The artistic legacy of Wilton artist Suzanne Crossland will be on view at Wilton Library during the month of October. The Suzanne Crossland Retrospective will be celebrated with an opening reception on Friday, Oct. 9, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The community is invited.
Crossland was a well-known and respected artist who lived in Norwalk for 25 years before moving to Wilton in 1972 where she lived for more than 40 years. She died in 2013. More than 50 pieces of her acrylics, oils and watercolors are on display. She described her “most memorable” work as her “‘counterpane pastorals’ that capture the New England countryside and accent its patchwork of fields, rivers and hills and capture its almost quilt-like designs.”
Born in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1922, she volunteered in 1942 as a nurse at the Casablanca Military Hospital with the Croix Rouge Francaise, the French Red Cross. After World War II she flew to New York to marry Lloyd Crossland, a former Army Air Force officer she had met in Casablanca. They settled in Norwalk in 1948 and a few years later she revived an interest in painting and became a member of the Silvermine Art Guild.
Crossland’s work has often been on display as part of the Wilton Artists Summer Show and she had her own one-woman exhibition at the library in 2007. Her sons Roger and Garry Crossland have lovingly culled through her canvases to bring her legacy to the community one more time.
“My mother’s life was colorful from the beginning — starting with her stint as a Red Cross nurse in a French military hospital, to traveling alone on a transatlantic journey to finally arrive in the U.S. where she married my father,” Roger said. “Her paintings often reflect quiet pastoral settings, yet they are paradoxically enlivened with bold color and powerful lines capturing each scene — a strong reflection of her.”
Her son Garry said, “In 2013 she passed away, but her brushes were still within reach. She had had a colorful life and she left the world a color-filled legacy.”
In her own words at an earlier time, Crossland talked of how she was “captivated by color.”
“I play with it and experiment and have a great time. I use color impressions and don’t hold myself rigidly to the original vision,” she said. “Sometimes a watercolor still life will be bold, full of color, and loosely address details. At other times an acrylic or oil will be thoughtfully ordered and underscore details, but the color statement is there, too.”
Crossland won numerous awards from the Silvermine Guild, New Canaan Art Show, Ridgefield Guild of Artists and Connecticut Watercolor Society, to name a few.
All of the paintings in the retrospective will be available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the library. Information: wiltonlibrary.org or 203-762-3950, ext. 213.