"Jackson Heights, Queens NYC is where I grew up and spent most of my life."
- Susan Spangenberg
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ACRYLIC ON CANVAS
48" x 42"
New York City
“The power of art and the connection with others it affords me is priceless.”
Susan Spangenberg is an American born artist. She is a painter, writer, and actor who performs under the stage name Shyla Idris.
As a self-taught artist, she is a member of Fountain House Gallery and a former member of The Living Museum and Healing Arts Initiative. Susan believes in the power of transcendence through the Arts. Her themes range from the autobiographical, personal struggles in life to iconic heroes, mental health, women’s rights, animal welfare, race, and incarceration.
She writes of her experience: “My Art is honest and oftentimes ugly, filled with pain and passion but Art is what I use to transform my experiences.” Susan embraces the struggle of creating as well as the joy of it, always honoring the process more than the presentation. She works in acrylic and mixed media using drawing, collage, painting, photography, film, writing and found objects as self-expression, always expanding her range.
Susan always had a desire to create and she started painting at the age of three. Susan writes of her experience, “I could not talk or communicate effectively for much of my life and that left Art as the only healing tool in my very silent world. The Arts were not present or encouraged in my home.”
Her artwork has been sporadic until her more recent recovery and stabilization, which she credits to her analyst, Hubertus Raben. She now has an extensive body of work. She dedicates her artistic endeavors to her late twin brother, Robbie, and survivors everywhere.
ArtLifting empowers artists impacted by homelessness or disabilities through the celebration and sale of their artwork. Learn more here.