The City of Ojai Arts Commission is proud to announce a Hope Frazier Award was awarded to Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend at the January 15 meeting of the commission for her community service. The award, named in honor of former Arts Commissioner Hope Frazier, is only given in special recognition of the social and cultural benefits of an individual’s work in or for the arts. The award recognizes the recipient for their social contribution to our community, either by increasing participation in or expanding the avenues of the arts, and thereby increasing our sensitivity to the human condition.
“Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend has been a formative leader not only in the Ojai Arts Community but in the art world at large,” said Art Commissioner and Awards Committee Chair Michael Addison in nominating her for the award. “Her 13 years of service to the Commission and continuing artistic passion make her a perfect candidate for this award. As Chair, Susan was an integral part of updating our Ojai Pubic Arts Ordinance. Under her tenure she maintained the City’s prominent role in the arts community despite years of tough budget shortages and the temporary cessation of the City Grant Program. When the City budget crisis eased, the Commission was able to reinstate the Grant program and even add an arts education program which will continue to enlarge the public’s access to the arts in Ojai.”
According to former Arts Commissioner Barbara Hirsch, “Susan carried the collective memory of public art and the it’s ordinance from the beginning and trained all of us, commission and community, on what is public art.”
As a professional glass artist, Stinsmuehlen-Amend’s credentials are myriad. A retrospective held at The Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts featured Stinsmuehlen-Amend along with her husband, fellow artist Richard Amend. The brochure called the two “internationally recognized artists” with “periods of tremendous artistic growth and output,” calling her work that of “a rebellious spirit aimed at traditional craft (glass) and a combining of ideas about painting.”
“I have shared some very poignant times with all my fellow commissioners through the years,” said Stinsmuehlen-Amend. “We have inched through some very important changes for the arts in Ojai… I am grateful to be recognized by my peers, especially in the name of Hope Frazier. We served together right up until she passed away working on the public arts ordinance up until a few weeks before she left us. Wow. So many memories.” Locally, Stinsmuehlen-Amend recently donated two glass panels to the Matilija Auditorium renovation project and completed several large commissioned works at The Collection, an Oxnard shopping plaza. An Honorary Life Member of the Glass Art Society, she served as the President of its Board from 1984-86.
Stinsmuehlen-Amend has been a visiting artist at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) one of the oldest and best-known colleges of art and design in the U.S. and has also taught at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA, RIT, Tyler School of Art, CA College of the Arts, CA State Universities San Bernardino and Fullerton, Massachusetts College of Art, Ohio and Illinois Universities, the Pittsburgh Glass Center, North Lands Creative Glass (Scotland) and numerous other glass and public art conferences. A trustee emeritus of the American Craft Council, she was recently appointed to the Pilchuck Board of Directors. She is a past recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Pilchuck Glass School Hauberg Fellowships (2001 and 2012), the 2007 Libensky Award and 2006 Artist Residencies at Pilchuck and the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA.
Her work in glass, mixed media, and public art is included in private collections and public institutions including the LA County Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of the Arts, Oakland Museum of California, the Museum of Arts and Design NY, and the City of Los Angeles.