Susan Rowe Harrison

category: Visual,

Contact & Info


Phone: 914-536-7271


Artist Statement

The climate crisis is overwhelming; we struggle to understand its effects on everyone and everything everywhere. Through drawing and installation, I explore my concerns about climate change and the relationship between humans and nature. By shifting scale, negative space, and color to create seductive surfaces to draw in the viewer, I play with the relationship between physical and intangible boundaries, visible and invisible, how we experience the world, and how we perceive a sense of place. I intertwine nature, deep ecology, drawing, and growth.

Educational Background

Susan Rowe Harrison (b. 1965, Chicago, Illinois) utilizes drawing and installation to explore her fascination for natural environments and our relationship to them through drawing and installation. Rowe Harrison studied painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (1990-1991). She earned an MA, in Art + Education from New York University, New York, NY (2003) and a BA, in History of Art from the University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, California (1987).

The artist has been shown and collected internationally, including LinkedIn NYC (Empire State Building), Hyatt Hotels, Pfizer NYC, Arts Etobicoke/Amnesty International, Autoshare/Art on the Move, Floorworks/Relative Space, Bookhou, The Gladstone Hotel, Wave Hill, the University of Chicago Committee on Japanese Studies, The Newberry Library, and FIFA World Cup/Seoul 2002. She currently lives and works in New York.

Teaching Artist Experience

I have over 20 years of experience facilitating art workshops for diverse audiences in museums and schools in the US, Canada, and England, such as the Whitney Museum, DIA Chelsea, Wave Hill, the Whitechapel Art Gallery, NYC Public Schools, and the Toronto District School Board, Arts Westchester, and Hoff-Barthelson Music School, and the Hudson River Community Education Program.

I like to share my knowledge with students and help them navigate through questions about art and artmaking. My approach is choice-based and responsive. I balance students' diverse creative skills and abilities with more abstract creative challenges so that students build creative and critical skills. I am comfortable working with several media in the classroom. I teach using analog and digital media, choosing according to the site, projects, and students.

Contemporary art lends itself to integrated and interdisciplinary projects. Most artists draw on various sources and connect across boundaries and subject matter.

Recent workshops include:

EMPIRE STATE CREATES Artist-Led Activities for Everyone Award, NY ARTS IN EDUCATION ROUNDTABLE, SECOND-HAND NEWS: Artists who Use the Newspaper: Fred Tomaselli, Lorraine O'Grady, and Elisa Levy, asynchronous online educational resource for educators with art process example videos, 2021


In-Person: Teen Tuesday:

Collage Stories: Create your news headlines using collage and illustration techniques. 2022

Holiday Ornament Workshop on the theme What is Festive? To answer the question: What is Festive to you? Teens will make a plexiglass ornament with transparent vinyl cut and collaged to answer the question: What is Festive to you? 2021

VIRTUAL Arts Workshops: Collage with Newspaper (Fake News), Teen & Making Paint with Susan Rowe Harrison (Color is Everywhere), Grade School, Nov 2020

Hudson River Community Education Program-Adults. Teaching art to adults in a life-long learning program. Drawing and Drawing with Color. Current

Clearview School- Artist Residency- Worked with students in the therapeutic Upper-Grade Program at Clearview School to facilitate student-designed and created small works on plexiglass using graphic vinyl.

Hoff-Barthelson School: SummerArts-Elementary Arts (image 3). Art projects in all media for music students from K-Grade 3. 

Boys and Girls Clubs of Mount Vernon, Teen Club (image 4): Through the support of an ArtsWestchester Mount Vernon Cultural Initiative Grant, I collaborated with a group of teens at the Mount Vernon Boys and Girls Club to create a large-scale mural from concept to completion. 8+ sessions. 

The mural looks at what it is like to be a teen. The wonderful and challenging days inspire our hopes and dreams for the future. The theme embraces the mission of the Boys and Girls Club's "Great Futures Begin Here!"

Rebecca Turner School, Mt. Vernon/Grade 5, students used templates to trace the digestive system on t-shirts.

School 15, Yonkers/Grade K, children used to paint, clay, wax pastels, and collage to create artwork and books.

School 9, Yonkers/Grade 4, students created a large-scale collaborative mural for the hallway at the school.

In my Invention Project at Withrow School/Grade 5, we look at invention as a creative opportunity, mining examples in engineering and art history. In the Fluxus and Identity Projects, I have combined Language Arts through students' poetry and prose, letter writing, and classroom discussion to make identity and self-portraits (Fluxus project).

Autoshare/Art on the Move/Karen Kain School of the Arts: For my Art on the Move residency, I worked with 26 grade 4-6 students in Beryl Cohen's After School Art Club at the Karen Kain School of the Arts in Etobicoke. We worked with themes of the environment, mapping and borders, and life in Toronto over six workshops at the school. In these workshops, students created the drawings and collages that I would then use in my design for a vehicle wrap for a Ford Transit van, a new addition to Autoshare's fleet. I sampled 16 students' artworks and my own to create a four-part design for the wrap. Each side is a unique drawing (image 5).

Graffiti Project with Stephen Cahatol's 5th-grade class at Cresthaven Public School, Toronto District Art Department/Dare to Create Artist Residencies May/June 2014:

Because Cresthaven Public School supported teachers in creating art projects in the schoolyard, such as cutting recycled flags to decorate fences with students, the classroom teacher and I decided to do a graffiti project for the schoolyard on a concrete storage bunker on the playground. We mainly used recycled materials for the project from Arts Junktion (similar to Materials for the Arts).

The project took place over a five-day residency. The classroom teacher extended the project during lunch and study breaks to ensure we could finish the project. Students chose an environmental theme, "Grow Green," for the mural, thinking of future generations of the school community. They used math skills to measure the bunker and build scale models out of foam core. Measuring required care on the part of the students so that their cubes would fit together. Each group sketched their concept ideas on their scale models and presented their vision for the bunker that each group drew on a whiteboard projection for the class. We voted to choose which student drawings we would use on the bunker—since the work was so good, we chose a combination of concepts. We also discussed graffiti, its value, the people who make it, and where we find it. We also discussed scale and made initial sketches in chalk on the bunker so that students could understand how to adapt their drawings to a larger format. Students created stencils and used spray paint to make their graffiti mural. The teacher plans to add to the mural with his fifth-grade classes each year.