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Susan Chambers
Back to the Garden

The Batesville Area Arts Council presents Back to the Garden, an exhibition by Susan Chambers, at the BAAC Gallery on Main (226 E Main St) June 11 - July 27, 2024. 

Artist Statement

“The catastrophic realities that we’re facing in terms of the

climate, in terms of our planet, in terms of humanity - we’re being tasked with the question of : How do we rethink this? And aesthetics and art and culture are one way of interrogating all of that.” Julie Mehretu

I am a painter who plants native plants to create a haven for birds, pollinators, insects, lizards, and other living beings. The last two summers have had above normal temperatures and 2024 is predicted to be the same. Native plants have deep roots and are drought and heat resistent. They have developed symbiotic, beneficial relationships with pollinators over thousands of years. My garden is now filled with the constant activity of birds, bees and pollinators among the native plants.

As an artist I find native plants are also beautiful and interesting. In my paintings, I work with color and space to create a magical place between reality and abstraction. Space is often flattened and compressed to express the density and chaos of my garden. My colors are saturated and I often use complementary contrast. When the colors vibrate I feel the transcendence of being in the garden. To lose yourself in the garden is to find a new way of being. As Joni Mitchell sang, “...we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden”.


Susan Chambers explores her environmental concerns in vibrant paintings of the native habitat she has planted in her garden in the historic Quapaw Quarter, Little Rock, AR. Her BA is from Rhodes College and her MFA is from the University of Georgia. After teaching in Arkansas Arts Council residencies, local colleges and public schools, she is now painting and exhibiting full time. She received a 2020 Arkansas Arts Council Individual Fellowship in Painting and has work in several public collections including the Historic Arkansas Museum, Ft. Smith Regional Art Museum, U of A Little Rock Art Department, Arkansas Arts Council, Central Arkansas Library System, U of A Medical System - Little Rock. Her website is :

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