Suzanne Herbert-Forton

Art Form(s)
Visual Arts
Artist Credentials
MSAC Teaching Artist Roster
Teaching Artist Institute Graduate
About this Artist

Pronouns: she/her

Suzanne Herbert-Forton has been a working artist in Baltimore for over 30 years. She creates and exhibits mixed media pieces using hand embroidery, ceramics, and found objects. The work is inspired in part by the artisans of the middle ages, and by her Russian orthodox heritage. Her background in fiber arts and abiding interest in costume have led her to years of work in professional theater. Suzanne enjoys sharing her skills, working with children and adults teaching in a wide range of settings, from recreation to regular classrooms. She has participated in the Maryland State Arts Council AIE program as a residency artist since 2002. In this capacity, she works with teachers and students to integrate the arts across the curriculum.

Artist Statement

I blame it on my parents. It is their fault that I am interested in so many things. Mom taught me to sew as soon as I could thread a needle. From my dad, I learned that you can never have too many tools. They both had a talent for taking old things and giving them new purpose. It’s their fault. They read Dr. Suess aloud. Mom made up stories. They encouraged me to imagine, to learn, and not to be afraid to be different. When we visited our grandparents, they took me to the Russian Orthodox church where my father grew up in an old coal mining region. The church with a ceiling painted like the sky, with stars and angels. It was the place where I saw my first icons. It was a magical place where there was wonder and beauty in the midst of so much coal dust. So here I am; embroidering warped illuminations and icons by hand in the 21st century. I use clay and found objects to construct architecturally inspired frames that owe as much to the dear Dr. Suess as to art history. My studio is filled with bits of flotsam and jetsam that find their way into embroidery and frames. I endeavor to recycle both stories and objects for our crazy times, attempting to make sense from nonsense.