And that’s how Pell City artist Susan Hazzard describes her background, one of diversity and exposure to lots of places and things.
Her talent for capturing anything she sets her sights for is on display this month at Sylacauga’s Comer Museum and Arts Center where there's also a reception in her honor scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 16 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
Live entertainment will be provided by the father and son duo of Hank and Jeb Fannin.
Hazzard said her artistic side showed up early in life and she credits her father, along with her creator, with having influence on developing it.
“My philosophy of art is founded upon my belief that we are created in the image of God, and therefore, since God is our supreme creator, we must also possess in part his creative nature,” she said. “Talents are a divine gift, and the expression of these gifts, through the arts, is a combination of both divine talent and learned skills. Both aspects need to be nurtured, individually and collectively, for all ages and stages of our lives.”
Hazzard’s father is a World War II U.S. Air Force career man, and later worked for NASA until his retirement.
“By the time I was 18 years of age, our family had moved 19 times, and this provided diverse life experiences while living in both rural and urban areas in nine states during those years,” she said.
It was her father who recognized Hazzard’s artistic talent, she tells, and it was also her father who saw to it that this was nurtured.
There were frequent trips to museums and galleries throughout North America and also plenty of access to other resources such as books, art supplies along with private and formal education.
Through the years, Hazzard has also turned her artistic side to the garment industry, and has designed and made clothing that includes wedding and formal wear, including serving as chief designer for an international men’s clothing manufacturer.
Hazzard designed clothing styles and patterns and created prototypes for casual and formal wear for manufacturers in retail catalogue sales.
While living in Louisville, Ky., Hazzard took formal studies at a theological seminary, partly in search of answers to her own theological questions, she said.
She ended up majoring in theology and church history and said she discovered a direct relation between her passion for art and her relationship with God.
“Much of church history involved the arts as a means in translating God’s word to the illiterate masses through paintings, sculpture, music and theatre,” she said.
Hazzard also studied theatre arts at the University of Louisville and gained experience in set and costume design for the Kentucky Opera and for a number of drama departments in school and church settings.
She has been active with arts organizations in Mississippi, Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, New Orleans and in Alabama through the years.
Her work also includes doing residential and commercial murals; formal oil portraits along with pencil, charcoal and pastels; pet portraiture; faux finishes for interior designs, paper mache, ceramics, display and sign designs for major retail department stores; photography, layout and printing process work and providing illustrations for published authors.
Comer Museum and Arts Center is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.