Susan Danko

Curator’s Statement

Susan Danko makes art that juxtaposes and blends elements, resulting in complex layers that reflect today’s world.

She teeters on the line of total chaos and refined order, enabling the viewer to enjoy the tension of not so complete closure.  She shows us repetition and pattern, but not too perfectly.  Our minds must complete the task of tidying up!

She contrasts the artificiality and industrial aspects of mankind among the flowing elements of organic nature.  Simultaneously, she makes us question the idea that as biological beings, whether or not we are part of this nature with our industrial addition to this earth.  Are we as natural, making bricks and cement from earthen materials, as a bird making a nest from twigs?  What separates us from nature?

Also within these exquisite works lie the missing link between abstraction and representation.  Susan ingeniously erases this line, causing the viewer to vacillate between finding decorative beauty and hints to visions of our familiar representational world.

With the combination of all this, Susan delights the viewer with a beautiful array of works that are layered with sophistication!

Artist Statement

The paintings which I present are informed by my thoughts and responses to the contemporary natural environment.  They are constructed from both memory and observation, and arise from real and imagined environmental scenarios.  In them I examine the opposition and complexity found in nature, and the fleeting qualities of memory and association.

The formal issues that drive my work stem from the tensions between abstraction and representation, order and chaos, and the natural versus the artificial.  Within these polarities lies a visual language that I find challenging and exciting to explore.

My nature-based paintings are inspired and developed through a process of observation, memory, and imagined environmental scenarios.  Each painting evolves intuitively, and is created through a process of layered washes, hand-cut stencils, and delicate line work.  The resulting paintings evoke natural places of beauty and mystery.

* * * * *

 Susan Danko is a life-long Cleveland, Ohio resident who has been creating and exhibiting her artwork since receiving a BFA in painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1998.  As a student she received honors including the Joseph McCullough painting award, and the Ellen Battell Stoeckel painting fellowship from Yale University.  Susan is a 2013 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award recipient, and was awarded the Fine Arts Work Center / OAC collaborative residency in Provincetown, Massachusetts during the summer of 2013.

Danko has shown her work in solo, group and invitational exhibitions at a variety of venues including the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, the Butler Museum of American Art, The Rockford Art Museum, and SPACES gallery in Cleveland.  Her exhibitions have been reviewed in sources including the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the Akron Beacon Journal.  Her artwork has also been published in the CAN Journal; 2014, Studio Visit Magazine; 2012, and Angle Magazine in 2006.

Susan’s paintings have been included in prominent public and private art collections including the Cleveland Clinic, the Ohio Arts Council, Cleveland State University, and Nordson Corporation.  She exhibits her work with Harris-Stanton Gallery in Akron, Bonfoey Gallery in Cleveland, and Angela Meleca Gallery in Columbus.  More examples of Susan’s artwork may be viewed on her website:



acrylic on canvas

24″ x 24″

02_About a Forest

About a Forest

acrylic on canvas

24″ x 30″

03_Violet Tangle

Violet Tangle

acrylic on canvas

24″ x 24″



acrylic on canvas

12″ x 12″

05_Hard Rain

Hard Rain

acrylic on canvas

28″ x 30″



acrylic on canvas

36″ x 36″

07_Ice Flow

Ice Flow

acrylic on canvas

12″ x 12″

08_Grass and Tide

Grass and Tide

acrylic on canvas

12″ x 12″



acrylic on canvas

12″ x 12″

10_Debris Cloud

Debris Cloud

cut, painted paper installation

12′ x 12′


The Angel House Project curated by James Jenkins

Loren Naji, Curator of the Scene Virtual Gallery

The Angel House Project, created by James Jenkins, provided a platform for artists to start from similar blank canvasses: actual photos of urban houses in Slavic Village of Cleveland.  This gave participating artists a defined starting point from which they were able to expand on and create without limits.

Though there are stunning individual works, the strength of this show lies in the juxtaposition of the diversity of artists with their unique voices, interpretations and styles.  This grouping makes for an eclectic show that wows the viewers!

James Jenkins, Curator of the Angel House Project

The Angel House Project is pleased and honored to present in this on-line format of selected works that first appeared as part of the Slavic Village, Cleveland “Rooms to Let” event held on May 17, 2014.  This one-day “happening”, which included three installations in abandoned houses, a free-standing outdoor sculpture and the opening of two brand new galleries (Elevate Gallery and the Just a Glimpse Gallery, both on East 65th Street in the heart of the neighborhood) in combination with the annual Slavic Village Festival, marked a momentous day for the neighborhood and the city of Cleveland.

Conceived to celebrate the efforts to reclaim for its citizens the historic and formerly troubled neighborhood that had been derided as one of the worst in Cleveland, the work of all the artists involved showcased the way in which artists and ordinary individuals can make a difference in the life of our city.  By turning abandoned houses into objects of wonder and beauty, the “Rooms to Let” installations made manifest the way art can transform and re-animate that which otherwise has lost its reason for being.

Because space was limited, and many artists missed out on the opportunity to be part of this collective effort, the Angel House Project  in the two galleries allowed artists to comment on and celebrate that same spirit of renaissance in a way which was distinct from and yet complimentary to the other over-all  theme of transformation and renewal.

Instead of working directly on an abandoned dwelling, each artist in the Angel House Project was asked to transform a photograph of one of the neighborhoods abandoned dwellings into an object of beauty, as if that same object had, indeed, been touched, if you will, by an angel.  And the “houses” in this exhibit spoke directly to the “angels of our better nature “that make all re-birth possible. “

I hope you will enjoy these fantastic “takes” on what can happen when the ordinary and the inspired collide.

Special thanks to Jacci Hammer, Joan of Art (for the wonderful photographs), all the contributing artists, friends, and neighborhood supporters who made this show possible.  Also, a special kudos goes out to The Jack, Joseph & Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences Case Western Reserve University, for giving the art work a second chance to be appreciated by many more viewers.

To purchase a piece of work or for further information, or please contact or 216-368-0722


Tony Serna

Angels Around Us


Nico Pico Train

My House



Chelsea Tomasheski

City Castle


Davon Smith




Joseph Daniel

Bakery’s Wish


Anthony and Nina Funk




anonymous artist


unknown price

Dr. Trease

Slavonic Spring



Norb Ziebold




Copperless Halo



John Saile

What Would Thomas Kinkade Do?



Norb Ziebold and James Jenkins



Sophie Poitermen

Into My House Garden



Loren Naji




Scott Pickering

Angel House


Veronica Solar




June Hund

Real Time House


James Jenkins

Angel House Party



James Jenkins

Green House Effect


Mary J. Robb

Angelic Jazz



Anneli Curnock

Past, Present, Future


Joe Hughes and Diane Collins

So What’s Next?



Amanda Black and June Hund

Night Sky Watcher


Carina Smith

Tiny Angel Big Change



Josh Usmani

Untitled #1


Ross Bochnek

Angel House 2014



Art Maffia

Mondrian Slavic


Ross Bochnek

Angel House 2014