Thriving in Place: Susan Duhan Felix - Blessing Bowl to End Plague
12 x 12 x 5", Pit Fired Ceramic
My work is pit fired ceramic. Pit firing, one of the most primitive of firing methods, requires surrender of control over results. I surrender my artwork and control to fire and trust in what will emerge. This process is dependent on trust and faith. Just as one day can be more beautiful than the next, I am given differing blessings from the pit. A few are more amazing than others. As we can trust in the light returning on a daily basis, I have come to trust the powerful pieces emerging from the flames. I am drawn to the mystery and magic of the ancient and try to evoke similar responses in my art. The Hebrew words for faith, emunah and art, omanut come from the same root. My pieces represent the constant struggle to find the light amidst the darkness and chaos of our lives.
Susan has been a serious ceramic artist for the last fifty years specializing in ritual objects. Her work has been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York City, the Craft and Folk Museum in Los Angeles, the Oakland Museum in Oakland, California and at Christie's in London, U.K. In 1986, she had a solo show at the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley and has a piece in its permanent collection. She has pieces in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Jewish History in Philadelphia, and her work is owned by the Skirball Museum in Los Angeles and the Jewish Museum in the former Soviet Union. In 2007 she had a solo show at Hebrew Union College Museum, New York , NY. In 2008, she had a show at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX. In 2005 and 2009, Susan had solo shows at the Badè Museum at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. In 2012, the Jewish Heritage Museum in Danville, CA presented "Susan Duhan Felix -- Then and Now", a retrospective.
She served on the Berkeley Art Commission for six years and was elected president for three of those years. She is a founder of the Jewish Arts Community of the Bay and served as its first Executive Director. A member of the Berkeley Cultural Trust, she is presently Art Ambassador for the City of Berkeley.
In 1987 the California State Assembly passed Resolution No 1452 commending Susan Felix for her brilliant display of artistic talents and her exemplary record of community leadership. In 1989, the City of Berkeley honored her by declaring March 16th, 1989 Susan D. Felix Day and again honored her with the same award in 1999. In 1993, the Berkeley Commission on the Status of Women honored her as an Outstanding Berkeley Woman. Susan was selected for the special Millennium Edition of Marquis' Who's Who of American Women. She has been listed in the book since then. In addition to that she has been in Marquis’ Who’s Who since 2001. Susan was chosen by the International Biographical Center as one of the 2000 Outstanding Artists and Designers of the 20th Century and received their 21st Century Award for achievement. She was chosen to be in the annual World Who's Who of Women for the years of 2009 to 2014. In 2018, Susan began hosting Bay Area ArtBeat, a Cable TV program on the arts that airs on Berkeley Community Media (BCM) channel 28. She now has a YouTube channel created by Berkeley Community Media where they have posted interviews from her Bay Area ArtBeat show. On July 23rd 2019, the City of Berkeley presented Susan with a Lifetime Achievement Award.