Michi Susan

Michi Susan News: What's on Your Calendar?, January 28, 2021 - By Joy Reed Belt

What's on Your Calendar?

January 28, 2021 - By Joy Reed Belt

It was in 1979 that I had my first encounter with an art calendar. At that time Ben Pickard lived in Crown Heights. His gallery was in the basement of his home. I lived close by and would visit him at least once a month, enthralled by the stories he would tell me about his stable of artists and art. So naturally, I turned to him to help me find art to put in my office at the University of Oklahoma, where I had gotten my first job after receiving my Ph.D. Of course, Ben had several paintings and prints I loved, but could not begin to afford. Then he pulled out this large calendar of signed prints of contemporary artists. It was wonderful!...

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Michi Susan News: Happiness, January 14, 2021 - By Joy Reed Belt


January 14, 2021 - By Joy Reed Belt

Today I received a handwritten note from a friend that said: “Happiness is 2020 in a rearview mirror.” While that may not be entirely true, I think most of us certainly breathed a sigh of relief as we welcomed 2021 with gratitude for our individual survival...

Michi Susan News: Do Artists Ever Really Die?, October  1, 2020 - By Joy Reed Belt

Do Artists Ever Really Die?

October 1, 2020 - By Joy Reed Belt

Somewhere I read that when an artist dies they leave behind two bodies: a physical body and a body of work. When Michi Susan died last week, she left a third body. A third body comprised of scores of artists, patrons, and at least one gallery owner, whose lives she supported, enriched and changed. My friendship with Michi began a little over 20 years ago when John purchased The Elms, the former studio, home and gallery of Nan Sheets. It had become a run down day care center and John spent several months restoring the center portion of the venerable structure before leasing it as a Gallery to a husband and wife who were both artists. When they decided to close their Gallery, I asked John if he would lease the The Elms to me. He was incredulous and said “No! You already have a career and a business and work more hours than a reasonable human should.” Furthermore, he said that although he had given me painting lessons "to relax," I didn’t have any real knowledge or experience in managing a proper gallery.

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Michi Susan News: Blog: A Sense of Place, April 16, 2020 - Joy Reed Belt

Blog: A Sense of Place

April 16, 2020 - Joy Reed Belt

When Fareed Zakara, one of my favorite global thinkers, mentioned in a recent television broadcast that he was re-reading John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden, I was intrigued. When he went on to say that “East of Eden” was in his mind “The” great American novel, I grabbed a copy and started re-reading it myself. It is indeed an extraordinary and powerful novel. The multigenerational story makes it a must read for anyone interested in human behavior. Steinbeck, winner of both the Pulitzer and Nobel Award for his writing, based the plot of this book on the biblical story of Cain and Abel. Just as in “Grapes of Wrath,” the characters in “East of Eden” are fully drawn and totally unforgettable. But the quality I love in this book is a quality one also finds in Steinbeck’s other books and that is a sense of place. It is impossible to read any Steinbeck novel without breathing the air, smelling the dirt, seeing the horizon, or getting burned by the sun.