Artist Statement

I blame it on my parents. It is their fault that I am interested in so many things. Mom taught me to sew as soon as I could thread a needle. From my dad I learned that you can never have too many tools.  They both had a talent for taking old things and giving them new purpose. It’s their fault. They read Dr. Suess aloud. Mom made up stories. They encouraged me to imagine, to learn and not to be afraid to be different.

When we visited our grandparents, they took me to the Russian Orthodox church that my father grew up in. The church with the ceiling painted like the sky, with stars and angels. The place where I saw my first icons.  Where there was wonder and beauty in the midst of so much coal dust.

So here I am; embroidering warped illuminations and icons by hand in the 21st century.  Using clay to construct architecturally inspired frames that owe as much to the dear Dr. Suess as to art history. Collecting bits of flotsam and jetsam and making frames out of the stuff. Recycling both stories and objects for our crazy times. Attempting to make sense from nonsense. 

Listening to my Russian grandmother whispering in my ear…


2016  Howard County Arts Council, “Keep In Touch”, Ellicott City, MD
2014  Columbia Art Center, “Things That Scare Me”, Columbia , MD
2014  Howard County Arts Council Gallery, “Ordinary Woman”, Ellicott City, MD
2012  St. Paul's School, Baltimore, MD (solo exhibition)
2011  Chesapeake Arts Center, Brooklyn Park, MD
2011  Howard County Arts Council Gallery, "Fastidious Studies", Ellicott City, MD
2009  Montpelier Cultural Arts Center, Laurel MD (solo exhibition)
2009  Maryland Artist/Teacher Institute Exhibition, Adelphi MD
2008  Artscape, "Subjective Sensibilities", Stevenson University Art Gallery, Stevenson, MD
2003  Montpelier Cultural Arts Center, "The Domestic Goddess", Laurel, MD (solo exhibition)
2003  Artscape, "Media Hype", City Hall Courtyard Galleries, Baltimore, MD
2002  American Craft Museum, "9-11: Artists Respond", New York, NY
2001  "Fish Out of Water", Baltimore, MD (public art exhibit)
2000  Clinical Center Galleries, National Institutes of Health, "Fabric", Bethesda, MD
1999  Mill River Gallery, "Short Stories", Ellicott City, MD
1998  Carroll County Arts Council, "Medieval Tourist", Westminster, MD (solo exhibition)
1994  Baltimore Life Gallery, "The Cutting Edge", Baltimore, MD
1992  Brookfield Craft Center, Holiday Show, Brookfield, CT
1992  Three Rivers Arts Festival, Visual Arts Exhibit, Pittsburgh, PA
1992  Brookfield Craft Center, Brookfield, CT
1992  Gallery at Cedar Hollow, Malvern, PA
1991  BAUHouse Gallery - BEAMS Exhibit, Baltimore, MD

Teaching & Residencies

I have been involved as an Artist in Residence is schools throughout Maryland for many years. I have also provided professional development for teachers, conducted workshops and community arts projects. A partial list of recent projects is listed below.

2016 Artist in Residence, Ellicott City Head Start, Ellicott City, MD
2016 Artist in Residence, Growing Up Green Initiative for Prince Georges County Public Schools, with residencies at Beltsville Elementary, Port Towns Elementary, and Accokeek Elementary
2016 Artist in Residence, Bellows Spring Elementary, Columbia, MD
2015 Artist in Residence, "The Big Weave" community arts project,
Sandy Spring Museum, Sandy Spring, MD
2015 Teaching Artist/Facilitator, Green and Growing-Professional development conference on arts integration and environmental science at Camp Schmidt, Prince Georges County Public Schools, Brandywine, MD
2015 Artist in Residence, Bryant Woods Elementary, Columbia, MD
2015 Artist in Residence, Bushy Park Elementary, Glenwood, MD
2014 Artist in Residence, Stevens Forest Elementary, Columbia, MD
2014 Community Arts Project, The ARC of Howard County, Ellicott City, MD
2014 Workshop Presenter, Maryland Art Education Conference, Clarksville, MD
2014 Artist in Residence, Slate Project, Baltimore, MD
2014 Visual Arts Presenter, 21st Century Institute (professional development for teachers), Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Odenton, MD
2014 Mosaic workshop for adults, Howard County Arts Council, Ellicott City, MD
2014 Residency project, Orems Elementary School, Baltimore, MD


2001  Maryland State Arts Council individual artist grant
1997  Frederick Arts Festival, Award for Excellence


My art has been featured in:
"In Students' Mosaic, Food Sticks to the Wall", by Lisa Philip, Baltimore Sun, Columbia Flier, May 26, 2016
"Dresses for an Ordinary Woman”, by David Driver, Baltimore Sun, January 5, 2014
“Brooklyn Park - Putting the Pieces Together”, by Bob Moore,  Maryland Gazette, May 11, 2011
"Suzanne Herbert-Forton", The Craftsreport, December 2003 (cover story)
"Local Artist Takes Jab at Domestic Theme" by Ayesha Ahmad, The Gazette, April 17, 2003
"From Icons to Godzilla: Artist Suzanne Herbert-Forton", by Dawn Culbertson, Every Wednesday, February 23, 2000
"People Need a Little Whimsy In Their Lives", by Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun, July 19, 1998
"Queen of Her Castle" by Amanda Knittle, Carroll County Times, January 16, 1998
"Unusual Displays Found at Festival of the Arts", by Julia Robb, The Frederick Post, June 23, 1997








Suzanne Herbert-Forton