Artist's Statement   

Minimalist in lifestyle and in my approach to art, I combine my relationship to landscape with my interest in human ecology to shape my latest bodies of work.

My unique vision comes through walking hundreds of miles across deserts, wildernesses, forests, and fields. As I walk I find myself studying such subjects as the movement of the grass in the wind and rain in Ireland and the colors and nature of the slugs on the forest floors of the Ardennes, Belgium. Of equal notice are the marks made by humans upon the landscape: fences, rock walls, and gates.
In 2008 I walked from Las Cruces to Santa Fe through the Jornada del Muerto and up scenic country roads including the Turquoise Trail. The purpose was to connect with both the land and its history. Having lived in New Mexico now some 26 years I find myself still enchanted with its diverse landscape. Through the Geometry of Landscape series I share my love for the details: the patterns, lines, and shapes of the land that I encounter every day.
The DNA series presents the complexities of human connections discovered from DNA results. The abstract geometric drawings are maps of how actual living people are related within a group. Each drawing surprises the viewer with the new organism created by tying the individuals together in a relational wholeness.

Each piece in the DNA series is built around specific data gained from me or family members having our DNA tested. My research began as I worked to solve the family mystery of who my mother’s biological parents were.

A passion for lengthy adventurous walks in unfamiliar places prepared me for DNA research: it required effort and tenacity and sometimes ingenuity. It also led me to unexpected places and people. It did bring me to the two destinations I sought: the identities of my maternal grandmother and maternal grandfather. Now I find myself in an artistic adventure. When I began the series I wasn’t sure it would provide me enough variety to keep my interest. As I became more comfortable with imagining forms for the data I realized the possibilities are extensive.

My research has introduced me to many ancestors through their histories and their relationships to the land. The two - place and people - are as connected as a strand of DNA.

Through the DNA series I celebrate one humanity for humanity is far more connected than it knows.



SusanMaryZ was born in Houston, Texas in 1954. Her family moved away from Houston 18 days later. By the time she was in high school the family had lived in 7 different states and numerous cities which established for her a healthy wanderlust.

She graduated from New Mexico State University in 1975 with a Bachelors of Individualized Studies. Too many subjects were of interest to SusanMaryZ for her to settle into one major. Her approach to life is similar. Her coursework included printmaking, silver smithing, 2 dimensional design, and photography. SusanMaryZ is a self-taught artist for the most part, but she finds that taking a workshop in a new medium from time to time brings fresh perspectives and enhances whatever she is working on in her studio.

SusanMaryZ is an adventurer, artist, writer and distance-walker. Her artistic adventures have included photography, clay, book arts, mixed media, and most recently art and ecology, particularly human ecology. Her writings have appeared in a variety of magazines and SusanMaryZ’s books Walking Outside the Box and The First Marathon: the Legend of Pheidippides were both published in 2006.

Walking has become a part of her studio practice. Years ago SusanMaryZ realized that for her to know a place she had to walk it. Time alone on the trail has enhanced her view of landscape and structures. Putting her relationship to landscape into the simplest of lines often results in the evocation of emotion to that place. SusanMaryZ has walked in many European countries as well as Costa Rica and Ecuador. Her longest trek was through back-country desert and on a scenic byway as she followed the footsteps of those who came from Mexico to settle the state of New Mexico. While the desert was without doubt her toughest walk, the more exotic was nearly 200 miles alone in the Arctic Circle of Lapland, Sweden.

Independent, determined, creative, hard-working: all words that describe her well. SusanMaryZ is passionate about wilderness. Minimalism has become a way of life.

Home is in the foothills of the Black Range Mountains in southern New Mexico six miles from the Gila National Forest and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness. Her husband Matt and she (and dog Acorn) feel entrusted with their three acres which is a corridor for an abundance of wildlife. They do their best to live lightly upon this land.


2018 exhibits
         Small Works Winter Salon, Setra Artes, Stonington, CT, 16 Nov - 23 Dec, 2018
         Techne: Art and Science in One, ​Arthaus Projects, Williamsport, PA, 06 July - 11 August 2018
         6"x6"x2018, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, June 2018
         Our Anthropocene: Eco Crises, The Center for Book Arts, NYC, NY, 18 January - 31 March, 2018 (by invitation)
         Inclusion in the documentary: Our Anthropocene: Eco Crises   

          Connecting the Dots: Artist Susan Reynolds on the human network by Michael Abatemarco, Pasatiempo July 28, 2017
          2017     Walking to Abstraction, Unsettled Gallery, Las Cruces, New Mexico; Saturday, 11 March, 1:30 p.m.

 exhibits and shows
          2017     Art in the Park, Sierra Vista, Arizona
          2017     Art Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico
          2017     Some Large, Some Small, Unsettled Gallery, Las Cruces, New Mexico
          2017     Up/Rooted, Brookline Arts Center, Brookline, Massachusetts
          2016     Petit, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, New York   
           2015     Trasna V, Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, Co. Clare, Ireland
          2015     Voices: An Artist's Perspective, online gallery
          2015     Personal Histories, Redland Art Gallery, Queensland, Australia        
          2014     Personal Histories, Redland Art Gallery, Queensland, Australia
          2014     Lines into Park, Estes Park, Colorado
          2014     Art of the Book, Rochester Public Library, Rochester, New York
          2014     The Illustrated Accordion, Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, Kalamazoo, Michigan
          2014     Small Works, N.A.W.A. Gallery, New York City, New York
          2014     Assemble, The Gallery W at the Whitney Center for the Arts, Pittsfield, Massachusetts
          2014     The Muse is Poe, ArtWorks!, New Bedford, Massachusetts
          2013     Ecoeditions, 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, Oregon
          2013     Tangibles: Beauty and Purpose in the Art of the Book, Univ. of N. Arizona, Flagstaff, Arizona
          2013     Crossroads: Book Arts on the Border, Unsettled Gallery, Las Cruces, New Mexico
          2012     How to Read a Book: an Artists Books Reading Room, Univ. of Wisconsin Green Bay
          2012     Pacific Currents runway fashion show, Handweavers Guild of America's Convergence, Long Beach, California
          2012     RAGS Wearable Art, Tacoma, Washington
          2011     Harvest Time, Poudre River Gallery, Fort Collins, Colorado
          2011     Lines into Shapes, Art Center of Estes Park, Estes Park, Colorado

selected publication inclusions, collections, awards
          2015     Voices: an artist's perspective, and Karen Gutfruend Art
          2014     1st place in artist book category, Art of the Book, Rochester Public Library, Rochester, New York
          2013     EcoEditions, 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, Oregon
          2013     500 Handmade Books Vol. II, Lark Books
          2012     Cofrin Library Artists' Book Collection, Univ. of Wisconsin Green Bay
          2011     3rd place Best of Show, Harvest Time, Poudre River Gallery, Fort Collins, Colorado

selected published: books and articles
          2010     "Road Warriors of VolState" Marathon & Beyond, July/Aug. issue
          2007     "Marching in Blankenberge" Walk!, Fall issue
          2007     "Over the Umbrian Hills" Walk!, Spring issue
          2006     "In the Heat of the Summer" Walk! Fall issue
          2006     Walking Outside the Box, Outskirts Press
          2006     The First Marathon: the Legend of Pheidippides, Albert Whitman & Co.

workshops taught
          2015     single-needle Coptic binding, Burren College, Ireland
          2003     Tiles Don't Have to Be Square, Hillsboro, New Mexico
          2003     Possibilities in Tile, Anguila, British West Indies

          2013     Madrono Ranch, Medina, Texas
          2003     International Keramikmuseum, Skaelskor, Denmark   

speaking engagements and documentaries    
          2008    Seafair marathon expo, Bellevue, Washington
          2007    Tahoe marathon expo, Tahoe, Nevada
          2007    Portland marathon expo, Portland, Oregon
          2007    Marine Corps marathon expo, Washington D.C.
          2007    inclusion in documentary and side features on the Athens marathon, produced by Stephen McKenney Steck, WMFE-TV/FM, aired in 2008

selected walks
         2016    solo 6 days, the Algarve, Portugal
         2016    3 days, the Mid-Clare Way, Ireland
         2009    solo ~100 miles, Southern Upland Way, Scotland
         2009    2 day IML event, Wellingborough, England
         2008    solo ~309 miles, Mexico
         2007    solo ~200 miles, Lapland, Sweden
         2007    solo ~110 miles, the Ardennes, Belgium
         2007    Blankenberge, Belgium
         2006    solo ~93 miles, West Highland Way, Scotland
         2005    group hike to 16,000 ft. up Cotapaxi, Ecuador
         2005    4 day IML event, Chantonnay, France
         2004    Great Lake Walk, 56 kms event, Lake Cowichan, Canada
         2004    Rock n Roll marathon, San Diego, California
         numerous day hikes, half marathons, wanderings in places near and far


Our Anthropocene: Eco Crises video
Connecting the Dots
Bodies of Work
Crosses for Prayers
DNA series
Geometry of Landscape
a beginning in Portraits