Susan McGilvrey sometimes creates large-scale, brightly colored earthenware vessels with carved layers of text, flowers and attitude. She also sometimes creates small, domestic-scale pottery in Shino-glazed stoneware but her main production has been work fired in an electric kiln, a process with all the drama and excitement of running a toaster. Rather than relying on tasteful surfaces from wood, salt or reduction firing, she uses her experience in drawing, painting and design to bring another sort of complexity to finishing her pots. Using liquid underglazes and underglaze pencils she melds quirky, gestural mark-making with her quirky, gestural wheel-throwing. While some pieces can stay quietly in their seats, others have to boogie just a bit.
Since accumulating an M.F.A from The Pennsylvania State University, she has maintained a studio in Benson, producing works on clay and paper that have been exhibited throughout the region. Susan has shown groups of her artwork in the Bemis and Sheldon Art Gallery exhibitions as a recipient of two NAC Individual Artist Fellowship awards. She was the subject of a Retrospective exhibition (accompanied by a very cool catalogue) curated by Gail Kendall and concurrently presented a solo show of recent work at the LUX center in Lincoln, NE in 2013.
As an instructor of drawing/design, ceramics, watercolor and printmaking at a variety of our fine, local, post-secondary institutions, she has attempted to teach/mentor/impose-her-reality on a wide range of students for a very, very long time.