Susan Lenz works in partnership with her materials to articulate the accumulated memory inherent in discarded things. By using multiples of seemingly mundane items, she puts into perspective the abundance of life and the capacity to keep things as if for a "rainy day." Paper clips, keys, bottle caps, buttons, nails, plastic spoons and old clock parts are combined with dominoes, film reels, old toys and holiday decorations. These and so many other, often vintage, items are repetitively hand-stitched into meditative patterns on sections of old quilts, bringing an extraordinary new life to otherwise everyday things.
Other altered works addresses marriage, systemic racism, genealogy, reliance on mechanical appliances and common adages. In each piece, Lenz uses a familiar object in an unexpected way to voice current ideas and social concern.
Lenz's work has appeared in national publications, numerous juried and invitational exhibitions and at fine craft shows including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Craft Shows. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Textile Museum in Washington, DC and the McKissick Museum in South Carolina. Susan has been awarded fully funded fellowships to several art residencies including Great Basin National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, The Anderson Center, PLAYA, Hot Springs National Park, the Studios of Key West, and Homestead National Monument. She has been featured on art quilting television programs, Columbia Museum of Art’s educational videos, and South Carolina Etv. Her solo shows and installations have been mounted all over the world, including at Mesa Contemporary Museum of Art and as far away as the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England.