designer and writer Beth Surdut utilizes a palette of personal experiences
infused with the color and romance of world cultures. With a unique
style that encompasses fine art and fine craft, her original paintings
and wearable art are shown internationally in gallery and museum exhibitions.
As a journalist she has examined topics ranging from sewers to senators,
and is noted for her artists' profiles and art business articles. She
has served as arts editor and feature writer, and produced an oral history
CD of an 86-year old woodworker, Talking Life: Walter Harrod's Stories,
supported by grants from the Harvard Historical Society and the Massachusetts
Cultural Council. Her lively commentaries have been published nationally,
and National Public Radio aired a six-part series on the business of
Beth Surdut's creative vision incorporates the color of the tropics
and romantic locales. During a 10-year career of designing and fabricating
vibrant architectural art glass in the Washington, D.C. area, her introduction
to tropical colors and forms began twenty years ago with a visit to
Key West, where she was commissioned to design a stained glass window
for a Duval Street hotel. Noted for rich jewel tones and subtle depth,
her studio garnered commissions for both private and public spaces,
including 24 windows in a Middle Eastern palace.
Following her 1986 shift to extraordinary florals and mystical underwater
scenes painted on Chinese silk with Japanese brushes and French dyes,
Beth's wearable art was soon exhibited in the Smithsonian Institution's
Renwick Gallery. A six-year Hawaiian sojourn fostered large-scale paintings
as well as extensive textile and product design internationally. Commissions
have included designing and painting Celtic motifs for fashion icon
Mary McFadden, and shaping product identity for Hawaiian resorts. In
addition to interior illustration, magazines have featured Beth's paintings
on their covers. Her hand-painted silk men's Ultimate Aloha Shirts
were highlighted in 2004 at the American Textile History Museum and
her exquisite custom garments for women and men remain available by
Extended visits to the West Indies and travels in Indonesia and Australia
have further nurtured Beth's relationship with the mysteries and nuances
of nature. Her recent move to the Gulf Coast of Florida has sparked
a new series of paintings and stories, Dragon Scales and Hurricanes:
Harmonic Convergence. Describing Florida as "terra infirma,"
she introduces her latest work as reflecting both the wild and cultivated,
a land where orchid growers, poets, songwriters and stargazing techies
embellish a primal melody.
While a magical blend of color on silk remains the heart of this multi-faceted
artist, today's technology offers new avenues for quality reproduction.
Textile companies, apparel manufacturers and interior designers seek
her sensuous images to harmonize within specific settings. Her designs
have been utilized extensively by Hawaiian shirt companies, textile
converters, and women's apparel firms.
The Mermaids, a series of 12 limited edition fine art prints, embodies
the seductive enchantment of the sea. Works of fiction melding sea legends
and environmental issues are slated for release in 2006. The Surdut
Tropical Table Linen Collection debuted in 2004 at major museums and
selected Bloomingdale stores. Bamboo Forest linens, commissioned by
the Boston Museum of Fine Arts due to earlier record-breaking sales,
will be available in late 2005. Locally, her work may be seen by appointment
and in the group show Jump the Line at the HPoto Galleries of Contemporary
Art in Sarasota, September 16-November 4, and in Colors of the Sun,
a solo exhibit at the Selby House Gallery at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens,
Sept 1-October 18, 2005.
Click Images to Enlarge
Madmen Dye Happy
Red Tide Dragon Scales
Orchid Ceramic Tile
Power Without Sacrifice
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