painting, papier-mache sculpture, and drawing




Sudie Rakusin

I am a visual artist, sculptor, author, illustrator and publisher. Born and raised in Washington, DC, I currently reside in Hillsborough, NC. I received my BFA in Painting from Boston University and my MFA in Painting from University of Arizona.

Being an animal activist and feminist, my artwork flows from what moves me and from where I find beauty: women, animals, the earth, color, pattern and light. It represents the deep connection I feel with these elements. Through my artwork I envision and create the world as I would like it to be – a place where harmony exists between animal and human.

I have been commissioned by writers Mary Daly (Websters' First New Intergalactic Wickedary of the English LanguageQuintessence: Realizing the Archaic Future, Amazon Grace), Carolyn Gage (The Spindle and Other Lesbian Fairy Tales, The Princess of Pain) and Patricia Monaghan (Seasons of the Witch) to create artwork that is featured on the covers and in their books.

I am also known for my 3-dimensional, papier-mache, oil on canvas paintings featuring women and animals. These works are created on a free-form canvas and involve the use of papier-mâché sculpture, beadwork and mixed media. 

My paintings test the boundaries of what a “painting” is; they are non-rectangular and I incorporate 3 dimensional elements into them. I form my canvas into an undefined shape that is determined by the elements within the painting. Examples of the 3 dimensional components include windows and doors that open to other places, shelves that animals perch upon and LED lighting. Using papier-mâché, I design features that rise from the canvas and extend toward the viewer, such as flower petals or the tail of a fox.

Papier-mâché comprises a large portion of my artwork. My papier-mâché sculptures are inspired by flora and fauna, but also reach into my imaginary world and are enhanced with pattern and beadwork. 

I believe my creations are the best part of me. Art is where I go for refuge, replenishing and how I pay homage to what sustains me.

Gallery Affiliation

Frank Gallery, Chapel Hill, NC