Artist Statement


Most of my work centers on the visual exploration of a universal language of symbols often in a magical or theatrical storytelling context. Most of my ideas come to me in dreams. I create acrylic paintings incorporating mixed media, often in montage format. I refer to them as “hybrid paintings” due to their sculptural relief elements. Several characteristics that I desire in my paintings are a feeling of high energy, the resonance of vibrant color, the appearance of innocence, and the idea of sacred space. I have always been very interested in the symbolism of certain objects such as candles, keys, and doorways. Nature is another interest, especially when portrayed in a mythological context.

I was born in Frankfurt, Germany, the eldest daughter of a gypsy mandolin player from Bohemia, and was brought to America as an infant. Traveling back and forth between cultures and landscapes has given me a strong internal compass. I’ve always taken a bit of an outsider’s view. I’m not swayed by popular thought or conventions.

In 1991 I moved to Minneapolis to raise my daughter in an environment of great opportunities and to nurture my career as an artist. I started the Main Perspective Art Cooperative, which operated briefly in St. Anthony Main, downtown. In 1995, I opened The Art Underground Gallery for emerging artists on 50th and Bryant. There, I represented talented young artists from many disciplines and gave several notable Minneapolis artists their first solo exhibition. I have also taught children to create and love art in citywide programs throughout Minneapolis since 1991.


In 2002, I moved to rural Minnesota and eventually began the obsessive restoration of a beautiful historic former opera palace. I hope it will one day be a sanctuary for the arts in an underserved region currently facing severe social problems. I would like to offer young people options to remain in the area. I have already created over 1400 feet of new gallery and maker-space within the community.


I am deeply indebted to fabulous influences in my life from other artists living and departed and from the multicultural experiences I am fortunate to have been exposed to from a young age. My mythologies are woven from countless threads of humanity including ancient petroglyphs, Byzantine icons, Renaissance architecture, Spanish mystical realism, Asian/Indian color aesthetics, and post-modern line.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my work. I hope it conveys to you the awe and wonder that I feel within the creative process.


©2024 Susanne Crane ||| Designed and hosted by Inkfish Design Studio