Artist Gallery Spotlight: The Kieran-Sistrunk Fine Art Gallery
Part of thalo is focusing on and celebrating artists that are "making art work", whether it is developing and selling themselves and their brands, teaching, or achieving their creative endeavors. We wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate one of our Grumbacher Certified Artists that are following their dreams by turning their home into a community gallery and education space!
Susan Sistrunk has had artistic ambitions since the very beginning.
“At the age of 7 I received my first set of Grumbacher oil pastels. I can still remember the smell and texture of them as they glided across the paper. A love of art was born. Those pastels would last for years, as my family had limited amount of money for frivolous things like art supplies. To keep them safe from harm, my art supplies were always stashed away where only I could find them. “
After earning her BFA in Studio art and teaching for 11 years as an art teacher, she is continuing the legacy she established all those years ago drawing paused frames of Disney Animation in her family’s home so long ago.
In the wake of a difficult year in 2013, Susan lost and re-discovered her artistic ambitions, leaving her previous job and taking on a number of arts-oriented endeavors, from working as a graphic designer to designing gravestones. Shortly after, she was able to get her personal work into her first gallery show in ten years. One show begat two, and Susan found herself taking root in the gallery scene of Waco, TX.
Now, Susan and her partner Mark Kieran have founded a home base for their artwork, leatherwork (The Wandering Artisans), a home that acts as their very own gallery space, a house built in 1910:
“When we walked in, we knew we had found the spot. The high ceilings and museum-inspired turn-of-the-century architecture was absolutely perfect for showing art. The kitchen lends itself to entertaining which is so important in gallery openings and even has a beautiful sky mural on the ceiling! The house was also located in a very special part of Waco called “Uptown” which was residentially and commercially zoned, meaning we could live in our business, a key element to us remaining debt-free.”
Having opened in March of this year, Susan and Mark have monthly rotating art exhibits with First Friday opening events and Last Friday Closing events, with new artists in the front and personal work on display in the back. The gallery space also showcases their handmade leather and jewelry work.
“Our current artist is named Sarah Weatherly and was chosen because she has the most beautiful pastel seascapes, perfect for summer and very spiritually moving and she is a phenomenal human being with a lovely personality”
Susan also uses the space to host acrylic painting classes 3 Mondays a month, which she does in addition to teaching at local community colleges, wineries and social clubs in and around Waco. The community has embraced her gallery, and in her own words: “Our friends are our patrons and our patrons are our friends”.
We are thrilled for Susan, and thank her for sharing her unique and passionate story with us and our artist community! Check out her gallery on their facebook page: