Susan Kliewer is a Native of Southern California who has made Arizona her home for 40 years. She spent five of those years at Marble Canyon Trading Post in a remote area of northern Arizona adjacent to the Navajo Reservation. A painter since the age of ten, Susan turned to sculpting in 1987, after working in an art-casting foundry for ten years.
In 1993, Susan won a competition to create a monument of Sedona Schnebly for the City of Sedona, Arizona. They installed the ten-foot-tall sculpture of her town’s namesake in front of the Sedona Library in 1994. Since then, she has had many more monuments commissioned and installed in the United States and Europe. Susan created a group of 14 two-thirds-life-size sculptures for the Na ′Āina Kai Botanical Gardens and Sculpture Park on Kauai, Hawaii depicting a Navajo family settlement.
Over the years, Susan has received several awards at Cowgirl Up! She has twice been the recipient of the “Olaf Wieghorst (Best of Show)” award presented at the Mountain Oyster Club Contemporary Western Art Show in Tucson and the “Gold,” “Silver,” and “Bronze Awards” for sculpture at the Western Artists of America’s museum shows. Susan won both “First Place for Three-Dimensional Art” and “Best of Show” at the 2009 Sedona Arts Center Member’s Show.
Susan often uses her Native American friends and relatives as models to capture that special intimacy that is a hallmark of her work. Her depictions of Indians, cowboys and cowgirls in everyday life from the past as well as the present are, as one critic said, “truly heartfelt.” Susan says, “My work aims to show the common thread that underlies all human experience and which I hope brings us to a greater understanding between all people. If you do what you know and love, the feeling will shine through, giving your art a life of its own.”