exhibitions and nine one-person shows over the last 18 years. Her work is in the collections of over 60 local and national collectors. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Art History and Studio Arts from Barnard College in New York City and her Master's Degree in Art Education from the University of New Mexico. She has also studied studio arts at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Toulouse, France; Syracuse University in Florence, Italy; The Art Students' League in New York City; the University of Connecticut; the University of Massachusetts; as well as Anderson Ranch in Colorado, Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, and Vermont Studio Center.

Influences to her work include Mexican women surrealists Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington. In addition to her own visual work, she is also a writer, graphic designer, curator, and arts organizer. Suzanne Sbarge's work is represented by Nuart Gallery, 670 Canyon Road in Santa Fe; g2 gallery in Scottsdale, AZ; Galleri Urbane in Marfa, TX; and Volakis Gallery in Yountville, CA.

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