Poignant Portfolio no.3: Susan Keiser
A River Made of Time and Memory
by Susan Keiser
Rivers begin as mountain trickles, grow deep and powerful, spread wide and calm, until at the end, they open their mouths to the sea. While the current flows inexorably in one direction, its changeable speed cycles objects from surface to bed, creating a second, unseen river of memories. One can never step in the same river twice, and our lives are as fluid as the waters that propel them. My photographs describe my world, not the day-to-day of it, but the sun-born visions and night-bound terrors that can’t be seen or understood until pictured. Fresh images appear, they aggregate into chapters, and the river flows on. “Flooded/The River Is Moving,” is one of the chapters in this ongoing project.
Painter, printmaker, gardener, conceptual artist, Susan Keiser’s photographs reflect her long experience in the arts and horticulture.
The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, she was a resident teaching artist at the Lincoln Center Institute, New York, NY; curated a collection of handmade paper art for The Neurosciences Institute, La Jolla, CA; and was selected for the viewing program and Artist Registry of The Drawing Center, New York, NY. She has created site-specific installations commissioned by public and private institutions, including the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Rockefeller Center, New York, NY; and the International Design Conference in Aspen, Aspen, CO.
Deeply involved in gardening and the natural world, she was Manager, Rock and Native Plant Gardens at The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY; Associate Director at the Garden Conservancy, Garrison, NY; and the founder and principal of Greystone Gardens, Inc. Her gardens have been featured in the New York Times and Garden Design magazine; and if you’re looking for a great garden shrub, her Abelia chinensis ‘Keiser’ is widely available under the trade name ‘Ruby Anniversary’.
As Senior Editor at Oxford University Press, she was responsible for establishing their academic and scholarly journals program in the United States, acquiring titles in fields ranging from fine art to cultural studies and from neuroscience to Holocaust studies.
Keiser attended Pomona College and holds a BFA in painting from The Cooper Union and a diploma from The New York Botanical Garden’s School of Professional Horticulture.