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About Susie Smith

My art reflects a spiritual journey that has carried me from the fashion industry and the theater to a greater understanding of the purpose of my gift as revealed through my angels.

Susie Smith is a professional artist with a body of work spanning twenty-five years of creativity in such diverse genres as sculpture, theater costumiere, fashion design, art-shade design and fabrication, crafting, jewelry design, quilting, and most recently, one-of-a-kind figurative art doll and original doll design and creation.

A maturing artist, Susie is now fulfilling a long held desire to achieve a greater spiritual reflection in her work; and is testament to her own spiritual growth. Her current series, aptly entitled “Susie’s Angels” is a collection of magnificent and original-design sculptures of angels, elegantly attired and radiating love, virtue and purpose. Reaching this pinnacle in her art has been the result of formal training, her experience in the theater and her own instinctive sense of style, design and passion.

A long-term resident of Boston’s Mt. Bowdoin neighborhood, Susie is known to family and friends as “Cookie.” (No, not because of a love of sweets! Her nickname is homage to her beloved maternal great grandmother, Susie Cook. From early childhood, Susie was affectionately called “Cookie”).

As a child in her native Selma, Alabama, Susie was witness to the privation and discrimination suffered by Black citizens. That experience is reflected in her early work. For example, the facial expression of the OOAK doll “Selma” reveals the emotional impact of racism and hate through the innocence of a child too young to understand.

After moving to Boston and recognizing her artistic gift, Susie excelled in art classes at the Jeremiah Burke High School. After graduation from the Vesper George School of Art and enrolling at the Massachusetts College of Art, Susie began her career in the fashion industry as a designer. She later developed her skills as a fine artist, sculptor and craftsperson.

Her repertoire as an artist and designer is extensive. After many years as a theater costume designer executing original work for local and regional productions such as ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’, ‘Wedding Band’, ‘Hollywood, Ukraine’, ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’, and more recently, ‘Quilters’, ‘Amen Corner’, ‘Once on this Island’, and ‘Crowns’; Susie made a mid-career transition to personal spiritual expression through sculpture and doll-making.

Her love of art and community has led to her support of community-based art and art education programs where Susie has mentored youth and emerging artists. In addition, she recently achieved a long-held desire with the establishment of the Susie Smith Gallery. 

Her recent works include “Yesteryears” (2018), a reflection of the happiness of girlhood/boyhood play, and “When We All Get To Heaven” (2017), a personal homage to the eternal joy and fulfillment of generations passed. These works reflect her multi-generational view of Black life and culture.

Susie’s body of work can be viewed at susiesmithgallery.yolasite.com

Hand-Crafted Dolls

I always loved dolls, but as a little girl I only had one doll...

Costume Design

I didn't know anything about costume design... but, if you gave me a photograph or a sketch, I could execute it

Fairy-Themed Sculptures

...I always believed fairies are amongst us, too, but we can't see them...

Lampshade Fabrication

I said, "I can't afford it... but I can make it!" I never knew anything about designing no lampshade...

"When We Get to Heaven"

...and I said, "when we get to heaven, we're gonna dance and we're gonna drum," and that's when I came up with 'When We Get to Heaven.'

Co-Creation Team

Allison Donine

Sociology PhD Student

Allison Donine is a third-year PhD student and member of the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute (SSEHRI). Allison received an en-route MA in Sociology from Northeastern University and a BA in Environmental Policy from Pitzer College.

Miranda Melson

Sociology PhD Student

Miranda Melson joined Northeastern’s Sociology Ph.D program in 2020 and earned her B.A. in sociology, French, and global studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.