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2024 Suzie Viemeister Emerging Artist Announced

Brenda Gay-Simmons (center) pictured with Katie Viemeister (right) and Revelle Hamilton (left).

Philanthropist and Art Collector Suzanne "Suzie" Viemeister long inspired many in the Bedford community with her unlimited enthusiasm and commitment to helping and supporting the Arts. As a generous champion for artists of all disciplines, Suzie acquired one of the most extensive and eclectic art collections in the region. Her keen eye for exceptional talent and magnificent masterpieces was only surpassed by her generosity to ensure a thriving arts environment.


Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Viemeister family, Suzie's legacy as a major contributor to the arts and culture in the Bedford region continues to grow by extending the Suzie Viemeister Emerging Artist program to new artists in the area. In 2018, the Viemeister family donated a significant portion of Suzie's collection which was auctioned during a special event to form the Suzie Viemeister Emerging Artist Residency Program Fund.

The residency program provides a selected artist with a private rent-free studio, benefiting from many opportunities for professional development and collaboration with peers. The Emerging Artist will learn all aspects of business management, exhibit preparation, hands on experience by collaborating with other studio artists, commercial considerations, marketing, and social media to name a few. The residency concludes with a one-month solo exhibition from November 26, 2024-January 25, 2025.


The Bower Center for the Arts is pleased to introduce Brenda Gay-Simmons as the 2024 recipient of the Suzie Viemeister Emerging Artist program! Brenda's paintings are of mixed mediums - watercolor, acrylic, ink, pencil, and organic material. Her favorite mediums are those that fall “outside the box”, such as coffee, tea, and organic stains. Sometimes incorporating feathers, stones, sand, and flowers to make 3-D art. In her words, "The use of these environmentally friendly mediums and objects helps me to connect with Mother Earth and to share Her beauty through art."

"My inspiration is drawn from this natural beauty. This beauty can be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere, every day. As I paint, I add layer upon layer of color which slowly develops like an emerging butterfly into a beautiful work of art. If my artwork makes you happy then I have been successful in reaching my goal." She states in her artist bio.


Join us at Bower Center for the Arts on June 14th from 5 – 7 PM to meet Brenda and participate in our awards reception for the 12th Annual National Juried Exhibition. Brenda is also actively creating in her new studio on the 3rd floor of Bower Center and guests are welcome to stop in to look at her work and speak with the artist during our open hours of operation. For more information regarding the Suzie Viemeister Emerging Artist program, visit the website at Working artist studios and exhibitions are free and open to the public Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-3pm.


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