Susan Schanerman (she/her/hers)
“I am often told that my work is inspiring, uplifting, whimsical, playful and fun. I use vibrant color and much of my work has a child-like tone. I’ve often thought that it is speaking for the child within me, the child whose life never again even approached normalcy after polio. Most of my work expresses the freedom and joy of childhood, something I never really experienced myself. What permeates all of my work, is that it speaks directly from my heart and soul . . . it’s a means of communication . . . heart to heart . . . soul to soul.”
Susan was an artist and writer who overcame many obstacles in her life stemming from a serious case of polio at a young age. Susan was a proud member of the ArtLifting community until her passing in 2023.
Susan wrote, “In Dec. 1953, I was a normal, healthy 7 yr. old child. Within less than a month, I was no longer healthy or normal, and never would be again. I had been stricken with a paralyzing case of polio. For the next 10 years or so I had therapies and surgeries and did make what could be called a remarkable recovery. I was able to rid myself of the braces, crutches, and wheelchair . . . but was left with residual muscle and nerve damage, deep psychological scars . . . and an even deeper sense of powerlessness.”
Susan described art as her complete passion, an activity and practice with the ability to heal mind, body, and soul, “often the tonic that gets me out of emotionally dark places.” Susan described her experience of joining ArtLifting as one of great empowerment for herself. She shares, “I never wanted to admit or see myself as disabled. After I was rid of the braces and crutches, my disability wasn’t obvious. Maybe that attitude served me well over the years . . . and maybe not. The real truth was and is that I was hiding and denying a significant part of myself. I hate the word “disabled” and always have . . . but to me, the fact that I’ve reached out to ArtLifting is a demonstration of owning, accepting, even embracing the part of myself that I have denied and rejected for my entire life.”
Through sharing her art and her story, Susan hoped to communicate that “We can each be a star in our own lives . . . if only we believe we can. We all have the capacity to move past our obstacles and challenges, whether physical or emotional, obvious or hidden, and achieve the goals and dreams of our hearts. We owe it to ourselves and to those we can inspire . . . I make art because it's the best way for my heART to communicate with the world.”read more
Prints by Susan Schanerman (she/her/hers)
ArtLifting champions artists impacted by disabilities and housing insecurity by connecting their art with socially-conscious customers . Learn more here.