Like a many-faceted jewel, my work as an artist includes painting, illustration, architectural art glass (stained and etched), home textiles (table linens), apparel for men and women, museum exhibit design, murals and more. I am also a writer of award-winning creative non-fiction, a certified environmental educator, as well as a journalist and commentator examining topics ranging from sewers to senators for print, radio and cyberspace.
Being present in nature and world cultures imprints all my senses and my current focus is on our integrated relationship with nature. Every walk, paddle, buzz, rustle, call, chirp, and squeak informs my creativity. Just as we take in and process information differently, so do my experiences translate differently even within my own brain and subsequent output as an artist and writer.
The part of me that loves detail--knowing the exact conformation and coloration of feather and petal, genus and species--picks up pencils and pens to render what qualifies as scientific illustration, although when I began the art and true stories of Listening to Raven, I thought I was just paying attention to individual forms and personalities of those tricksters.
Another part of me reacts to color viscerally-- its “edible appeal" --meaning that my first and strongest impression of colors is that they are so juicy I want to lick them no matter what they represent.
There are places—a moss-covered forest trail, a dappled stream, a shadowed slot canyon, an expansive night sky-- that invite me to walk in and lose my edges until they shimmer as I become part each element. There is art that does the same.
I have the good luck to be able to express verbally and visually what swirls and glimmers in and out of me. What comes of experiencing nature betters me more than any indoor classroom situation. I am embraced and expanded by the particulars. And I get to share that with you.
This is a very long list, albeit abbreviated, of very interesting projects I have completed in a variety of media. Bottom line, if you have an idea, bring it to me. Some of my best work has been generated by "what if" and "could you possibly..." including designing an entire museum exhibit, outdoor murals, tiles, silk paintings, stained and etched glass, Hawaiian shirts, scientific illustrations, outrageously beautiful apparel, and whatever comes next.
BETH SURDUT, VISUAL STORYTELLER
Environmental Artist and Writer
Paintings, Illustrations, Wearable Art, Textile & Product Design
www.bethsurdut.com and listeningtoraven.com
Artist and writer Beth Surdut has maintained a professional studio since 1978. For ten years her studio designed and fabricated over 50 site-specific stained glass artworks for homes, hotels, and 24 windows for a Middle Eastern palace. Works on silk were introduced in 1986 and within a year were included in a group exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution’s Renwick Gallery. Surdut’s fine art paintings, textile and product designs for reproduction, business articles, profiles and commentaries for radio and print media have an international audience.
Prior to Raven calling her to the Southwest, she spent three years paddling with alligators on the designated wild and scenic Myakka River on the Gulf Coast of Florida, painting and writing about human interactions with paradise. She’s hung from a rope in the feathery greenness of a mountain fern forest, piloted a small plane through the hot lava reds of sunset, climbed a mountain to bathe in a holy Hindu spring, swum with barracuda, kayaked amidst seals and dolphins, wandered through monkey forests, held a flying fox, and narrowly avoided being kidnapped in a middle eastern desert.
Current exhibitions and projects include Listening To Raven, custom Hebrew tallitot/prayer shawls, and healing scarves, mermaids, and private installations. Commentaries and stories on the blog www.surdut.blogspot.com
Click here for the Writing Resume
The Creative World of Beth Surdut
Beth Surdut is a designer and colorist, writer and visual storyteller. Her visionary paintings, which translate and integrate the patterns of nature and world cultures into a new mythology, are exhibited in museums and galleries internationally.
Surdut’s studio provides custom design services for hotels and private homes, product branding identity, and licensing for reproduction by manufacturers including textiles, Hawaiian shirts, women’s apparel, giftware, tile murals, and home goods.
Noted for combining rich jewel tones and fluid movement during a 10-year career designing and fabricating architectural art glass in the Washington, D.C. area, the artist garnered commissions for private and public spaces, including 24 windows in a Middle Eastern palace. A project for an intimately delightful hotel in Key West, Florida introduced her to tropical color and form.
In 1986 her expertise as a colorist led to developing her recognizable style of painting on Chinese silk with Japanese brushes and French dyes. Her wearable art, first featured in the Washington Post, was soon exhibited in the Smithsonian Institution’s Renwick Gallery. Explorations in Jamaica and six years residing in Hawaii fostered large-scale paintings as well as extensive textile and product design internationally.
Commissions include designing and painting Celtic motifs for fashion icon Mary McFadden, and shaping product identity for Hawaiian resorts. Magazines feature Surdut’s paintings on their covers. The painted cape Power Without Sacrifice was chosen by the Cahoon Museum of American Art and the New Zealand Wearable Art Awards. The American Textile History Museum exhibited her hand-painted silk men’s Ultimate Aloha Shirts™ in 2004. This museum also commissioned Surdut to implement her unusual vision to design an entire exhibit of Hawaiian shirts.
The Surdut Tropical Table Linen Collection debuted in 2004 at major museums and Bloomingdale’s.
Due to the linens’ record breaking sales at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts blockbuster Gauguin Tahiti exhibition, the MFA commissioned Bamboo Forest linens inspired by the museum’s Asian collection.
Believing in personal activism, Surdut created the painting Come Walk With Me presented by the Sarasota Sister Cities Association to the mayoral delegation from Vladimir, Russia in January 2007, as well as a painting for a Cambodian relief organization for land mine victims. In 2012, she created and donated The Survivor to the Ashes to Art auction that supported the Poudre Canyon Fire Department.
As a journalist and commentator she examines topics ranging from sewers to senators, and works as a hired media and strategic consultant on political campaigns. National Public Radio aired her essays on diverse issues including a six-part series on the business of art. During her career, projects involving visual art and writing have received multiple grant support, notably from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Harvard Historical Society.
Selected Exhibitions & Projects
2019 Permanent installation-- Mountain Lion drawing on the Arizona Trail @Aspen Corners, Flagstaff, AZ
The Shirt Designer, tropical noir mystery--Tucson Festival of Books Master's Competition fiction finalist
2018 SOLO EXHIBIT MARCH 1-30, KIRK-BEAR CANYON LIBRARY, Tucson, AZ
NPR--The Art of Paying Attention illustrated nature radio series-- go to Critters
As always, private commissions of prayer shawls, healing scarves, cards
2017 SOLO Exhibit April 15 - May 10 at The Ranch House Gallery, Agua Caliente Park, Tucson, AZ
Paying Attention Workshops: 4/23, 9am-noon and 5/10, 8am-11am, sponsored National Phenology Network.
Explore your integrated place in nature with award-winning wildlife artist and writer Beth Surdut. Learn about Citizen Science and hone your perception through workshop exercises and sharing of stories in the classroom and by the pond at Agua Caliente Park.
ONGOING Art of Paying Attention illustrated radio series Arizona Public Media/NPR (Go to Critters page)
2016 The Billboard Creative Project, Los Angeles, CA, Dec 12- Jan 8, 2017-- Townsend's Big-eared Bat
Raven Brings the Light--glass mosaic mural, private client, Los Alamos, NM
Beth Surdut's Illustrated Nature Solo Exhibition~ Tucson Botanical Gardens , Feb 1-28
Arizona Association of Environmental Educators--certification
2015 The Art of Paying Attention illustrated radio series Arizona Public Media/NPR
2014 Listening to Raven interview on AZ Illustrated with Tony Paniagua aired March
Surdut Raven radio interview on Arizona Spotlight with Mark McLemore aired March 8
The Modern Tallit-- presentation, Tucson Jewish Community Center, 1/11 and AZ ILLUSTRATED public televison program 1/8
2013 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Award for Non-Fiction given to Listening to Raven stories and illustrations
Bienvenidos Magazine--Plein Air Fare article on elegant patio dining in Santa Fe, summer issue
2012 Focus on Nature -- International Scientific Illustration biennial, NY State Museum, Albany, 4/18-12/31
The Billboard Art Project -- Listening to Raven series flying across a non-commercial billboard in a digital loop, August, Albany NY
Ashes to Art Project-- The Survivor, 3D raven with charcoal from the CO fires, created and donated for auction benefiting Colorado firefighters, Fort Collins, CO
Encyclopedia of Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico by Mark Cross (2012) includes Raven image and quote by Beth Surdut
Inn at Loretto, artist in residence, Santa Fe, NM
Jewish Arts Symposium presenter/panelist, Santa Fe, NM , Feb 25/26
Bienvenidos Magazine articles on iconoclastic Madrid, NM, Navigating the art districts, and toy stores of Santa Fe.
2011 Invitation to the Muse documentary film by Karen Cantor-- one of the featured artists and panel moderator Center for Contemporary Art, Dec 10, Santa Fe, NM
The Place Where I Live: Raven and the Las Conchas fires, Orion Magazine, Nov/Dec issue
The Brush Gallery, For the Birds group exhibition curated by David Allen Sibley, Lowell, MA
Gallery @ The Screen--solo exhibition, Santa Fe, NM
New Mexico State Land Office, Commissioner's Gallery, solo exhibition, Santa Fe, NM
Wells Fargo Bank Gallery--solo exhibition, Santa Fe, NM
2010 Randall Davey Audubon Sanctuary gallery-- Listening To Raven~ Drawings,Myths & Realities- solo exhibition Santa Fe,NM
Audubon Wildlife Invitational--group show Santa Fe,NM
Charles Collins Gallery-- Taos, NM
2009 Edible Santa Fe Magazine commissioned cover--"Gift of the Corn Mother"
Santa Fe City Hall Gallery-- group show
2008 Tampa International Airport Exhibition--Welcome to the Creative World of Beth Surdut--Landside Terminal (open to all) until December1, 2008
The ARTIST AND HER STUDIO, RINGLING COLLEGE Exhibition Hall, Sarasota,FL
Westshore Banner Project, Tampa, Fl--Surdut's Eye of the Storm banner hanging in various public locations
2007 Aurora Colors Gallery, Petaluma, CA--"Myths, Masks, Rites & Rituals"--group show
Bliss Gallery, Siesta Key, FL—invitational 3-person
Senses Gallery, Sarasota, FL—invitational 3-person
Come Walk With Me—painting commissioned as a gift from Sarasota Sister Cities to mayoral delegation from Vladimir, Russia
The Aquarium--Installation—paintings and ambient walls—private residence, Philippi Creek, Sarasota, Fl
Georgetown Performing Arts Gallery, Bethesda, MD
Winter Park Public Library Gallery, Winter Park, and Fl—invitational solo
Best of the Artists registry, Orlando, Fl—invitational group
Kaos Gallery, Bradenton, FL—invitational group
Federal Building, Sarasota, FL—invitational art in public places
Enigmatic Paradise (solo exhibition), Kaos Gallery, Bradenton, FL
Art on the Mountain, Deerfield, VT
Best of the Florida Artists Registry, Orlando, FL
Art in Public Places, Federal Building, Sarasota
National League of American Pen Women Exhibition, Longboat Key Art Center, FL
2005 Marie Selby Botanical Garden, Selby House Gallery, Sarasota—solo exhibition The Art & Design of Beth Surdut
HPoto Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sarasota—Jump the Line-group exhibition
Art in Public Places, Federal Building, Sarasota
2004 American Textile History Museum “Let’s Go Hawaiian” group exhibition of shirts painted, printed
2002-5 Ninth Life Gallery—St. Thomas, USVI-- paintings
2000 Montana New Zealand Wearable Arts Awards—international wearable art exhibition and runway show, Nelson, New Zealand
Acton Memorial Library—solo painting exhibition
1999 Harvard Public Library—invitational solo painting exhibition
Expressions of Love—Handworks Gallery, Acton, MA paintings
1997 Harmony Hall Gallery--solo painting exhibition, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Children's Hands-On Art Museum, Littleton, Massachusetts
Cornelius Ayer Wood Gallery-- solo painting exhibition, Concord, MA
Conant Gallery- Invitational Nature of Design group exhibition, Groton, MA
1996 Cape Capes, Cahoon Museum of American Art, Cotuit, MA
DeCordova Style '96, DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA
National Fiber Show, Handworks Gallery, Acton, MA
Colors of the Sun--solo painting exhibition, Emerson Umbrella, Concord, MA
1995 Visiting Artist, Manele Bay Hotel, Lana'i, Hawaii
Artforum Gallery, Honolulu, Hawaii
Zoltan Gluck Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts
1994 Surdut Gallery, Honolulu, Hawaii
Artforum Gallery, Honolulu, Hawaii
1993 Youth at Risk fundraiser, Makk Galleries, Honolulu, Hawaii
Historic Hawaii Foundation, Honolulu, Hawaii
1992 Beth Surdut Studio/Gallery, Punalu'u, Hawaii
Artful Framer Gallery, Honolulu, Hawaii
1991 Beth Surdut Studio/Gallery, Punalu'u, Hawaii
1990 Sunset Galleries, Lahaina, Maui
Volcano Art Center, Volcano National Park, Hawaii
Washington Art Auction -- Jobs for the homeless fundraiser
Sun Up Gallery, Watch Hill, Rhode Island
Artist in Residence, Hotel Hana, Maui
1989 Sunset Galleries, Lahaina, Maui—solo exhibition
Volcano Art Center, Volcano National Park, Hawaii
Village Gallery, Lahaina, Maui
1988 Nordstrom, Vienna, Virginia
Degagé-- solo exhibition, McLean, Virginia
Great Falls Art Center, Great Falls, Virginia
1987 Smithsonian Institution, Renwick Gallery, Washington, D.C.
The World Bank, Washington, D.C.
Old Mill Gallery, McLean, Virginia
Stained and Etched Architectural Art Glass
Client Locale Work
La Terrazza De Marti Hotel Key West, FL Stained glass window
Palace [client wishes anonymity] Saudi Arabia 24 stained glass panels
Lenard House Great Falls, VA 16 stained glass panels
Wolf's Lair Bryce, VA 3 stained glass windows
National Place Washington, D.C. 3 etched doors, windows
Kaempfer Company Washington, D.C. 6 etched doors and sidelights
R. & L. Joy Washington, D.C. Skylight and transom
Artful Hand Gallery Orleans, MA 2 stained glass windows
Sharp & Hebron Plainboro, NJ Stained glass window
Foley Construction Company Great Falls, VA 2 stained glass windows
Gryphon's Gate Gaithersburg, MD Stained glass partition
The Hamlet Washington, D.C. Etched door, transom
Great Falls Construction Great Falls, VA Etched panels, 2 doors
Designs for Reproduction- apparel, textile yardage, gift items, notecards
1990-present: Beth Surdut LLC (linens)
Adini Wild Side Pohai Nani Trans Pacific Textiles
New Aura Soft as A Grape Ihilani Resort Locals Only
Cooke Street Papio Tournament Hawaiian Respite Services Trend-Tex
Tori Richards G. Von Hamm Avanti MFA Boston
1999 Harvard Arts Council, Harvard Historical Society, Fitchburg State College Foundation— researched, compiled and edited CD of 20+ stories told by an 85-year-old woodworker and teacher. Talking Life: Walter Harrod’s Stories
1997 Harvard Arts Council/Warner Free Lecture-- lecture "Colors of the Sun: An Artist’s Journey"
Groton Cultural Council, for on-site botanical painting at Fruitlands Museums
1988 Fairfax County Council of the Arts, Arlington, VA, for silk painting demonstrations to 5th and 6th graders
O'Donohue Construction, Inc., Washington D.C. for independent project
Radio and Print articles by the artist
Radio: NPR aired Identity Crisis, my response to the backlash that followed the terrorism of September 11.
Sporty Girl, a commentary on my lack of natural sporting ability, aired on She Got Game (http://www.shegotgame.com).
2006 Dancing With The Mirthful Muse—invitational lecture for Surface design Society
2000 The Middlesex Beat, writer and Arts Editor—monthly profiles of artists, writers, musicians
ArtsMedia Magazine--Handworks Gallery profile
Clark University, guest speaker—Website development for the entrepreneur (designed own award winning site)
Boston Globe—Winter Fashion
1999RadioArt, a six part commentary series on art and money for Public Radio International’s Marketplace
Boston Globe--Museums: Marriage with a View
96-99 Nashoba Publications, Harvard Editor-at-large, correspondent
97-99Cape Cod Antiques and Arts Magazine--Monthly articles on arts and antiques, artists profiles
99-00 Art Calendar Magazine--Monthly profiles on the business of art?
1997 Guest lecturer, Warner Free Lecture Series, Harvard, MA
Guest lecture/demonstration, Fruitlands Museums, Harvard, MA
Guest lecture/demonstration, Children's Hands-On Art Museum, Littleton, MA
Guest lecturer, National League of American Pen Women, Wellesley, MA
1995 "Expose Yourself--Legally" article included in Getting the Word Out, anthology published by Art Calendar
1994 Guest lecturer, Honolulu Rotary Club, Oahu, Hawaii
1993 Guest lecturer, Kaneohe Rotary Club, Oahu, Hawaii
1992 Art Calendar, October issue. "Publicizing Yourself: Steps Toward More Than 15 Minutes of Fame”
Guest Lecturer, Brigham Young University, Laie, Hawaii
Media Coverage about the artist
also check the News page
2012- El Mitote, Santa Fe New Mexican, October 2012
2011The Intention of Tallitot, The New Mexico Link, November 2011, page 10
2010 Woman weaves prayers into healing scarves for Breast Cancer ... The Santa Fe New Mexican, Oct 16, 2010
Fine-feathered tales - The Santa Fe New Mexican Jan 21, 2010
2008 Feast of color - The Santa Fe New Mexican Dec 10, 2008
Creative Critters - The Santa Fe New Mexican, October 16, 2008
Senses Magazine, feature article, 5/07
Sarasota Homes & Lifestyles 2/07
Christian Science Monitor 3/07
Talk of the Suncoast radio—featured guest
2006 Sarasota Magazine, Beth Surdut (profile) 7/06
The Observer, Marty Fugate, Beth Surdut (profile) and The Observer, Marty Fugate, A Moveable Visual Feast 4/20/006
SRQ Magazine online
Herald Tribune, D. Stockbridge Pratt, Pooling Their Talents 3/11/06
2005 Downtown & Beyond, Beth Surdut (interview Q & A) 12/05
Sarasota Herald Tribune, Marjorie North column, 3/6
Talk of the Suncoast radio, featured guest 3/21
DISH , Channel 21, featured guest 4/25
Pelican Press, The Artful World of Beth Surdut 9/22
2004 Feature articles in Boston Globe (3x), Boston Herald, Lowell Sun, Middlesex Beat, Harvard Hillside, NECN TV interview, 91.5 radio interview
2003 Lowell Sun, Style Section cover feature profile of Surdut: “Mermaids and Muses”
Boston Globe City Weekly article on Leonard Florence, quotes from Surdut, one of Florence’s biographers
2001 Fiber Arts Magazine, Jan/Feb issue—New Zealand Wearable Arts Awards
2000 Boston Globe, March—Acton solo show
The Beacon, March—Acton solo show
1999The Middlesex Beat, October issue— “For Surdut, Art Reflects Life”
Harvard Hillside—“Local Color, you say. . .”
1997 The Gleaner [Kingston, Jamaica], January 16 "Healthy Environment Portrayed in Painting"
Harvard Spirit, Groton Landmark, October 22 "The Nature of Design"
1996 The Boston Globe, September 19 "Wearable Art Puts Creativity Into Clothes"
The Boston Globe, September 15 "Dazzling Fiber Art "
Creatively Speaking, September 21, television interview
Harvard Spirit, September 4 "Harvard Artist Displaying Nature's Hidden Treasures"
Harvard Post, August 23 "Beth Surdut Brings Tropical Art To New England"
1995 Aloha Airlines Magazine, "Spirit of Aloha" cover
1994 East Honolulu Newspaper, "Surdut's Tropical Silks"
1993 Honolulu Magazine, December cover
Making A Living as an Artist, anthology of interviews and articles published by Art Calendar
Aloha Magazine, "Island Perspectives: Beth Surdut"
Islands Magazine, "Unexpected O'ahu"
Honolulu Magazine, July, "Island Guide" cover and "Holoholo"
Seafood Leader Magazine, "Feed Me”
1992 Hawaii Magazine, "Island Discoveries: Exceptional Island Colors"
Honolulu Magazine, "Island Guide" and "Finds"
Island Home Magazine, "Art Couture"
Pacific Art and Travel Magazine, "Brush Strokes"
1990 Providence Journal Bulletin
Rhode Island Herald
Rhode Island Monthly, "Aloha Autumn"
Ocean Views Magazine, "Painted Silks"
1989 Maui News, "Surdut's Wearable Art"
Maui News, "Sketchpad: Beth Surdut"
1988 The Washington Post, "Surdut's Glass Act", by Nina Hyde
Washingtonian Magazine, "Best Buys"
The Gazette, "Portfolio"
1987 The Washington Post, "Try It"
Art Calendar magazine, "Interview with Beth Surdut"
Washington University Religious Studies Program, St. Louis, Missouri
The American University Fine Arts Program, Washington, D.C.
Master Classes with contemporary glass artists
Smithsonian Institution Stained Glass Program, Washington, D.C.
Middle East, Bali, Jamaica, Florida Keys and Gulf Islands, Puerto Rico, Hawaiian Islands, Australia
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