Education and Historical Purpose
Originally born on Long Island, Susan Ferrari Rowley moved to Rochester, New York, to attend Rochester Institute of Technology. In pursuit of her MST and MFA, she found herself in the midst of an arts community that she became a pivotal member of. She began her career as a sculptor, finding early that fabric was her medium of choice. Ferrari Rowley played a major role in the acceptance of fabric as a sculptural medium in the art world by consistently pushing the creative envelope causing critics to question existing standards for what was thought of as a ‘proper medium for sculpture’.
On Sunday, December 16, 1984, New York Time reviewer Phyllis Braff wrote of Ferrari Rowley’s work: ..."examples that hold our attention as pure esthetic expressions help to establish the validity of fiber as a fine art medium... her dazzling three dimensional color abstraction, 'Complementary Movement' is clearly a star here... the effect is both stimulating and meditative... perhaps the show’s most profound piece..."
As the debate over ‘fine art’ and ‘fine art craft’ continued on an international scale, Ferrari Rowley fueled the conversation to erase boundaries in exhibitions such as ‘Materials: Hard and Soft’ in Texas and The International Art Competition juried by Messinger of MOMA, Satz of the Whitney, and Little from Art in America. She simultaneously won best of show and the Purchase Award for the permanent collection at Chautauqua National Exhibition, and the Brenholz Award for Innovation at the International Fiber Exhibition. Her transition into the world of Fine Arts with her medium of choice: fabric was now complete. While showing consistently in New York City, she was accepted into the famed international OK Harris Gallery in Manhattan, selected by the late icon of modern art, Ivan Karp, whose mission was ‘to show the most significant art of our time’.
Current Professional Activity
During 2017, Ferrari Rowley was selected for a one-person exhibition in the prestigious Delaware Contemporary Museum and in the eclectic Artspace Gallery of Richmond, Virginia. Later in 2019, she opened her exhibition at the Five Points Gallery in Torrington, Connecticut. The breadth of her venues included inclusion into outdoor exhibitions at Chautauqua Institute and SculptureNow at The Mount, in Lenox, Massachusetts. She was in the iconic international 2018 Venice Biennial Sculpture Exhibition :Time/Space/Existence, as one of seven American sculptors included in this portion of the architecture exhibition. She was even invited back to Venice for the 2020 exhibition. Currently, she has two major installations opening in 2020: one within Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, and the second within the Public Art Projects Exhibition Space in Cincinnati, Ohio to mark the grand opening of this newly designed space.