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Gallery With A Cause • Located in the New Mexico Cancer Center • Benefitting the NMCC Foundation

Please call gallery director Regina Held to arrange a private gallery tour, make a purchase, or ask any questions.


Susan Allison-Hatch hails from Minnesota. Her first job was at a soda fountain in a drug store. Later she was a waitress at the Faculty Club of her college. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a major in Political Science and History. After a brief stint at the University Library, she returned to school to get a Master of Arts in Teaching. She then taught in public schools and independent schools in Minnesota and California. Eventually, she found herself back in school studying curriculum design and advised by a painter who had found his way into education. A reverse of the path Susan would eventually follow.

Susan finished yet another degree and made her way to New Mexico. Settling in Albuquerque’s far North Valley not far from the Rio Grande, Susan, husband Tim, and their dogs flourished. They all had found their heart’s home—a land of enchanting thin spaces, numinous light, and a pastiche of cultures that embraced them and that they, in turn, embraced enthusiastically. In this nurturing land, Susan learned to listen deeply in silence. And what she heard nudged her in a different direction - seminary and priesthood.

A waitress, a teacher, a priest. All those Susan can claim with confidence.  But an artist - where did that come from?

There are those who say her life as an artist began before she could reach the kitchen counter without standing on a stool (i.e. her mother). Susan wonders if it began when she learned to stitch on her grandmother’s treadle sewing machine. Or maybe in middle school art under the direction of a wise and caring teacher who let her play with the materials that delighted her. She took a long hiatus from that play and those materials. But in seminary she discovered that words alone did not always do the job. That is when Susan turned to fiber art.


Artist Statement

I work with a combination of fiber such as cloth, paper and threads such as cotton, silk, wire, and even fish net. In addition, I work with what I find on the ground beneath my feet. That could be a spruce branch, a piece of kelp, a shell, a pebble, a knot of wood. I love the feel of fiber - especially old cloth that has passed through many hands. And I love what fibers do with one another when they make contact—such as the colors that come through on silk organza dyed with the flowers of the turpentine bush or the leaves of Russian Sage or avocado pits and skins. Through the fiber I find my way to other places, other times, other ways of being in this world we share.

The ragged edge, the uneven line, stitches big and small and in-between express the frayed edges, the ups and downs, the big and little hopes that make up our most human lives. In my work I seek to bring together the worlds around me, the pressing needs, the deep hopes, the tender moments, the darkness and the light that are all part of being human. But sometimes my work is just a path to silence and to the one who meets me there.

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