Susan Talbot Hoffmann was born on March
14, 1955, in Thibodaux, Louisiana, the daughter of a Texaco oil field
worker and a mother who loved to cook. She was one of four Cajun children
born to Joycelyn and John Talbot. Susan loved to sketch the living things
around her including her dogs and cats and the children she baby-sat.
She attended St. Genevieve Catholic and Thibodaux High schools. She
entered Nicholls State University under the High Ability Student Program
at the age of 16. She illustrated her parasitology lab manual with organisms
she viewed under the microscope. That manual was handed down from student
to student. She enrolled as a Chemistry major and graduated magna cum
laude in 1976.
Following graduation, she worked as a
Research Assistant for Tulane Medical Center and was accepted into the
Clinical Chemistry Program in the Pathology Department of Louisiana
State University Medical Center in New Orleans. She would often draw
comical figures to illustrate the ideas discussed at classes and seminars
she attended. She graduated with a M.S. in Clinical Chemistry in 1979.
As a graduate student she was a member of the research team of Dr. Andrew
Schally who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1979. She graduated
with a Ph.D. in Clinical Chemistry in 1981. Susan received a National
Research Award and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes
of Health in Bethesda Maryland from 1982 -1986.
Returning to work at the U.S.-Japan Biomedical
Research Laboratories of Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans in 1986
as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, she was one
of four investigators on a grant to isolate new hormones regulating
ovulation. She traveled to Kyoto, Japan to present her research results
and took many slides of the gardens there to illustrate her seminars.
She would often assist the Japanese fellow's wives in their Ikebana
floral arrangements at the laboratory.
In 1989 she was diagnosed with a large
acoustic neuroma requiring emergency brain surgery. The difficult surgery
took ten hours. She suffered an epidural hematoma as well as a stroke
which required an additional four hours surgery. Susan remained in a
deep coma, slowly awakening over the following month. Unable to speak,
talk, walk or eat, she remained on Touro Infirmary's Head Injury Rehabilitation
Ward for several months and in Speech and Physical Therapy for three
Following her rehabilitation, she began taking art
classes at Nicholls State University as therapy. Loving the art course
work, she accumulated the credits necessary to receive a B.A. in Art
during the ensuing six years, graduating in May of 1999. Susan has had
work accepted into local juried art shows in the areas of drawing, painting,
design, sculpture and printmaking. She received a first place award
for her prints of the Kyoto gardens and for her print of the Star Jasmine
and the Fern leaf. She received statewide recognition being mentioned
in the spring 2000 issue of Louisiana Life and acceptance of her print
of the Magnolia into the Louisiana Archives in Baton Rouge. In April
2001, she had her prints of the Gardenia and Leather-leaf Fern accepted
into the national exhibition "Works on Paper 2001" in Houston,
Texas. Her chine' colle aquatint print of the "Louisiana Magnolia"
was featured in the New Orleans Art Association's 22nd National Juried
Art Show. In August 2002, she had a showing at the Art Student's League
of New York during the Society of American Graphic Artists' 69th National
Exhibition at the Grand Gallery. She was elected to membership in the
American Color Print Society after receiving an award in their National
Exhibition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her artist's book, "Water
My Flowers" was featured in the 1st Annual National Book Arts Show
held by Bright Hill Press in Treadwell, New York. In 2003, her print
of the Garden District in New Orleans was accepted into the 16th Parkside
National Small Print Exhibition in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and her collection
of prints titled "Southern Splendor:
the Garden District of New Orleans" was catalogued into the
Historic New Orleans Collection in 2004. Later, her artist book on the
Louisiana swamps was featured
in Queensland, Australia, and in an International Exhibition at the
San Diego Art Institute Museum of the Living Artist.
She has been influenced by other artists
who fought mental and physical illnesses and turned to nature for inspiration
such as Auguste Renoir, Vincent Van Gogh, Georgia O'Keeffe and Charles
Demuth. Each year since her recuperation
in 1993, she has had a favorite flower painting made into a card which
she sends to her friends at Christmas time in celebration. Her senior
show titled "Louisiana Rain" included a poem she had written
ending with "Life lives and renews itself...and so do I."
Her solo show in 2002, included watercolors of locally grown fruits
and vegetables and also included an original poem ending with "A
rising mist - to heaven born."
In 2004, a retrospective of her past five years since
her graduation was exhibited at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux,
Louisiana. Ending the year, she received the Dorothy and Hugh Hutton
Award in Intaglio from the American Color Print Society in Philadelphia,
Her website SusanTalbotHoffmann.com was
launched the following year, 2005, and offers reproductions and notecards
of her etchings and watercolors as well as limited edition prints. In
2006, she debuted at the National
Arts Club in New York and received the Jeanne
Claire Memorial Award for her etching of "Crawfish
Boil Katrina" in Philadelphia given by the American Color Print
Society. She also had watercolor paintings of her native Louisiana Iris,
done on location in Schriever, accepted into the permanent collection
of Thibodaux Regional Medical Center and other "native flowers" in Lafayette
General Hospital. Her chine' colle etchings of "native flowers" are
at Lafayette City Club as well as soft ground etchings of actual magnolia
leaves and flowers at Pilant Court Reporting in Morgan City, Louisiana.
Susan's most recent work in watercolor using antique roses growing around her home and etchings of famous Louisiana cuisine describing the plight of today's Louisianian was shown at Southdown Plantation in Houma, Louisiana at the end of 2007 and Acadiana Center for the Arts in Lafayette, Louisiana in May-June 2007. This work was also shown at the Masur Museum in Monroe, Louisiana in March-April 2008.
Her etching ttitled “Louisiana Cypress Swamp II” was selected among the Top Ten finalists in an international online competition “Curate This” in which artists around the globe were voted upon by a worldwide audience including museum curators and art collectors. The Top Ten were included in an exhibition by BECA Gallery of New Orleans.
At the end of 2008, Susan Talbot Hoffmann had the distinction of being one of the first artists to be invited to enjoy representation in one of New Orleans, Louisiana's newest galleries “A Work of Art” on Magazine Street. That gallery has since closed. Etching the historic home of Beauvoir, she was the featured artist during December 2009 - February 2010.
She has continued showing at “Art under the Oaks” at E. D. White plantation, and Jubilee: “A Celebration of the Art and Humanities” held locally during April and also Art after Dark held in Houma since their inception. She also continues showing her latest watercolors with the Louisiana Watercolor Society at the Louisiana State Archives in Baton Rouge during the spring.
As a member of the American Color Print Society, she shows her current etchings in the National Members’ Exhibition held in Philadelphia annually. Her most recent New Orleans Garden District etchings (website link) of historic homes were accepted at the Louisiana State University Art Gallery in Baton Rouge and she was also shown at the Southern Open held at the Acadiana Center for the Arts in Lafayette, Louisiana in 2009.
More etchings from the Louisiana series, “Life Prevails” and “Fear No Evil” are in the collection currently being shown at the MRC Forsyth Galleries at Texas A & M University. An additional etching, “Louisiana Crab Boil” has shown at the National Arts Club in New York in early 2012. Previously, in 2010, these etchings were shown at the Art Melt at Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge. She also showed her etchings at the Art Melt 2011, 2009 and 2006 shows.
Also to be shown there in October 2012 is a hand colored embossed etching “Colonel Robert Henry Short’s Italianate Villa” from the New Orleans garden district.
In 2012, following her third acceptance into the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club based in New York, she has been elected to membership and may show her current etchings in New York annually.
Her goal as an artist is not only therapy for herself, but also to provide the viewer with scenes of nature in all her glory.
...both his eternal power and his divine
nature, have been clearly seen;
they are perceived in the things that God has made.
Romans 1: 20