Obituary: Susan Schiesser
October 30, 2020
Steamboat Springs’ art community has been shaken by the loss of one of the most talented, driven, unpredictable, deliciously amusing artists to call Steamboat home. Susan Schiesser was one of Steamboat’s most colorful and vibrant artists, mentor and inspiration to uncountable artists, and loving friend. She died October 30, 2020 surrounded by her family and friends in her home away from home, Kauai, Hawaii.
Susan helped transform the art scene in Routt County with her own brand of contemporary art that was authentic to the places and subjects she loved. She perfected the drip, swirl and sparkle techniques in her work that grace the walls of collectors worldwide. Susan won the Mango Princess Award for ‘Best of Show’ from the Kauai Society of Artists, was chosen as Steamboat’s ‘Best in the ‘Boat’ Artist’ and had work represented in galleries from Colorado to Hawaii, Nevada, California and Key Largo. Overseas, her work was exhibited in Switzerland and Germany.
She was a leader of change and fierce advocate of the arts in rural Colorado and beyond. Her relationship with the art community in Steamboat Springs began in 1999 with the Steamboat Springs Arts Council’s Small Works Gallery, followed by Artlink and Art Thursdays which involved a touring city bus, video and TV content, art-of-beer brewery tour. She ran three galleries and, alongside Pat Walsh and Jim Cook, has continually worked to provide a platform for established and emerging artists. She collaborated with anyone she found talented and passionate, no matter their age or experience.
Outside of her art, Susan loved yoga, dance, family, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, shooting skeet, skiing, travel and mindfulness. Perhaps the greatest loves of her life were her dogs, who were spoiled beyond belief and had healthier diets than most people.
Susan will always be the sparkle that dances on the ocean under the full moon.
Susan is survived by two sisters, Mary Ann Nordwall and Carol Martin, a host of loving friends and her loyal and devoted companion, Ken Manley.
Donations can be made in her memory to the Yampa Valley Community Foundation’s Susan Schiesser Memorial Fund. Donations will be put towards a sculpture of her work, titled, ‘She Walks on Water’ that will live permanently in the Yampa Valley. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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