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NC Arts Council presents fellowship to School of Art and Design's Susan Martin

Susan Martin is a recipient of the N.C. Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award.

Susan Martin, an adjunct faculty member in Western Carolina University’s School of Art and Design, is the recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award for her photography.

Since 1980, the prestigious fellowships have been awarded to artists in a variety of disciplines, selected through a rigorous panel screening process. Recipients receive $10,000 to set aside time to work, purchase supplies and equipment, or pursue other artistic goals.

There is a contemporary viewpoint in Martin’s approach to photography as an art form. She does traditional two-dimensional photography, but she also uses images to make sculptural pieces. Central to her work are questions about how individuals’ ideas about the world translate into physical reality and how the landscape itself can reveal their relationship to the environment or socioeconomic issues.

“Much of my work starts with a story from the local newspaper. Then I go collect images and ‘artifacts’ from the scene and piece them together to make sculptures ― analogous to the way we piece together our world views,” she said. The sculptural aspect of the work completes the analogy.  “In this world that seems to be so virtual, I want to remind people of the physical consequences of our thoughts.”

Martin recently had works on display as part of the “Anti-Nostalgia” exhibit at The Carrack in Durham and will be part of a show titled “Picturing Purity,” opening Friday, Nov. 9, at Revolve Gallery as part of Photosphere in Asheville.

An instructor of photography and the history of photography at WCU since 2006, Martin earned a master of fine arts degree in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute, as well as a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Arizona. A Jackson County resident, she has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally. Her website is

For more information, contact the N.C Arts Council at 919-807-6500 or visit

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