Free Art Show Featuring over 30 Paintings by Local Artist on Display at the Weyenberg Library in Mequon-Thiensville through August
Beginning today, a collection of works by local artist and retired librarian, John Suess, will be on display in the rotunda on the second floor of the Frank L. Weyenberg Library in Mequon-Thiensville.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Suess, 74, has always had a passion for art. He began drawing and painting at the age of 3. After high school, he pursued a degree in commercial art at Milwaukee Area Technical College, but realized he was more interested in fine art instead. He eventually transferred to UW-Milwaukee where, after a brief stint in the Army Reserves, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in ancient history and a master’s degree in library science.
Suess spent the next 34 years working in the Milwaukee Public Library system, with the majority spent at MPL-Central in the science and business department. There, Suess met his wife, Mary, who is also a retired librarian.
Since retiring in 2007, Suess has devoted his free time to playing golf, working in his award-winning garden, taking photographs and…painting. After his retirement, Suess has produced over 150 works of art, many of which he has sold, or gifted to family and friends.
Suess works primarily in acrylics and occasionally oils, and describes his style as impressionist, tonalism and color field, with some realism. His favorite subjects are landscapes, especially local scenery.
“I find my inspiration outdoors. While working in my garden, playing golf, or taking a walk or drive, I will often be captivated by the beauty of nature and stop to capture it with my camera. Then, I’ll make it come back to life on canvas,” Suess said.
Suess has also completed several commissioned works. In 2019, Suess was commissioned by his parish, Christ King, to produce works in celebration of its 80th anniversary. The largest of these paintings, Christ the King, a 30×40 acrylic on gesso board, is on permanent display on the southeast wall inside the church, while four others capturing the local church’s iconic steeple as viewed during each season, are on display in the vestibule.
Suess’ other recent showings include the Greenfield Public Library in January; Cudahy Family Library in June; Wauwatosa Public Library in July of 2021; Milwaukee County Parks, where a selection of his work featuring local golf courses was showcased in the clubhouses of courses such as Dretzka, Currie and Hansen; and Redline Milwaukee, where Suess was featured as part of the Modern Landscape exhibition in 2018.
“I’ve loved having the chance to display my art in various locations for local communities to enjoy and I’m grateful to the Weyenberg Library for giving me the opportunity to bring my paintings to a new part of town. After the last two years we have all had, it is nice to be able to visit places and interact with others again. It’s long overdue and I hope many will check it out,” Suess said, interjecting a little of his librarian humor.
Over 30 of his works are on display now through August 27, 2022, on the second floor of the Frank L. Weyenberg Library of Mequon-Thiensville. Patrons will see the art as they make their way up the main staircase. The pieces included in the show are a selection from Suess’ “Road Trips” series, featuring rural scenes from locations around southeastern Wisconsin such as Hartford, Sheboygan, North Prairie and Lake Mills; a grouping of landscapes, many of which are also based on local vantage points; and a variety of florals.
The exhibit is free of charge and is open for viewing during the library’s normal hours of operation, which are as follows: Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on Sundays.
Suess’ complete collection can be viewed on his website at JohnSuessFineArt.com and fans can follow him on Instagram and Facebook. Many of his pieces are available for sale on Etsy but visitors to the library’s exhibit can enjoy special pricing on the works included in the show by contacting John directly via his website.