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Meet Sue Hossack, a constant contributor to the art world, creatively and technically.
SUE HOSSACK is a MYTHBUSTER
Creating From Both Sides of the Brain
- written by Ava Howard
How many times do we like to stereotype artists as being predominantly right brained and not able to crunch numbers or solve technical issues? Or vice versa, how many times have we NOT given engineers credit for being designers or creative problem solvers? Too often we like to lump people in categories that just don’t fit.With Sue Hossack this would definitely be a mistake.
Sue works in her studio in Christiansburg, VA
When I met Sue many years ago, I had no idea that she was a mathematician or computer whiz, I simply admired her beautiful art. She was hunting for an art studio, and I happened to have some space in an old bank building in Newport. She moved in and we began “The Art Bank” along with a few other artists, Christie Mackie, Mary Ratliff, and Judy Neihaus (more BRAA artists). We shared work and gallery space and enjoyed each others company for several years. Sue jumped in and helped design the space, as well as a hanging system for display. She was not scared to wield a hammer or a paint brush (of the paint a room kind) and spent hours just making the place more hospitable and artsy. We were all thankful to have this “Energizer bunny” who had a boundless amount of energy and enthusiasm. Far from being a procrastinator, Sue gets things done!
You can see these currently at Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea as part of a beautiful collection of Sue's 8"x8" pieces
Fast forward several years, Sue graciously volunteered more of her time with BRAA and became our WEB ADMIN officer. I’m not even sure we had this position before Sue, but it was a certain need as more and more activities and marketing needed to go online through our social media and website. Sue worked fervently to bring us increasingly into the digital ages, setting up online payment systems for our memberships and workshops as well as setting up a Google Workspace to better coordinate all of our administrative efforts. She updated our website and made it more useful for everyone in BRAA. Last but certainly not least, she coordinated all of the initial set up of the Art Space and got our little artist cooperative store up and running. Only a few people can know how time consuming all of these efforts were/are and how difficult it is to work with less technical saavy artists. It’s a challenge! Ask me how I know.
Sue (on the far left) is pictured with her BRAA partners in "crime" at the opening of the ART SPACE in 2021
Mixed Media by Sue Hossack
Pen and Ink by Sue Hossack
Turns out, working with computers, software, and online media is a piece of cake for Sue. She was a software engineer for 30 years and has a degree in mathematics! Sue says, “I don’t really think of myself as an artist. I just love to paint.” My rebuttal is not all of us can be professional artists, but we can most assuredly be artists. When you survey her artworks, Sue IS an artist. I love her color palette and her impressionistic interpretations. The right side of her brain is functioning fine…I mean exceptionally well. You can check out a collection of her pieces at Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea right now or at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Blacksburg through July.
It’s nice to see Sue, Mary and Judy still working together in a new studio they have in Christiansburg. (It relieves my guilt somewhat that I had to let the Art Bank go and push these artists out. A heartbreaker for everyone involved.) When I visited their space for this story, they were all working on pieces for a special railroad history and art exhibit to be held at Montgomery Museum starting in July. Every Tuesday, they come together to inspire and critique each other, as well as chat about all facts of life. It was nice to be included and catch up with these friends.
Sue is still contributing vastly to the art community via her technical skills and her beautiful artwork. After all the work she did to help BRAA improve our online presence, she is now doing the same with the Montgomery Museum, a cherished art partner in the New River Valley.
I’m certain she will not stop exercising both sides of her brain as long as she is alive. Her equally gifted two sided brain is a key to her vitality, I am certain. We would all do better to exercise both our right and left side brains the way she does!