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Susan Arena

Glendale Arts presented “Apologizing For My Wild”: New Work by Susan Arena 2024 at ace/121 Gallery in celebration of Women’s History Month. The solo exhibit was on view from February 28-March 30, 2024. An Artist Reception was be held on Saturday, March 2 from 6:00-8:00pm. The reception was free and open to the public. 


“My work in drawing, painting, and ceramic sculpture investigates the experience of the female,” says Arena. “Stories and characters in my paintings bring into question how the female body holds a new kind of power as seen through the modern gaze–mother, monster, adventurer, sex goddess–a multitude of signifiers, held in a single vessel.”


The show evoked the beautiful messiness of being female and was inspired by a powerful quote from poet and playwright Nikita Gill: “Some days I am more wolf than woman, and I am still learning how to stop apologizing for my wild.” 


Arena’s bold and expressive artwork is equally about exploring, drawing, color, and form, influenced by the history of painting, from Giotto to Phillip Guston and Alice Neel, and also such sources as paper dolls, family photos, tattoo art, and objects found at thrift stores. Each of the pieces stands on its own, but together the many faces and figures tell a larger collective story.


An Collage Workshop led by the artist was held on Saturday, March 16 from 3:30-5:00pm.

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ace/121 Gallery does not collect any commission from the sales of artwork. All sales agreements take place between artist and buyer, with 100% of sales going directly to the artist. The gallery can help facilitate communication, but is not responsible for any part of the sales agreement.

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