Susan Christian, Post Salon Refu

by Christina Butcher for OLY ARTS

Many Olympians know Susan Christian as the former owner of gallery Salon Refu, rather than as a lifelong artist and painter. But truth be told, Christian has been painting for 57 years and creating art, rather than curating or managing it, is her true passion. After closing the doors to Salon Refu last summer, Christian has finally returned to world of creating art full-time. Olympia audiences will have the rare opportunity to share in her joyful return, as Allsorts Gallery holds a Susan Christian solo exhibit. “I adored the gallery, but I couldn’t get much work done in the studio (there),” said Christian. “Running a gallery took a lot of creativity and it was very sociable, so my mind was in a different place. But ever since then I’ve been in bliss. … All I’m doing now is creating art. It’s heavenly!”

Seven of Christian’s paintings, varying greatly in size and composition, will be featured at Allsorts. “There will be three enamel-on-panel works that depict flowers and a boatman, and four canvas-on-panel works that depict islands and people,” said Christian. “I believe the connecting vision (for the exhibit) is that we’re not alone.” Though none of the paintings in the exhibit are new, most have been recently reworked by the painter and none have been exhibited previously in public.

“I’m struck by Christian’s personal need for both grace and meaning for herself and others, and I’ve seen her make significant, personal sacrifices to achieve that,” said Allsorts owner Lynette Charters. “It transfers into her artwork. Her brushwork and color sense is innocent, honest and wise. She takes joy in lulling you into the serenity of a scene.” In addition to the exhibit, Allsorts Gallery will hold an artist’s reception on September 17.

What: Susan Christian exhibit

When:  5-7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays;
4-7 p.m. Sundays, Sep. 15-24
(artist reception 4-7 p.m Sunday, Sept. 17)

Where: Allsorts Gallery,
2306 Capitol Way S, Olympia

How much: free

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