"Life is a festival and painting is a celebration of it."

SUSAN GURRENTZ COMPLETE BIOGRAPHY

Born in Philadelphia to immigrant parents, Susan Gurrentz grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From a young age, her immense gift for art was recognized, and her parents fostered her talent by seeking out opportunities for private lessons and art classes.

Gurrentz attended Sarah Lawrence College in New York City and after her marriage to Mort Gurrentz, finished her degree at Chatham College in Pittsburgh, PA.

After graduation, Gurrentz began showing her work in the Pittsburgh area in both group and one-woman shows. During that time, her paintings were regularly shown at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Active in the civil rights causes of the 1960s, Gurrentz founded a charity that raised funds for higher education for needy young black students.

In 1971, Gurrentz attended the first Sarah Lawrence summer art program in Provence, France.

After moving to Aspen in the early 1980s, Gurrentz attended hand-made papermaking classes at Anderson Ranch Art Center. Fascinated by the process, she devoted the following ten years largely to the art of papermaking.

In addition to handling sales from her studio in Aspen and the many galleries that carried her work, Gurrentz was commisssioned by the Soffer Organization in Pittsburgh to create a paper mural for their office lobby. She subsequently contributed a 9' by 16' paper mural to the Aspen Elementary School, which hung in the school above the entrance to the District Theater.

Also in the early 1980s, a hiking trip to the Langtang Valley in Nepal and to the base camp of Mt. Everest the following year resulted in a one-woman show of paintings and photographs of her experiences at the Pittsburgh Center of the Arts. The same photographs were included in a world-traveling show, "Art of the Himalayas," which was presented at the Frick Art Museum in Pittsburgh.

As a painter, Gurrentz created large-scale works on a variety of subject matters including commissioned portraits, cowboys, western themes, flowers and most recently, bears.

In Aspen, Gurrentz continued to paint and pursue her career in portraiture, begun while still in her teens. As a full-time Colorado resident for more than twenty years, Gurrentz became part of the fabric of the Aspen community, serving on the boards of the Aspen Art Museum for seven years and "Les Dames d'Aspen" (two years as president of the organization). A member of the board of Dance Aspen for three years, and a member of the National Council for the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.

Gurrentz was a mother to three married sons and devoted grandmother to seven grandchildren, all of whom share her love and gift for art.

Susan Gurrentz passed away November 20th, 2011 at the age of 76 years old, after a two year battle with leukemia. 

EDUCATION

Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY

Chatham College, Pittsburgh, PA, B.A.

Sarah Lawrence Summer Program in the Arts, Provence, France, 1971

Trek to Langtang Valley, Nepal, 1980

Trek to Mt. Everest, Nepal, 1981

Trek to Mt. Minyo Konka, China, 1982

Anderson Ranch, Aspen, CO, 1983-84

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

Group Exhibitions

1958-84-98    Associated Artists of Pittsburgh

1962-63         Pittsburgh Plan for Art, Pittsburgh, PA

1963              Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA

                      Chatauqua New York Art Center, Chatauqua, NY

                      Latrobe Art Center, Latrobe, PA

1966              Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA

1959-72, 84   Arts and Crafts Center, Pittsburgh, PA

1968-84         Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA

1972               Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY

                      Westmoreland Museum of Art, Greensburg, PA

1973-76         Natural World Photographic Competition, Carnegie Museum of Natural History,                              Pittsburgh, PA (Juried Photo Show)

1984               Center Show, Pittsburgh, PA

1985               Gurrentz-Cowee: Paperworks, Byrne-Getz Gallery, Aspen, CO

1985-88          Chapel Artists, Chapel Gallery, Aspen, CO

1985-97          Roaring Folk Artists, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO

1993               Basalt Gallery, Aspen/Basalt, CO

1995               "Bumps" at Buttermilk (Basalt Gallery), Aspen, CO

2007                Siriani Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

One-woman Shows

1963                Pittsburgh Playhouse, Pittsburgh, PA

1967                Regent House, Pittsburgh, PA

1967-70           Gallery Downstairs, Pittsburgh, PA

1969-82           Arts and Crafts Center, Pittsburgh, PA

1973, 78, 84    Bird-in-the-Hand Gallery, Sewickley, PA

1984                Byrne-Getz Gallery, Aspen, CO

1988                Blue Sky Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

1989                Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA

1995                "Bumps" at Buttermilk, Aspen, CO

1999                E.S. Lawrence Gallery, Aspen, CO

2004                Aspen Grove Fine Arts, Aspen, CO

2006                Chatham College, Pittsburgh, PA

Invited Shows

1969, 75, 90    Annual Regional Invitational, Westmoreland Museum, Greensburg, PA

1969                Chatham College, Pittsburgh, PA

1972                Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY

1972-74           Hunt Botanical Library, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

1972                American Rose Society, Pittsburgh, PA

1975                "Art in the Kitchen", Westmoreland Museum of Art, Greensburg, PA

1976                Ligonier Valley Bicentennial Show, Ligonier, PA

1979                National Conference of Mayors, Pittsburgh, PA

1985                Invited Painters and Sculptors, 75th Anniversary of Associated Artists, Westmoreland                         Museum, Greensburg, PA

1985                New Artists, Austin Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

1986                "Works on Paper: Maxie, Secunda, Gurrentz", Austin Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

1986                Artists Make Paper, Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA

1989                Paper Works, Harlan Gallery, Seton Hall College, Greensburg, PA

1990                Art in Sports, Gallery G, Pittsburgh, PA

1992                "Art of the Himalayas," (Photographs), Frick Art Museum, Pittsburgh, PA

1993                "Art of the Himalayas," Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL

1994                "Art of the Himalayas," American Federation of the Arts, Australian Museum,                                    Sydney, Australia

1994                 "Art of the Himalayas," Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

1994                 "Art of the Himalayas," Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

Art In Public Places

Penn Center West, Pittsburgh, PA, The Soffer Organization: "Doutai", 1991 | Aspen Elementary School, Aspen, CO, Mural "4UKIDZ", 1993 | Castle Creek Terrace, Aspen, CO | Jewish Community Center, Pittsburgh, PA | Doubletree Inn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA | National Jewish Hospital, Denver, CO | James Wallace Trust, Auckland, New Zealand, 2007

Contract Work

Sheraton Inn, Boulder, CO | Hilton Inn, Meadowlands, Washington, PA | Dorothy Draper, New York | Claridge Motor Inn, Rhinelander, WI

Collections

Papercraft, Pittsburgh, PA | Sewickley Hospital, Sewickley, PA | Westbury Hotel, Chicago, IL | Lloyds Bank, Coral Gables, FL | Fort Smith Hospital, Fort Smith, AR | Credit Suisse, Coral Gables, FL | C.S. McKee Corp., Pittsburgh, PA | Peat Morwick, Pittsburgh, PA | Corning Glass Corp., Corning, NY | Art in Embassies Program -- U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassy to Mouritania, 1991 | University of Pittsburgh School of Dentistry, "Dorothy One", Gift of Dr. Charles Jay Miller | United States Embassy, Bogota, Colombia (Addison Ripley Gallery, Washington DC) | University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing, Commissioned portrat of Dr. Margaret Schaeffer, Dean of School of Nursing, Ret. | University of Pittsburgh, School of Dentistry, Commissioned portrait of Dr. Edward J. Forest