Our Gallery is located at 1835 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ.
Our hours are Tuesday through Sat. 11 AM to 5 PM.
Saturday FEBRUARY 3rd FEATURED ARTIST OF THE MONTH RECEPTION 3 PM to 5 PM
Susan Rae Thatcher
Susan was raised in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin as a tom boy extraordinaire, playing ditch and kick the can with 52 other children. Immediately after graduation Susan married Ray Thatcher and their first of 5 children was born in 1959. The family moved to Tucson in 1960. It was all of Arizona’s dramatic and beautiful scenery that awakened the artist in Susan. She took art lesson and became active with the Wilcox Art Association.
Ralph Schaefer, an art teacher for Ft Grants boys prison, became Susan’s mentor and critic. Ralph’s motto was to “accept constructive criticism and continue to learn or quit right now”. With his wisdom of light, shadow, values, perspective and composition so freely shared Susan’s results in her work dramatically improved.
Susan has retired from the real estate business and has grandchildren in Alaska and Apache Junction, Arizona. Susan has not become idle. It is time for her art, travel and lots of planned play. Although all of Susan’s art work is just works of art, two of her most exciting and rewarding achievements were winning first place with a full size ocean color and most recently another first with a water color of Liz’s Flower Garden and a Santa Cruz County Fair blue ribbon for “Sonoita Horse Race” an oil painting.
Huachuca Art members influenced Susan’s art as well as many accomplished artists such as Eva Arenas, Carol Reilly, Raleigh Kenny and Angus Bowie Wilson. Susan is a long time member and was past president of the Huachuca Art Association.
I grew up in Denver, Colorado, and had little exposure to art until I was in high school. I had some art classes in drawing and painting and a semester of clay sculpting in college, but other than those, I’ve never had any formal art training.
After school, I married and had three children. Once the kids were all in school all day, I went to beauty school. Doing hair for 12 years gave me a creative outlet.
I have always enjoyed doing artsy, crafty things—sketching, needlepoint, crewel, gardening, floral arranging, and crocheting—but it wasn’t until 1973 that I found “CLAY.” My neighbors came back from Mexico with a figure of a werejackal (a shapeshifter that can assume the shape of a jackal) that I loved. That inspired me to get some clay and sculpt my own. Since then I have taken every chance to find a place to further my hobby and love of sculpting.
In 2014, I moved to Sierra Vista to be closer to my children. It’s a wonderful, little town with beautiful mountains and great climate. Of course, my move would not have been complete if I did not have a place to “play with clay.” Fortunately, my daughter found the Sierra Vista Pottery Studio. On one of my trips to AZ (prior to moving), I got to tour the studio and just knew it would be a perfect fit. I create handbuilt sculptures of pretty much anything that strikes my fancy—realistic or whimsical animals, creatures of fantasy, abstract sculptures, or functional pieces. I love it all!
After spending time at the Pottery Studio, I heard about the Huachuca Art Association and joined soon after. Everyone has been so encouraging and supportive of me. HAA is a great outlet to show and sell my work.