Susie Silbert has made quite a long journey to get where she is today. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, she later moved to North Carolina, where she attended the Penland School of Craft and discovered her passion. Years later she moved to Houston, where she worked at the Museum of Fine Arts on a grant in 2008. That’s when she first took note of the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
Afterwards she traveled to New York City to attend the Bard Graduate Center, where she earned her master’s in Decorative Arts and Design History. Now Susie’s working at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft on a two-year grant-funded position.
What she does: Susie Silbert has been working in craft for more than ten years now. Starting out: “I blew glass and textile stuff.” Now she is in charge of putting together exhibitions as the curator fellow at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, a nonprofit organization that advances education in the process, product and history of craft. The organization focuses on objects of art made from craft materials such as clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood or found/recycled materials.
What inspires her:
One of the most inspirational things, she says, has been working for one of the first studio glass artists, Mark Peiser.
“Seeing the kind of dedication and integrity and the really strong thinking that goes into creating these objects and bringing them out into the world…that is inspirational. “
If not this, then what?
Susie says that she would end up doing something similar to what she is doing now.
“I’d be talking about craft somewhere. I’ve done a bunch of different kinds of things, but they also circle around this art. If I wasn’t working for a nonprofit organization, I would be working in a studio doing research, writing, putting together exhibits…basically the same thing.”
If not here, then where?
Susie Silbert had her choice of several positions, but the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is what drew her to Houston. She loved the idea of working for a company that is fairly new, only ten years old, and contributing to its growth. Besides that, she is happiest in Houston and can’t see herself anywhere else.
“Houston is such an amazing city that has so much potential in terms of its art scene and the people. “
For the center she sees more high-quality exhibitions, and for herself she plans on continuing to curate; even teaching is an option. She is not sure, though. Most importantly, she just wants to see the center continue to grow and to do her part to further craft as an art.