Apalachicola artist Susan L. Richardson believes each of her paintings tells a different story depending on how she’s looking at it. The two works she recently submitted to the month-long PEARLS (preserving and embracing Apalachicola’s rich legacy of shotguns) art exhibit are a perfect example of her wide range of skills and points of view.
“No Trespassing” uses an impressionistic palette of cool colors to depict one of the area’s historic shotgun homes, while her “No Name Shotgun,” contrasts with shocks of yellow, green, and orange.
“I don’t use the same color palette all the time, it’s just how I work to interpret what I’m looking at,” says Richardson, who is honored to be a part of Apalachicola’s latest exhibit in support of saving these homes. “The outpouring of support from the community was astounding, with over seventy percent of the artwork sold on opening night.”
The PEARLS exhibit is on display at the Cotton Warehouse (Center for Culture, History and Art) throughout April and features a variety of artists of all ages, experiences, and mediums. The exhibit is part of a month-long festival of events, which is Apalachicola’s solution to raising awareness and renovating its historic houses to provide affordable housing as an alternative to allowing apartment buildings to encroach on the landscape.
“The empowering of an entire neighborhood is so uplifting,” says Richardson. “It’s much better for the community to restore what’s already here and have the neighborhood be proud of it.”
Richardson was born into a creative London-based family, her father being both an art teacher and pastel artist. She preferred watercolors, but eventually stopped painting altogether when she moved to America and began her multitude of career paths.
Always an entrepreneur, highlights from her bio list her as “headhunter, restaurateur, inventor, golf ball hunter, fruit and vegetable picker, car washer … women’s accessories representative and jewelry designer/manufacturer/ wholesaler.” Her jewelry line, cheekily named Stick It In Your Ear, was met with much success and still gets some buzz online.
“I love playing on words, so all my earrings and pieces were on cards that said Stick It In Your Ear,” laughs Richardson. “I also signed the back of each piece, so people find jewelry at estate sales with Susan L. Richardson on the back and have no idea about the business. I did it in the late 80s and 90s so now it shows up on eBay as vintage jewelry.”
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