Celebrity portraits by Susan Jacobs

Susan Jacobs, who has taught art online for AU, has celebrity portraits exhibition

Published on July 03, 2024
Ashland University

A few years ago, Susan Jacobs really enjoyed an online Ashland University course she taught called Creative Thinking Experiences Through Drawing.

“I had some astonishing results,” Jacobs said about the class. “Surprising to see such progress without actually meeting the students.”

Jacobs has had some astonishing results with her art of people she also hasn’t met, including Bruce Springsteen, Barbara Streisand and Stephen Curry.

Her exhibition of celebrity portraits is on display July and August at The Hoyt, an art center in New Castle, Pennsylvania, about 40 miles from the artist’s hometown of Cortland in Northeast Ohio. An artist’s reception will take place during the evening of July 11 at downtown New Castle coffee shop The Confluence.

“I started painting celebrities in March 2020 to pass time during the beginnings of the pandemic since all my painting classes that I teach were suspended,” said Jacobs, who teaches home studio classes in drawing, painting and fused glass jewelry. “One piece soon became two and the collection grew to the final COVID-19.

“Next, I held a drive-by art exhibit in my front yard and received TV and (Warren, Ohio) Tribune coverage,” she added, “so I’m keeping up with ‘Beyond 19’ now in progress.”

She has 32 pieces in her exhibit, which pretty much fills the small gallery at The Hoyt from ceiling to floor. Her favorites include one of Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and Jack Nicholson called "Here’s Johnny” from a famous scene in the movie “The Shining.”

Because many of her celebrity portraits are of music celebrities, Jacobs, who was a lead singer for a rock band for nearly 30 years, is excited her art is on display in July, which is Rock and Roll Month.

It’s not the first time the retired art teacher of Matthews Local School in the Youngstown (Ohio)/Sharon (Pennsylvania) area has had pieces accepted into The Hoyt. The owner of dog biscuit company Blissful Biscuits also had an exhibit for the artwork in her children’s book “Meggie the Pup’s Summer Adventure.”

Last year, she had an exhibition at the Salem Chamber of Commerce and has had another at the Jewish Community Exhibition Center of Youngtown since the pandemic that’s still on display.

Even now that the pieces for her current exhibit at The Hoyt are completed, Jacobs is moving on to collages and mixed media with the celebrity portraits, as well as mixed media and abstractions she hasn’t had a chance to work on – doing much of what she taught online for AU that involved creative thinking experiences through art.

“I’ve switched from my black and white original pandemic pieces to color, and specifically half a face, so the subjects have to be highly notable,” said Jacobs, whose work can be found at www.susanjacobsart.com.