Artist Statement    Bio    Exhibitions    Awards    Publications
Teaching    Artist-In-Residence, MSAC    School Projects

Artist Statement

My work is inspired by the anonymous artisans of the Middle Ages. As a child I first encountered the Byzantine style in my grandparents' Orthodox church. Banners, icons and paintings adorned every surface. I was entranced by the rich patterns, detailed stories and combinations of media in medieval art. The meticulous attention to detail and the skill required to execute these works enthralled me. In my mixed media pieces I emulate the textures, details, and rich colors of medieval art. My embroideries are reminiscent of manuscript paintings, using cotton and metallic threads in place of paint and gold leaf. My hand built ceramic frames are filled with figures and textures derived from the sculpture and architecture of the period. Like my predecessors, I try to tell a story, usually with a humorous twist.


Art has always been an integral part of my life. My artist-mother constantly provided opportunities to explore working with new materials and introduced me to museums early on. I graduated with a B.A. in Fine Arts from McDaniel College in Maryland.

Embroidery and ceramics are central to my art. Hand embroidery connects people to the past in a personal way. It is a skill traditionally passed on from one generation to another, with distinct styles across many cultures. It is one of the pleasures of my life to continue passing it on. Ceramics has it's own extensive history and variety of styles.

Theater is another of my loves. I have been involved in theatrical costuming since high school. Backstage has it's own intricate choreography that the audience never sees. The feeling of a stage facade carries over into my wall pieces. There is the image that first gets the viewer's attention, and then there is the sense of sneaking a peek behind the curtain.


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)
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


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


My art has been featured in:
"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

Teaching    Artist-In-Residence, MSAC    School Projects

Suzanne Herbert-Forton