Page 69 - May2017

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Out & About |
gallery spotlight
linoleum cuts, as well as the
brilliant, macabre images he
created of disease and its impact
on humanity. He purchased the
property in 2006 and completed
a full restoration that included
building out the front space of the
first floor as a personal gallery.
“It was never open to the public,”
Susan explains, “but he would
often invite students over from the
university.”
She purchased the building from
Dr. Avery in 2013, which perfectly
suited her newfound adventure.
Susan admits that at first she really
had no idea what she was doing, at
least logistically, when she opened
Tyler Fine Art Studio. “I’m a nurse
by trade, not a businessman,” she
laughs. But she did know that she
wanted art to be the focal point of
her life, and she knew that in turn
she wanted to support other local
artists and be a part of Galveston’s
vibrant artistic community.
Most of all, she was driven by
her years of experience as a
geriatric nurse practitioner, where
she experienced firsthand the
deterioration of the quality of life
that so many people experience
in their later years. Susan began
to research the topic extensively,
and was moved by the works of
Dr. Gene Cohen, a well-known
psychiatrist who is lauded as one
of the most forward-thinking
pioneers on the subject of geriatric
mental health.
“I wanted to know, how do you
stay healthy to your very last
breath, how do you keep yourself
renewed?” she remembers.
“I realized that art and creativity
are very important for happiness and self-confidence,” she
continues. When these feelings are bolstered in people at any
age, but especially older people, it has a significantly positive
impact on the aging process. Amplifying this result is the
ability to share art in a social setting.
Susan explains, “As we get older, sharing, networking, helps
the brain grow, whether we share poetry, or dancing, or any
creative exploit.”
These philosophies carry over into Tyler Studio by way of
weekly art classes. Every Friday she teaches a small, informal
oil painting class for beginners to intermediates, where
artists work at their own pace
and Susan offers her own
techniques as an extension of
the gallery. Additionally, on the
third Saturday of every month,
Susan hires a live model to
sit for artists in the gallery, an
event open to any artist for a
small fee.
During classes, more
important than the image on
the canvas are the synapses
fired in the process. “It
nurtures [the student’s]
comfort zone, expands what
they know about,” says Susan
Apart from the individual,
the classes also serve as a
significant energetic offering
to Galveston culture and its
seemingly endless proliferation
of artists. “We have a
wonderful art community
here.”
When Susan is not offering up
her limitless wisdom on art and
life, the wonderful collection of
local artists and works she has
assembled in the Tyler Studio
do it for her. With a traditional
art background, she designated
the studio “fine art” to
establish the level of quality of
work that hangs on the walls,
and every last one of them is
an original work.
In addition to Susan Tyler’s
own paintings, which convey
an array of subjects but are
marked by an incredible
eye for detail, Tyler Studio’s
resident artists include Ruth
Downes, whose scenes of
the beach employ a colorful,
hyper-realistic brush, and Sallie
Anderson who produces still-life watercolors that manage to be
both ethereal and familiar at the same time.
The lines of Loretta Trevino’s stunning pieces are as simple
as the color is complex, and a case of handmade jewelry
is situated on the same wall where Sue Bown of Dickinson
reveals her ability to masterfully capture the pathos within the
simple, often-overlooked, everyday moments. Finally, the most
special place on the wall is reserved for the works of Mike Tyler,
Susan’s brother. He passed in 2008, but his dazzling depictions
of Galveston’s cityscape continue to be immortalized through
her gallery.
Art class in session
Susan Tyler working with a student
Gallery interior
gm
Photos by Kimber Fountain
MAY 2017 |
GALVESTON MONTHLY |
69