CLOSE to the HEART: The Native American Designs of Susan Shatreau- Janisky

This time of year is, for many, a time to get out boxes of holiday decorations and sort through years of collected family heirlooms for decking the halls. The members of the Village Gallery of Local Artists family are stringing lights and putting up a tree to display their hand made ornaments in time for the December 6th First Friday Art Walk. The public is invited to attend the free event from 5 to 8 pm. There be wassail and wine, ‘artistic’ food and lively conversation.

For Village Gallery artist, Susan Shatreau-Janisky, the family is an extended one and her heritage, deep and wide. Born in upstate New York where her Algonquin, Mohawk, and French- Canadian ancestors inhabited vast regions from the Atlantic coast north to the St Lawrence River valley, Susan is proud to be a registered member of the Aboriginal Metis Community of Maniwaki, Quebec.

As a young girl, Susan was taught traditional native crafts of beading and leatherworking from her relatives, and over the years has continued to practice and expand many of those skills while living in California and Arizona. She and her husband, Michael currently reside in the Verde Valley. She is an award-winning artist whose affiliations include the Sonoran Art League, participating member of the Indian Arts and Crafts Association (IACA) and the Sedona Visual Artists’ Coalition. She has attended Native art shows in Oregon, California, and Arizona and was the Native American liaison and teacher for the California Girl Scout Council.

In addition to perfecting her native arts, Susan is a self-taught wire artist and metalsmith and has created her own line of silver rings engraved with traditional native designs as well as a striking collection of silver and copper bracelets. Many of her custom necklaces and pendants are set with precious stones surrounded with beadwork.  She also makes beaded leather cuff bracelets.

The artist is especially proud of her custom leatherwork which includes medicine bags made of native tanned smoked deerskin, her small beaded clutch bags, and elk skin cross-body bags, many of which are embellished with beaded floral designs for which the Metis people are well known.

Meet Susan at First Friday Art Walk and ask her about the other part of her family tree; the Native American lass also can claim some Scottish roots!

Village Gallery of Local Artists   Hwy 179 at Cortez Rd roundabout, Sedona VOC), 86351.

Call (928) 284-1416 or visit Open Daily 10-6