58-piece art exhibit honors professor emeritus
Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 23:09
The artwork of Adrian Van Suchtelen, a professor emeritus of USU who instructed and influenced hundreds of students and whose work has been nationally recognized, went on display in the Twain Tippetts Exhibition Hall in the Chase Fine Arts Center on Tuesday.
Featuring 58 pieces — life drawings, watercolor paintings and prints — Suchtelen said the exhibit is focused on two main themes: the four seasons and “Vanitas,” an artistic theme reminiscent of the constant passage of time, he said.
“These themes are very important to me,” Suchtelen said. “They are a reminder to not lead an empty life and to be aware of spiritual values.”
Born in Indonesia, Suchtelen spent his childhood under the dark cloud of World War II. He said he and his family were held in a prison camp for two years before they fled to Holland in search of security.
The blossoming artist began to develop his passion while living in Leiden, Netherlands.
“I worked selling newspapers,” he said. “At the end of the day… while other kids would take their money to buy ice cream or something, I went to the museums.”
“Even at the age of ten, seeing the work of artists like Rembrandt sent shivers down my spine,” he said.
After the war, Suchtelen said he and his family moved to the United States, living in Michigan for a short time before moving to California.
Suchtelen attended El Camino College in 1959 and continued on to receive a Master’s of Fine Arts at Otis Arts Institute.
The path to USU was set for Suchtelen when he was contacted by Harrison Groutage, the former head of USU’s art department who passed away in February of this year. Groutage was impressed by Suchtelen’s life drawings of the human form.
Suchtelen said the exhibit is dedicated to Groutage’s memory.