Artist Susanna “Scoschi” Friedel’s exhibit at Fuller Lodge Art Center’s Portal Gallery came about because of a happy accident.
Village Arts owner Ken Nebel noticed a number of very interesting works of art coming into the store for framing. They turned out to be the creations of a Viennese artist, the sister of local resident Reiner Friedel.
Paintings from ‘The Red Series.’ By Scoschi Friedel
Nebel also is the director of Fuller Lodge Art Center. The Center’s staff fell in love with Friedel’s work and the idea for the exhibit was born, he said.
In keeping with the theme of the show concurrently on display in the main gallery, “Behind the Scenes,” Friedel produced a booklet as a companion to her show that takes people “behind the scenes” to learn what inspired the art.
The booklet can be downloaded at http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1103899759177-562/BEHIND+THE+SCENES.pdf
Friedel’s mixed media work is often in the form of a collage. She collects objects that interest her and finds ways to combine them to make something unique and new.
“I never know what it’s going to look like when it’s finished,” Friedel said.
The framing of her work is very important to Friedel. Growing up as the daughter of diplomats, Friedel spent her childhood moving from country to country. She often felt rootless and not quite at home.
“I like my pictures to have a home to live in,” she said. “A work is finished when it has a place to live.”
Friedel collects old windows and burns off the layers of varnish to make an old/new frame. The symbolism of burning is important to her.
“It’s like the phoenix and the ashes,” she said. “You let go of something old and make something new out of what is left.”
‘Winter.’ By Scoschi Friedel
Friedel is an art therapist in addition to being an artist. She began doing art therapy when her children were young and she was teaching kindergarten. She felt out of touch with herself and exhausted from giving so much to those around her.
“When I do art therapy with myself, it’s like a spiral. In my daily life I’m out there with people. When I do art therapy, I come back to myself,” Friedel said. “I find something and put it in the pot and make it into something that’s my own.”
Now she shares the experience of making art with her clients.
“I work with all kinds of people—kids to adults. I often work with people who have mental or physical illnesses,” Friedel said. “If someone has a problem and feels stuck, art therapy is a way to explore what is going on inside them and to help them move forward.”
Art therapy helps people to integrate the inner self with the outer world, she said.
Friedel can’t wait to transform her recent experiences in New Mexico into new work.
“My fingers are itching to go home and make New Mexico into art,” she said.
‘aufmerksamkeit’ (paying attention to … being alert … taking care of.) By Scoschi Friedel
Editor’s note: Friedel’s work will be on display in the Portal Gallery at Fuller Lodge Art Center through March 9. The Center will host an informal “Artist Chat” with Friedel 6-7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11 at the Art Center. Everyone is welcome to attend.