SUSAN PELISH
850 NE Spanish River Blvd,#35
Boca Raton, Fl 33431
561-395-7862       pelishs@gmail.com,     www.pelish.net

SUSAN PELISH

AUTOBIOGRAPHY

POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK.  1946 – 1980

     SUNSET LANE. SPACKENKILL. 

The easel was my favorite.

     SPACKENKILL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

The glass windows at Spackenkill Grade School was where I painted the Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas mascots. I can still smell that egg tempera paint.   Our principal, Mrs. Lawrence would visit each class room and give us art lessons. Here’s the result of her step by step instructions.

BUNNYSCAPE. Crayon on paper. 18 x 14 inches. 1952.

IBM built their headquarters here and the employee country club had a museum quality Leonardo Da Vinci show. I will always be grateful for living by this wonderful corporation.

     POUGHKEEPSIE HIGH SCHOOL

My high school  had a wonderful art program. 

I was elected President of the Art Club. 

STUDENT LIFE.  A 11 x 19 ft  mosaic mural, It is still part of the Poughkeepsie High School architecture.

STUDENT LIFE. In progress. Ceramic mosaic tile on plywood. 11 x 19  feet. 1964.

STUDENT LIFE. In progress. Ceramic mosaic tile on plywood. 11 x 19  feet. 1964.

I immortalized my future husband, Jim Pelish in the mural. He’s the football player, #52.

 

     PRATT INSTITUTE, BROOKLYN, NY.

It was my 1st choice and I was accepted with a scholarship From the American Association of University Women.  

All colleges nationwide were full of young men taking advantage of the student deferment from the VietNam War. Competition was tough but I was accepted and my high school art teacher Joe Catanzaro was instrumental in getting me a scholarship from the American Association of University Women. My mother handled all the paperwork, and I paid the tuition from money I earned from a variety of jobs. At 5 I was selling Christmas cards door to door. Moved up the ladder by becoming a snow shoveler. Began baby sitting when I was too young. Lost a few kids, ignored a few more. Car hopping was a summer of learning, and so was waitressing at the B&D Diner. I learned thar I hated waiting on assholes. My next part time employment was operator at the NY Telephone Co. I had the most errors on my Blue Bird team. I did’t really care. I was just there because I needed money for college. My father encouraged my to work at IBM. I would have spent my summer putting little pieces of stuff in larger pieces of stuff. Now you know why I filled my application out in crayon.  I gave all my paychecks to my mother. She banked it. Bought IBM stock with it. Tuition was no problem. 

At Pratt I learned more from the students than from the professors. Pratt was close to world class museums. The most influential show that I was lucky enough to see was The MOMA Picasso retrospective. 1964. His cardboard sculptures legitimized the use of common materials to create art.  

 

Picasso’s GUITAR. 1912 -1914

GUERNICA, 1937, was so horrifying. I was made aware of the social power of art.

 

The Bonnard paintings at MOMA 1964 awoke me to the beauty of color.

NUDE IN FRONT OF A WINDOW.

 

Gustav Klimt

Water Serpents II . His huge gilded surfaces and patterns still show up in my work.

 Egon Schiele

 Grimassierendes Aktselbstbildnis.  It’s ok to make awkward art.

I left after 2 years. Jim wanted to get married, and I didn’t want to loose him to some Poughkeepsie bimbo. He was very eligible.

     TITUSVILLE RD.

After college, Jim and I eloped on a cold groundhog day at The New Hackensack Dutch Reformed Church. He slipped 4 times on the icy driveway. 

 We purchased our first home in 1966.

 

It was prefab experiment from the 1939 World’s Fair built by F. Scott Warthen, a Vassar College geology professor on Titusville Rd., La Grange, NY.  Secret – to this day there are rare geological samples from his collection buried around the foundation of the house. 

     SAN FRANCISCO 

We visited  San Francisco.  My favorite place was Watts towers. It was right after the race riots. A black man approached us outside the towers and sold us a $10.00 identification card which read. “You Are Now An Official Negro. In case of riots, present this card and you will be safe. “

    SUNY at New Paltz

I was still a student working on my education.

 Louis Krevolin, my ceramic professor allowed me to apprentice at his ceramic studio in Highland, NY. My professor Robert Scheuler and Steven Kolpan awarded me with a scholarship, Art Dreams, to continue my education at New Paltz. Professor Scheuler and the students played with the wind and sheets of plastic which translated into the creation of many blow up buildings.

BOCA RATON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL1982

I begin exhibiting my early work at the Woodstock Artist Association, the Haldis McPherson Gallery in Poughkeepsie, and Innisfree Gardens in Millbrook.  

I signed my “SHOCK ART” with a new name. Woffie Dumpling” 1973.

HUDSON RIVER WINDOW FRAME. Found objects. 24 x 12 inches.

GLASS.

When I was born my maternal grandfather gave me an END OF THE DAY paperweight.

I took it off a cold windowsill and washed it under warm water.

When I was ten I bought a BACCARAT MILLEFIORI paperweight at a yard sale for a dime.

When I was 20 we took a family trip to New Martinsville, West Virginia to visit my mother’s relatives. I am a direct descendent of Issac Smith. 

 

ISAAC SMITH

One of the most remarkable men in the history of West Virginia is

Isaac Smith. At his death he was the oldest man in West Virginia, and

probably the Southern States. He was born at Williamsport, Washington

county, Pennsylvania, in the year of 1789, and lived to be 109 years

old, which was but a few years back. He was a man of simple nature,

kind, strong and always industrious. He lived until his death in

Proctor Hollow, a ravine of five miles in length, running east and

west through Wetzel county, in a small log cabin, about two miles

from Proctor Station, on the Ohio River R. R. He erected the building

with his own hands when he came to West Virginia with his family,

sixty-nine years before his death. Then the country was a wide

forest, with only a few families scattered here and there over the

country. His nearest neighbor was a man by the name of Hogan, who

resided with his family five miles further up the run.

 

Some of the older residents who remember him when he was forty to

fifty years of age, say he could lift a barrel of whisky and drink

out of the bunghole, 

 

It was here in Proctor WV that I discovered factory hot glass.  The gaffer was swinging molten glass on the end of his blow pipe to stretch it to form a tall vase. I went home and sold my BACCARAT paperweight and with the money I bought Dominick Labino’s crucible and his low melting glass marbles #475 that were advertised in Ceramics Monthly. The marbles were made from a formula he’d invented for his employer, Johns Manville Fiber Glass Corp. in Waterville, Ohio

 Armed with my West Virginia blow pipe, a gift from my mother, and Jim’s firepot from his hot tar furnace, I began blowing glass in our garage and  became a pioneer in the American Studio Art Glass Movement.

 My connection with glass is still as strong as ever.

The Vietnam draft was in full force, and Jim needed a deferment FAST. Jason was born. I temporarily dismantled my glass studio to become a full time motherand student. I  enrolled in SUNY , New Paltz, in the Fine Arts program and had the grand pleasure to be schooled by Professor Bob Scheuler, the creator of the Tethy Project, a world wide sculpture experience. Later  Jason and I were his marble block fabricators. I was influenced by other important artists. Milton Glaser, Push Pin Studios, Manhattan. He encouraged me to continue allowing my artistic vision to grow. A visit to Alexander Caulders studio in Roxbury Conn, enriched my sculptural vision.

 

EXPERIMENTAL ARCHITECTURE, 

 Jim was experimenting with a new building material, Urethane foam. Besides his commercial and architectural projects, he created many sculptures. He did a demonstration for Yale and used Ira Richer, a student who became a professor at THE SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS.

 

 

 Ira discovered that he was stuck as the foam expanded tightly around his body. The foam was  heating up. He was rescued before he passed out.

 

 Jim created a foam dome for us to live in. First he inflated a 30 ft paper dome.

 

 

Then he covered it with urethane foam.

 

 

 

We lived in it and enjoyed the best acoustics. John Lennon’s IMAGINE and Sixtoe Rodriguez, COMING IN FROM REALITY were favs.

Jim sold the Urethane Foam Business for lots of money and shortly after we moved to St. Johns, VI. where we attempted to buy by Errol Flynn’s Black Swan, a huge sailing ship anchored in Tortola. Suddenly racial unrest exploded. White golfers were gunned down on the golf course, and we were advised to leave ASAP.  We boarded the Bomba Charger and went back to NY.

 

WEST PARK, NY

 

We both fell in love with a Slab Sides, primitive cabin (no electricity, heat, plumbing) in the primeval forest of West Park, the home of the naturalist John Burroughs.  

 

 

 

When I was born my maternal grandfather gave me an END OF THE DAY paperweight.

It wasn’t cracked until I took it off a cold windowsill and washed it under warm water.

 

When I was ten I bought a BACCARAT MILLEFIORI paperweight at a yard sale for a dime.

 

When I was 20 we took a family trip to New Martinsville, West Virginia to visit my mother’s relatives. I am a direct descendent of Issac Smith. 

 

ISAAC SMITH

One of the most remarkable men in the history of West Virginia is

Isaac Smith. At his death he was the oldest man in West Virginia, and

probably the Southern States. He was born at Williamsport, Washington

county, Pennsylvania, in the year of 1789, and lived to be 109 years

old, which was but a few years back. He was a man of simple nature,

kind, strong and always industrious. He lived until his death in

Proctor Hollow, a ravine of five miles in length, running east and

west through Wetzel county, in a small log cabin, about two miles

from Proctor Station, on the Ohio River R. R. He erected the building

with his own hands when he came to West Virginia with his family,

sixty-nine years before his death. Then the country was a wide

forest, with only a few families scattered here and there over the

country. His nearest neighbor was a man by the name of Hogan, who

resided with his family five miles further up the run.

 

Some of the older residents who remember him when he was forty to

fifty years of age, say he could lift a barrel of whisky and drink

out of the bunghole, 

 

It was here in Proctor WV that I discovered factory hot glass.  The gaffer was swinging molten glass on the end of his blow pipe to stretch it to form a tall vase. I went home and sold my BACCARAT paperweight and with the money I bought Dominick Labino’s crucible and his low melting glass marbles #475 that were advertised in Ceramics Monthly. The marbles were made from a formula he’d invented for his employer, Johns Manville Fiber Glass Corp. in Waterville, Ohio

 Armed with my West Virginia blow pipe, a gift from my mother, and Jim’s firepot from his hot tar furnace, I began blowing glass in our garage and  became a pioneer in the American Studio Art Glass Movement.

 My connection with glass is still as strong as ever.

 

The Vietnam draft was in full force, and Jim needed a deferment FAST. Jason was born. I temporarily dismantled my glass studio to become a full time mother. I  enrolled in SUNY , New Paltz, in the Fine Arts program and had the grand pleasure to be schooled by Professor Bob Scheuler, the creator of the Tethy Project, a world wide sculpture experience. Later  Jason and I were his marble block fabricators. I was influenced by other important artists. Milton Glaser, Push Pin Studios, Manhattan. He encouraged me to continue allowing my artistic vision to grow. A visit to Alexander Caulders studio in Roxbury Conn, enriched my sculptural vision.

 

EXPERIMENTAL ARCHITECTURE, 

 Jim was experimenting with a new building material, Urethane foam. Besides his commercial and architectural projects, he created many sculptures. He did a demonstration for Yale and used Ira Richer, a student who became a professor at THE SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS.

 

 

 

 Ira discovered that he was stuck as the foam expanded tightly around his body. The foam was  heating up. He was rescued before he passed out.

 

 Jim created a foam dome for us to live in. First he inflated a 30 ft paper dome.

 

 

Then he covered it with urethane foam.

 

 

 

We lived in it and enjoyed the best acoustics. John Lennon’s IMAGINE and Sixtoe Rodriguez, COMING IN FROM REALITY were favs.

Jim sold the Urethane Foam Business for lots of money and shortly after we moved to St. Johns, VI. where we attempted to buy by Errol Flynn’s Black Swan, a huge sailing ship anchored in Tortola. Suddenly racial unrest exploded. White golfers were gunned down on the golf course, and we were advised to leave ASAP.  We boarded the Bomba Charger and went back to NY.

 

WEST PARK, NY

 

We both fell in love with a Slab Sides, primitive cabin (no electricity, heat, plumbing) in the primeval forest of West Park, the home of the naturalist John Burroughs.  

 

 

This truck came in handy. First with the remodeling and then to bring Amber home from Kingston Hospital in 1973. 

 

Jim, Jason and I lived in our tent while we were making the cabin liveable. The stone building came in handy.

 

I was inspired by the woods. A series of drawings followed.

 

 

 

I guilded spider webs with gold powder.

 

 

THE FLEA MARKET

Immediately after Amber was born Postpartum Depression set in and I had to find a way out. A business opportunity helped me with the symptoms. I was inspired by Abby Hoffman’s book, FUCK THE SYSTEM.

 

 I decided to open a free store. I rented a strategically located barn close to the NY State thruway on Old New Paltz Rd , and filled with all the merch I could find at the local landfill. 

Fortunately I had first pick of the desirable antiques and folk art. Kelter Malce, the foremost folk art experts from Manhattan were my best customers. My artistic training gave me the ability to tell authentic antiques from worthless items. I rescued many American historical artifacts. I always gave away clothes but to meet expenses I began my long career of buying and selling EVERYTHING!!!!

 

 

GROVER CLEVELAND. Carved wood. h=18 inches. 1894. Exhibited by Leigh Keno at the N. Y. Armory show. 2012

 

At age 11 Jason asked for a computer. Jim tried to convince him that a dirt bike would be more fun, but  Radio Shack had the TRS 80 so his wish was granted. The following year he was enrolled in computer college classes at SUNY at New Paltz. His technical expertise developed over many years, has been  very important to our family. The computer I’m using right now is was built by Jason. He’s my connection to the new age.

 

 

 

MID HUDSON ART AND CULTURAL SOLO SHOW. THE BEACH PEOPLE.  Dec. 1979

 

 

 

 

 

Before the show ended we moved to Boca Raton Florida.

A life of ART finally allows me time to create my most exciting, original, emotional art. It is keeping me focused every day. Together with my husband, Jim, we plot, plan, and execute wonderful SCULPTURES that contain a lifetime of imagination. For the past ten years I have created a series of PAINTINGS that show a unique development in visual exploration. My DRAWINGS have allowed my imagination the freedom I have searched for all my life.

Creating custom art for collectors and galleries has kept me very active for the past 30 years in Boca Raton. my glass and cement sculptures, and oil paintings have won many awards, and been featured in important museum shows.
As creator of the welded glass sculpture movement in South Florida, I have engineered many public and private glass art installations. The Forge Restaurant, Miami,  commissioned me to fill the Pharmacy Room with Illuminated, carved, and colored surrealistic portraiture. I donated an illuminated glass wall to The Boca Raton Down town Library in 1999,  created glass waterfalls in 2009,  and carved and colored a glass wall  15 ft. x 20 ft. on the Norwegian Cruise Ship, “Sky”.
Glass wasn’t the only sculptural medium I excelled in. in 1988, I was awarded the contract to create and install 50 larger than life, cement great white herons alongside I95. The I95 driving public enjoyed the roadside installation so much that traffic ground to a standstill at the sight of this enormous flock.
1999 I was artistic director of the Boca Raton Beautification Committee. where I was awarded the key to the city of Boca Raton by Mayor Carol Hanson for my many artistic gifts to the city
In. 1984 my son, Jason and I became a creative force behind The Tethys Project – Worldwide. The largest sculpture ever created

EDUCATION

2015. Docent Education at the Boca Raton Museum of Art                                                                                                    1994 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Fl.
1966 Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. Awarded the American Association of University Women, Two Year Scholarship
1966 State University at New Paltz, New York
1964 Poughkeepsie High School, N.Y. Regents Scholar

AWARDS
2015- Docent at the Boca Raton Museum of Art
2013- Awarded position of Gallery Specialist for The Historic Studio Art Glass collection at the Boca raton Museum of Art
2008 Jurors Recognition, Boca Raton Museum Artists’ Guild Juried Show, Tools 3
2007 Honorable Mention Boca Raton Museum Artists’ Guild Juried Show, Bubble Rocker
2007 Jurors Recognition, Boca Raton Museum Artists’ Guild Juried Show, Beach Lovers
2006 Third Place, Boca Raton Museum Artists’ Guild Juried Show, Waterfall
2005 Honorable Mention Boca Raton Museum Artists’ Guild Juried Show, Sporaphite
2003 Honorable Mention, Boca Raton Museum Artists’ Guild Juried Show, Fire Queen,
2003 Judges Recognition, Boca Raton Museum Artists’ Guild Juried Show, Venus de Waitress
2002 Third Place, Boca Raton Museum Artists’ Guild Juried Show “Images Violin Abstract
2002 Second Place, Boca Museum Artists’ Guild Juried Show. The Courtyard, Loco-Motion $300.00
2002 Honorable Mention, Boca Raton Museum Artists’ Guild Juried Show, Rocker with Viper
2002 Sculpture Award, First Prize, The Hortt 43rd Annual Juried Art Show”, Ft. Lauderdale The Chair
2002 “Eye on The Everglades”, Palm Beach Cultural Council Juried Show, Scrub Snake, Photography.
2002 “Destination: Culture” The City Place, Palm Beach Culture Council Juried Show,
2002 Palm Beach International Airport, Heart of the City
2001 Second Place, Boca Raton Museum Artist Guild Juried Show at the Courtyard,
2001 Judge’s Recognition, Tri-County Juried Show, Broward Art Guild, Coral Springs Museum
2001 Mixed Media Sculpture Award, The Hortt 42 Annual Juried Art Show. Fort Lauderdale,
1999 Key to the City, presented by the Mayor for Public Art in Community Library
1996 XS Best of the Gallery, Museum of New Arts and art Serve.
1993 Best of Show, Best Graphic, Best Painting. West Palm Beach Library Show, Palm Beach
1993 Honorable Mention. Ritter Gallery, FAU, Boca Raton, FL
1983 Excellence in Oil, Broward Art Guild, Fort Lauderdale, FL
1982 Research Grant. Art Dreams Inc. New Paltz, NY
1983 Thire Prize, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Xerox Collage, SUSAN AND ALLYN
1981 Second Prize. Boca Raton Museum of Art, Oil Painting. BEACH ALCHEMY

1979, Mid Hudson Museum of Arts and Sciences, solo show, BEACH PARTY.
1980 Second Prize, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Oil Painting, BOCA BEACH.

1964 Two Year Scholarship for Pratt Institute given by the American Association of University Women.

THE MUSEUMS
The Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art
The Boca Raton Art Museum of Art
The Hollywood Art and Culture Museum
The Ormond Beach Museum, “Horney” chosen for permanent collection, 2003
The Vero Beach Center for the Arts

PRIVATE COLLECTIONS
Phyllis and Jerome Rubin
Ruth and Ken Feigel
Elayne and James Schoke
Mr. and Mrs Irvin Gotlieb, Ballen Isles, Fl
Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Wall, Palm City, Fl
Mr. and Mrs. Bernard and Sandra Meyer, Highland Beach, Fl
Carsten Maschmeyer, Rainbow Residence, Manalapan, FL
Dr. and Mrs. Suberman, Boca Raton, Fl
Mr. and Mrs Edward Masterman, Palm Beach, Fl
M. Anisfield. London, England
Sh. Eqbal F. Alsbah, Kuwait
Reynold’s Family, Palm Beach, FL
Mary Ann De George, St. Petersburg, FL
Mr. S. Gomberg, Miami, FL
Mr. Cecil Fielder, Palm Beach, FL
Mr. & Mrs. Steingart, Boca Raton, FL
Mr. Alvin Malnick, Miami, FL
Jimmy Robinson, Poet to the Stars. Palm Beach
Lenore Robbins, President of The Boca Raton Museum Artist’s Guild

PUBLIC ART
Boca Raton Library, The historic Green Buttonwood tree. Carved mirror with Glass Garden
The Historic Green Buttonwood Tree” h 30” w 40” Oil on canvas The original painting hangs in the Department of Agriculture, Tallahassee.
Norwegian Cruise Lines, “Norwegian Sky”. The Atrium Mural. “Deep Seas” h 20’ w 15’, carved and tinted glass. 1990
Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex, Carved and colored glass, DIVE HAWKSBILL, DIVE. 1988
The Forge Restaurant, “Strange Women in Strange Places”, 10 murals, h 5’ w 3’, Back lit, carved and tinted 1/2″ mirror.
Exxon Corporation, Riverbridge, Flock of Great White Herons, painted cast concrete, , 50 birds, h 5’ West Palm Beach, Fl, 1986
Newport Business Center, Flock of Great White Herons, 75 birds, Deerfield Beach, Fl 1985
The Eagle Sign, Boca Raton Elementary School. Painted and sculpted plywood. h 4’ w 16’ 1983
“Student Life” mosaic mural, h 9’ w 15’ Poughkeepsie High School, New York, 1963

Comments are closed here.