Susan was born in Montreal and studied at Mount Allison University where she received her bachelor of Fine Arts. She acquired a Master of Fine Arts degree at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. In 1999 she received the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in the Crafts, and in 2000 was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
Since the early 1980’s, the main subject in Susan’s art has been the figure. Working primarily in clay, she has concentrated on the psychological and archetypal aspects of the human experience. Her last major piece was an installation called “State of Grace”. This consisted of 15 jumping children and was shown at the David Kaye Gallery, The Clarington Art Gallery, the Clay and Glass Gallery and the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound. Some of the pieces traveled to Cheongu, Korea in “Unity and Diversity”, the Canadian Crafts Federation Exhibition.
Her show “Tools for Daily Living” traveled from 2003-2006 and was exhibited at the McClure Gallery in Montreal, the Karsh Masson Gallery in Ottawa, Material Gallery in Quebec City and the Japan Foundation in Toronto. In 2001 Susan created an installation “Rocksbreath” in the courtyard garden of the Burlington Art Centre. The following year the pieces were installed indoors at the Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo.
Susan’s work has been exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions and group exhibitions including “Aspects of Figurative Ceramics”, at the Riley Hawk Gallery in Cleveland, Ohio, “The International Exposition of Sculpture Objects& Function Art”, in Chicago and New York City, “Survivors in Search of a Voice: The Art of Courage”, an exhibition that toured internationally and “The Eighth Chunichi International Exhibition of Ceramic Art” in Japan.
Her work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Civilization, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Modern Art in Japan, the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in, North Carolina, the Burlington Art Centre, the Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo, the Mississauga Art Gallery and the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, as well as numerous private collections.
Suzanne Thomson is a registered art therapist who has been practicing art therapy over 20 years using a variety of expressive modalities to facilitate the full expression of people’s multistoried lives. She provides clinical consultation to schools, hospitals and community based agencies, facilitates treatment groups, conducts training in art therapy practices and designs treatment tools and curriculums. Committed to creating enriching experiences that inform and transform lives, Suzanne integrates the arts, therapy and community activism with the hopes that people can access their strengths, capacity for growth and experience their contributions to the broader community.
She has written about women survivors of violence for several publications.
Lynne has worked as a counsellor, educator, advocate, consultant, manager and program director in the violence against women sector for over eighteen years. She has considerable experience and training in the area of trauma as it relates to the design and delivery of therapy programs and services. Her specific expertise is in the area of sexual, physical and emotional abuse whether by a partner, ex-partner, caregiver or other family or household member or stranger. In addition, she has counselled hundreds of survivors of violence and she has trained professionals, community workers and volunteers across various sectors/systems that encounter woman abuse in the course of their work including social service sectors, and legal systems.She is currently the Director of Counselling Services at the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic where she supervises an experienced team of trauma Counsellors, Transitional and Housing Support Counsellors, and Intake Counsellors. She also provides support to the Clinic's Court Support Worker Program.
Lynne is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design and a recipient of the Odette Sculpture Award. Her passion for the arts led her to co-facilitate Art Therapy groups for a number of years with an experienced Art Therapist. Her position at the Schlifer Clinic affords her the opportunity to combine many of her passions whether that be recovery and healing for trauma survivors, or justice and equality for women or developing therapy programs where the arts are employed as a powerful medium of expression and transformation.
Rachel Gotlieb served as the founding Curator of the Design Exchange between 1990–2002, and co-wrote Design in Canada (Knopf Canada, 2001). She has curated and co-curated several important exhibitions, including: Pop: Design from the Space Age (Design Exchange 1994); Thor Hansen: Crafting a Canadian Style (Textile Museum of Canada, 2005), On the Table: 100 Years of Functional Ceramics; (Gardiner Museum, 2007), and Beaver Tales: Canadian Art and Design (University of Toronto Art Centre, 2008). She has taught design history at Ryerson University School of Fashion, OCAD and Sheridan College. She created and implemented the Studio North and Prototype exhibits for Canadian artisans at the Toronto Interior Design Show, as well as conceived and directed its Conversations in Design annual symposium.
She currently serves on OCADU’s On Site Gallery Advisory Board and on the Professional Advisory Committee for Art and Art History Sheridan/University of Toronto, Mississauga. She has also served on the board of the Ontario Crafts Council (2006-8), and City of Toronto Public Art Commission (1994-7).
Rachel received her M.A.in Design History at the Royal College of Art & the Victoria & Albert Museum, where her thesis topic investigated “The Aesthetic Criteria and Vocabulary of British Studio Potters and Art Manufacturers 1914-1930.” She also completed a Sotheby’s short course in European Decorative Arts. She is a PhD candidate in Art History at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.