THIS MONTH'S FEATURED ARTIST
Susan Hellmann’s interest in art, design and fabrication began at a young age. “My home environment was a breeding ground for a developing artist. There was always some creative activity in the mix at home. Both my parents were very resourceful and influenced my skill set greatly. My mother was an important influence, an artist herself; she supported and encouraged me to express my creativity. Dad was a plumber by trade, but was skilled in all phases of construction. I learned my carpentry skills from watching him.”
Susan has taken multiple courses and classes in design, art, fashion design, pattern drafting, drawing, and CAD at Boston University, Cape Cod Community College and Post Jr College in Waterbury CT. She majored in psychology at Cape Cod Community College and earned a BS degree in Occupational Therapy at Boston University in 1997. Art classes at the Cape Cod Art Association helped shape her painting skills. Susan has had solo shows at the Cornwall Library and the Cape Cod Cultural Center.
For most of her career as an Occupational Therapist, Susan specialized in the field of mental health and practiced at the Cape Cod Behavioral Healthcare in Hyannis, MA. She used art as a tool to teach clients how to manage symptoms, and tolerate distress and claims it to be the most successful way to change mood and experience a sense of accomplishment. Susan assessed client’s sensory preferences and how they respond to the environment. She has found that shapes, lines, patterns and color in design can calm or alert the senses and affect mood. She takes this into consideration when creating a painting. “Art should evoke emotions.”
Prior to obtaining her degree in OT Susan designed and built a tree house that was published in Tree Houses You Can Build by David and Jeanne Stiles. Other creative entrepreneur ventures include Cape Cod Cookies, a wholesale cookie business, and a tailor shop where she designed clothing and costumes. She has won awards for her designs.
Personal interests include swimming, designing, genealogy, carpentry, painting, drawing, sewing and gardening. Susan recently bought a house in West Cornwall. She is the mother of three adult children, five grandchildren and Skye and Julie her two rescue dogs.
To contact Susan: [email protected]