Art in America recognized Susan Fitzsimmons in the magazine (March –April 2020) as one of the original stable of artists at Just Above Midtown gallery that helped to establish a new movement in Art in the late 1970’s. “Linda Goode Bryant named Nengudi, David Hammons, Susan Fitzsimmons, Gini Hamilton, and others as new members of the “Contexturalists,” a group of artists who were defining zones of interchange between their works and external phenomena as crucial sites of meaning.”
Fitzsimmons work was discussed and pictured in the book published by Hirmer in Germany (2020) on Senga Nengudi in both English and German. Fitzsimmons wrote a chapter in the book on the Belgian sculptor Mark Cloet: Stones that was published in Belgium in the fall, 2020.
Susan Fitzsimmons is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of South Alabama. She graduated from Southern Illinois University with MFA in Painting. In 1975 she moved to New York where she was part of a group of artists known as Contexturalists.
Her last solo show at JAM was called Moving from the Transparent to the Invisible, and she moved out of New York (1981) to remote regions as a rejection of the notion of being part of the mainstream.
In 1977, Fitzsimmons had her first of several one person exhibitions at Just Above Midtown Gallery, a Gallery renowned for its stable of minority and women artists during the 1970’s-1980's. Fitzsimmons’ work was recognized for its early innovation in reviews by Barbara Cavaliere, and in catalogs by Richard Stankiewicz, Linda G. Bryant and April Kingsley.
In 1982, she moved out of the lower East Side (Henry Street Settlement House where she was Artist- in- Residence) to upstate NY (Round Lake). As a single mother she worked full time at Empire State College in Saratoga Springs where she was Arts Mentor, then Associate Dean of Graduate Studies from 1985-1998. In 1999 she moved back home to St. Louis, Missouri. In St. Louis, Fitzsimmons did a series of performances at University of Missouri/St. Louis, Art COOP, Grandel Theatre, Lemp Art Center. In 2005 she moved to Hattiesburg MS to be Chair of the Art Department at University of Southern Mississippi. In 2010, she moved from Mississippi to Mc Allen, Texas to be Chair of Art at the University of Texas Pan American and was selected as Director at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2013. While at University of Texas RGV, she received the Marialice Shary Shivers Endowed Chair of Art for the UT system. Her work is in the permanent collection of the International Museum of Art and Science in McAllen Texas, Museum of San Angelo, Texas, State University of New York collection at Plattsburg, NY. Her sculptures have been exhibited in major museums and collections throughout the world.
Fitzsimmons’ work was included in shows in Peschiera del Garda, Venice, Florence, Rome, Italy; Barcelona, Spain and Berlin, Germany, China, South Africa, Mexico. Her work is pictured in Sculpture Magazine 2018, Art International Magazine (May/June 2017, March/April 2017, Jan/Feb 2018, March/April2018), and "The Best Modern and Contemporary Artists” catalog, (Berlin, September 2017). Her last exhibition in Texas was reviewed in Sculpture Magazine.
M.F.A. Southern Illinois 1973; B.A. Webster University, St. Louis, MO;Additional course work Chicago Art Institute:
Grants: USA Faculty Grant 2019, Shivers Endowed Chair of Art of University of Texas 2013-2016;Kerspit and Flemish Community Grant artist ins residence, Ghent, Belgium; Fulbright CIES grant; Mississippi Arts Commission-National Endowment for the Arts; Partners for the Arts, 2008 -2009- 2010; Centennial Sculpture Competition, University of Southern Mississippi 2010; AFROTC Distinguished Educator’s Visit Ellsworth AFB; New York State Council of the Arts; The Guggenheim Foundation Learning to Read through the Arts; EXXON Corporation; C.A.S.T.: Collaborations in Science and Technology from Syracuse University and New York State Council for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts; Henry Street Settlement House Foundation- New York City Arts Council
Fitzsimmons had several one-person shows at the Just Above Midtown Gallery and St. Peter’s Church in New York City in the late 1970's. Her most recent one person show was in Fairhope, Alabama in 2019. She exhibited in more 11 solo shows and 200 group shows that included venues such as Hofstra University, Albright Knox Museum, State University of New York at Plattsburg, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Albany Institute of History and Art Institute, Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, Schenectady Museum. She was artist-in-residence at the Henry Street Settlement House in New York for three years. She has exhibited in Blue Star, San Antonio, Red Dot Collectors Choice; William Campbell Contemporary Art, Fort Worth, Texas; the International Museum of Art and Science Texas Biennial 2013: Lawndale Art Center, Houston; ArtVenice Biennale 3, Venice, Italy; Galleria 409, Brownsville, TX “Due South”;Marfa Biennial Juried, Marfa TX; Beyond Arts Gallery, Harlingen, TX “Extraordinary Life”;
Mid America College Art Association, University of Texas San Antonio; Dougherty Art Center, Austin, Texas; Del Mar College, 48th Annual National Juried Small Sculpture and Works on Paper; In Depth, Texas Biennial at the Art Car Museum, Houston, Texas; Texas National 2013 Exhibition @ The Old Opera House in Nacogdoches, Texas; Cross Connections at Central Academy of Fine Arts, China; Luxun Academy of Fine Arts, China; National School of Fine Arts, Mexico; Shanghai University, China; Sint-Lucas Ghent, Belgium; The University of Texas - Arlington, USA; Truman State University, USA; University of Pretoria, South Africa, University of Texas Pan American; the Anita Shapolsky Foundation in Jim Thorpe, PA; K-Space, Corpus Christi, Texas; ALH Celebrates Texas Art 2012, Williams Tower Gallery; Shorelines Biennial 2011 at Rockport Center for the Arts, “Water Works,” UTPA Visitors Center, Susan Fitzsimmons and Ansen Seale; Quinta Mazatlan, Mcallen, TX; “Women and Water Rights,” Cascade Meadow, Rochester, MN, University of Minnesota, Nash Gallery, Regis Center for Art, Minneapolis, MN.