Susan Wise (1949-2019)

After being institutionalized for a large part of her youth, Susan Wise became interested in crafts in a vocational training program.

For more than two decades, Wise has explored and mastered numerous craft forms – quilts, embroidery and ceramics. But Wise’s true masterworks are baskets.

Unlike traditional basket making, which uses a very regimented math to tightly and firmly weave the materials, Wise has invented her process. She first lays out the twine or rope and begins shaping it into the vessel, and the, using a different diameter of string or yarn, lashes the coils into place.

Characteristic of Wise’s vessels are their emphasis on biomorphic forms and shapes. Through her use of color and materials (hemp twine, various ropes, threads and fabric scraps), her baskets often seem to undulate and sway to an invisible rhythm, while frequently seeming to be collapsing under their own weight as if exhausted by their dance.

// Susan’s available work //

exhibition history

Untangling Webs: A Journey In Abstract Textiles, organized by Alexander Hernandez // NIAD Online Exhibition // July 2023

Small Wonders, organized by kg // NIAD Online Exhibition // July 2023

The Shape We’re in Feels Like the Colors of Hope, organized by Cynthia Branvall // NIAD Online Exhibition // May 2023

What a Wonderful World! // An Exhibition in the Office Suite of Mayor Eduardo Martinez // NIAD Online Exhibition // February 2023

Crossover: Cedars of Marin + NIAD // NIAD Gallery Exhibition // November 2022

A New Geometry, organized by e bond // NIAD Online Exhibition // July 2022

Luxe, Calme et Volupté, organized by Lou Mo // NIAD Online Exhibition // March 2022

Murmuration, organized by Alisa Golden // NIAD Online Exhibition // January 2022

Relics for the Future, curated by Jessica Snow // NIAD Galleries // January 2022

Hailing From Parts Unknown // organized By Curtis Turner May 2019

Redefining Contemporary Art // organized by Courtney Eldridge Depot Steamboat Springs 2019

It’s Complicated // organized by Kathleen King NIAD Art Center 2018

Susan Wise // NIAD Art Center 2018

Can Did // organized By Julio Rodriguez NIAD Art Center 2018

Thread Heads // Berkeley Art Center 2017

Hanging On a Thread: Fiber Art From NIAD Art Center // Contra Costa County McBrien Administrative Building Martinez 2017

Word Play // organized by Kate Klingbeil NIAD Art Center 2017

We Can Do It! 2 // Hurwich Library, Alliant University San Francisco 2017

Mayor Tom Butt Selects The Art Of NIAD // Mayor’s Suite Richmond 2017

21 // organized by Ben Sanders Left Field Gallery San Luis Obispo 2017

Souls And Scenarios // organized by Gina Borg NIAD Art Center 2016

Curious Weave // organized by Ramekon O’Arwisters NIAD Art Center 2016

Felicia Griffin + Susan Wise // organized by Katie Johnson Yali’s Café Stanley Hall Berkeley 2016

Celebrating A Vision: Art & Disability // San Francisco International Airport Terminal Two 2016

Joyful Tidings Of The Golden Future Time // organized by Jon Shibata Yali’s Café Berkeley 2016

Hanging By A Thread // organized by Katie Johnson Yali’s Café Berkeley 2016

Wrapped Up In You: NIAD’s Quilts // NIAD Art Center 2015

Telling It Slant // organized by Courtney Eldridge Richmond Art Center 2015

I <3 You: Valentines From Angela Rogers, Lisa Blevens, Susan Wise  + Sara Malpass // NIAD Art Center 2015

Susan Wise’s Biomorphic Baskets // NIAD Art Center 2014

Yes To The Dress Pop-Up Shop // organized by Peter Gravener NIAD Art Center 2013

Undercover Genuises // organized by Jan Moore Petaluma Art Center 2013

Diamond Dogs Pet Supply Pop-up Shop // NIAD Art Center 2013

Superduperultracool Shoppe // organized by Lisa Solomon NIAD ART Center 2013

The Variety Show  // Factory Outlet Gallery Mokulmne Hill 2012


Star 82 Review Issue 10.1, edited by Alisa Golden // March 2022

Making Handmade Books Blog: Telling It Slant (2015, July)