The "3 Americas" Show    ---   the beginning. . . . .

In this issue we want to give you some background on a woman who is making 
things happen. She is Susan Holland, and she is pulling a show together, 
linking countries of North, Central and South America. . . with a lot of help 
from her friends. Susan is a rural mail deliverer, living on the side of a 
cedar covered mountain in Washington State. What makes Susan Holland tick? 

Susan Holland wrote:

"My chosen medium is as much people as it is paint, and my greatest 
satisfaction is to see how the human spirit is uplifted and fed by the 
mixture of art and human connection. People and Art! Art and People! 

From the very beginning I was making marks. When I was five I begged and 
wheedled little dabs of oil paint from my mother's supply which I put on an 
old shingle as a palette, and off I went to render the neighbor's flower 

In fourth grade I had my first "one person show" as a supportive teacher hung 
about fifty pastels all around the wood molding of my classroom. At 13 (1951) 
I was painting at the life classes at the Wallingford Community Arts Center 
in Pennsylvania, along with some surprised adult artists who wondered, I am 
sure, at what kind of parents would allow their little girl to be painting 
nudes! (My canny parents knew what they were doing.)

At George School I included an Art Major in my curriculum, and when it came 
to college I passed up a scholarship to Skidmore to take another scholarship 
to Temple University's Tyler School of Fine Arts. I developed curriculum and 
taught art for the Valley Forge Christian Academy for five years when my 
children were young.

Finding myself a single mother of teens in 1980, I turned to the computer 
field to try to earn a living wage. I graduated with a BS in Computer Science 
and Systems Analysis, and went out into the high-stress middle-of-the-night 
craziness of computer programming. I downgraded, for sanity's sake, to an 
office manager's job in a wholesale art firm.

Later I picked up brushes again, and got some new impetus from a watercolor 
class I took with my mother to aid in dealing with the grief of my father's 
death. An oil done of my mother during that time won a "First" at the 
prestigious Pacific Northwest Arts and Crafts Fair! (this painting is 
lost--the buyer is no longer to be found, alas! Never do this to yourself, 

My northwest art career began again in earnest soon after this, moving 
forward with painting and drawing on commission of animate subjects: humans 
and animals. Along with my love of art comes a profound curiosity about 
people, and a love of "one-on-one" interactions with them. Possibly the most 
interesting thing about people to me is the story each has, and how much each 
of us is a part of the others' stories!

Beneath each unique story is a heartbeat held in common with other humans, 
and I am convinced that to keep from killing each other, humans must know and 
care for one another--in the commonality of this heartbeat. The language of 
visual art is a perennial vehicle for human understanding, transcending 
cultural and language barriers. Now computers have rushed us into each 
others' worlds with a powerful visual tool! Who knows what wonders our art 
will teach us about each other?

In April 1998 six of us earnest artists who "met" on an on-line art message
board created the web gallery, ARTFaces|ARTPlaces working entirely through
e-mail contact! The organization now represents over a hundred artists, and
hosts ARTKids, and ARTSeniors, as well as a pithy magazine called
"ARTVoices". We were a "start-up" before the era of "start-ups" and AFAP
is holding its own as a non-profit organization, with board members in North Carolina, California, Ohio and Saskatchewan.

What I consider to be my greatest "body of work" is in the persons of my 
three children, who have become, in their thirties, people of immense talent, 
skill, and strength. They have proven they can slay dragons and they are 
moving freely within the world of possibilities intrinsic in themselves. I am 
astonished that such remarkable human beings have emerged out of my 
unconventional way of doing things, and that they are who are who they are 
because of and in spite of me! 

Will it surprise many that I have a day job? The dependable income that 
sustains my everyday life is provided by my job as a rural mail carrier. My 
daily rounds take me into a mountainside neighborhood with glimpses of Mt. 
Rainier and dips into the lives of some fascinating people. I have the 
distinct pleasure of serving these folks every day. I believe that performing 
a service is regenerative. The mantra-like job of sorting and then the 
personalized job of delivering is good fuel for my mind and my soul. I watch 
all the changes in the neighborhood and I watch the children grow . The human 
nature stories keep coming at me. Life is good."