Susan Bryant worked in APSU’s Art department for over 30 years and is recently retired. She is known for her photography, paintings and her new-found hobby of making wet plate collodion negatives and positives.
Bryant got her BFA in painting in 1976 and her MFA in photography in 1978 from Indiana University and Indiana State University, respectively.
Bryant started teaching in the 1980s at Austin Peay. During her lecture, “Humanature,” she told the audience, “As a teacher, I loved showing Powerpoints. Mostly because of saying ‘look at this.’” She said she loved showing her students artwork of any kind more than showing them the long process of how to do something.
“I learned that it doesn’t matter about what you use to make the art. It’s about the art itself.
Octavia Duke, junior Studio Art major
Over her career, she has made over thousands of images of things that she finds interesting.
While applying to be featured on a website, one question spoke to her: “What image of yours taught you an important lesson?” She began to tell a story about her and her husband going on a trip to Italy. She took her old Nikon D80 and took a beautiful picture of a water feature. Then, she dropped her camera and had to buy a Sony camera that she had no clue how to use.
She was very disappointed throughout the rest of the trip but soon found out that her new Sony took the best picture of the whole trip.
“I just really enjoyed Susan’s work, so whenever she showed like her own stuff that was pretty cool.”
– Myles Johnson, senior Animation and Visual Effects major
The lesson she learned was that she did not need her familiar camera to take something beautiful; she only needed to be in the right place at the right time.
Octavia Duke, a junior Studio Art major, said, “I learned that it doesn’t matter about what you use to make the art. It’s about the art itself.”
“I just really enjoyed Susan’s work, so whenever she showed like her own stuff that was pretty cool,” Myles Johnson, a senior Animation and Visual Effects major, said.
Bryant talked about what other artists inspired her listing people such as Vermeer, Rembrandt, Julia Margaret Cameron, and, of course, her husband Billy saying, “His work is beautiful.”
“I was in Susan’s class for three different classes and really it reminded me of being in her class, seeing her powerpoints and everything again.”
– Peyton Vanhook, senior Studio Art major
She talked about her odd hobby of collecting hands to photograph and her husband’s collection of globes.
“Well I was in Susan’s class for three different classes and really it reminded me of being in her class, seeing her powerpoints and everything again,” Peyton Vanhook, senior Studio Art major said.
Byrant spent 25 years doing mainly photography of interiors and landscapes. She then moved on to doing her collodion work and now is focusing on southern landscapes.