Susan Ahlstrom


Environmental issues became important to me in the 1990’s while traveling in the Pacific Northwest. I remember one day, in particular, my first day of a two-week trip there. On a hike up to Clear Peak West, the panorama was one of massive clear-cuts with Mt. Rainier looming in the distance. Along roads going north, there were wide borders of tall pines, camoflaging a treeless landscape beyond. It was devastating to see this degradation and impossible to forget.

I traveled to the Caribbean and to South India last year. I asked the local nature guides what the current environmental issues were. The problems in the Caribbean and in South India were the same as ours; the issues were habitat loss, over-development and abusive land practices. When I arrived home I learned that a 9000 square foot house was being built adjacent to mine and that a local pond was polluted with deck stain that had been dumped into a drainage outlet more than five miles away.

Is there hope for the land? In the remote areas of the wilderness that I have explored, there are often signs of trouble. In my work as an artist, I continue to bring attention to the environment, sometimes to a sense of well-being that the natural world offers, but more often, to conflicts that have evolved between man and nature.


  • Watchung Arts Center. NJ, New Art Group, “ Multiplicity”
  • Hoboken Studio Tour, NJ , Monroe Center for the Arts


  • Jersey City Studio Tour, “Sticks and Stones”
  • Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, “Light”
  • Watchung Arts Center, NJ New Art Group, “Green”


  • Hamilton Gallery, NJ, Bound Brook, NJ, “Bound/Brook”
  • Watchung Arts Center, NJ, New Art Group, “OMG”


  • Watchung Arts Center, NJ, New Art Group 20th Year, “Is   There A Pulse”


  • Watchung Arts Cente, Watchung, NJ, “Sticks and Stones”
  • Les Malamut Gallery, Union,NJ “Imaginary Landscapes”


  • Watchung Arts Center, Watchung, NJ “Truth/Lies”


  • Children’s Specialized Hospital, Mountainside, NJ


  • Morristown Community Theatre, Morristown, NJ
  • Barron Arts Center, Woodbridge, NJ “Special Anniversary Show”


  • Ocean County Artist’s Guild, Island Heights, NJ   “McMansion Show”
  • Barron Arts Center, Woodbridge, New Jersey   “Mc Mansion Show”


  • Palmer Gallery, Springfield, NJ   “Person to Person, Thing to Thing…Everything Relates to Something Else”
  • Monroe Center for the Arts, Hoboken, NJ


  • 2006   Studio Yoga and Griffin Gallery Open House and Art Exhibit, Madison, NJ
  • 2004   Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts Invitational, Annapolis, MD,
  • “Smart Growth?”
  • 1998   Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1997   Gallery of South Orange, South Orange, NJ “Grounds for Art”


  • 2009   Solo Show Watchung Arts Center, Watchung, NJ “Movement with Meaning”


  • 2014 Paul J. Gallagher Legacy Exhibit, “At the Intersection of Art and Music”
  • 2009 Art Tiles..From A Slab Of Clay


  • 2011 Interview NJ Patch, “Bound/Brook”
  • 2007 Interview WMBC-TV Channel 63 “The McMansion Show”
  • 2006 Interview Channel 35 “The McMansion Show”
  • 2001 Rahway Progress, Interview for “Union County Show”
  • 2000 Echoes Sentinel, Out and About: Cover Photo
  • 1997 Interview Channel 36 The New Art Group


  • 20th Anniversary Udu Drum Workshop with Abbas Ahuan and Frank Giorgini (2009)
  • Anderson Ranch Workshops,Snowmass, CO Alan Sonfist and Jay Coogan (2008)
  • M.A. Studio Art, New York University, New York, NY (1994)
  • C.F.A. Parsons School of Design, New York, NY (1991)
  • B.A. Goddard College, Plainfield, VT. (1979)


  • 2006-2007 Art & Anatomy, Stirling, NJ
  • 2006 Origami Cranes for World Peace Workshop, Chatham, NJ
  • 2006 Ceramic Sculpture and Tiles, Stirling, NJ
  • 1999 Newark Museum, Newark, N.J. Handmade Tiles
  • 1998 Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ, Drawing Fundamentals
  • 1997 Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ Drawing Fundamentals
  • 1997 Newark Museum, Newark, N. J. “Clay: Handbuilding”
  • 1994-96 Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ, Ceramics I Substitute
  • 1993 Jersey City State College, Jersey City, NJ,”Robert Arneson/Barbara Bloom”


  • Morris Arts
  • Studio Montclair, Inc.
  • Tile Heritage Foundation
  • New Art Group
  • Watchung Arts Center


  • Great Swamp Watershed Association
  • Passaic River Coalition
  • Trust for Public Land
  • Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
  • National Audubon Society


  • Marta Blumberg, Watchung, NJ
  • Mr Andrew Borloz, Kennilworth, NJ
  • Mr and Mrs Lawrence Griswold, Asheville, NC
  • Mr and Mrs Todd Heacock, Basking Ridge, NJ
  • Georgia Landau, Montpelier, VT
  • Gina Lord, Jamestown, RI
  • Theresa Rowland, Madison, NJ
  • Mr and Mrs. James Terry, Cambridge, MD
  • Installation “Crane Mobile.” Studio Yoga, Madison, NJ