Location: United States
Avrel Susan Menkes developed an affinity and love for drawing and painting at a very young age. At 3 years old she greeted visitors to her home with, “Sit down. I draw you.” By 11, Avrel Susan studied under renowned artist and college professor, Sol Levenson, whom she credits as first inspiring her to paint landscapes through an artist’s eye. She attended the Hartford Art School of the University of Hartford on a full 4 year scholarship where she obtained a BFA in Art Education and a MA in Communications with a concentration in Painting from NY Institute of Technology. She also studied at the Santa Reparata International School of Art, Florence, Italy.
Now a full-time painter, and before retiring from the prestigious Jericho Public Schools, Avrel Susan had an exciting and rewarding 30 year career as an art educator, receiving numerous national and international awards. Awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, she collaborated with an artist/teacher in Japan to create a painted mural on canvas that was requested by the White House for President Bush’s library. Her Disney Teacher Award distinguished her as one of 39 winners from 150,000 nominees and the only one to represent Fine Arts. Awards also include USA Today Teacher of the Year, NY State Teacher of the Year/ LI, and Commissioner of Education Award for writing The NY State Standards for Art Education. She is the author of two publications: Today I Made a Difference/A Collection of Inspirational Stories from America’s Top Educators, and Best Practices / What Award Winning Teachers Do.
Avrel Susan was awarded a weekend with Robert Rauschenberg and James Rosenquist at the Lab School in Washington DC, after winning a national art contest. She also studied under Joan Snyder, who, after seeing her painting said, “This might be one of the best landscape paintings I’ve ever seen!” In addition to her once-in-a–lifetime experiences, Avrel Susan’s continual worldwide travels afford her a bird’s eye view onto the various landscapes of the world as inspiration for her paintings and mixed media art.
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