The Art of the Climb Home > Blog > The Art of the Climb A A A Growth requires vulnerability and courage – the courage to set aside winning or losing, praise or disappointment and just step out and be seen. Often it’s most difficult to share our personal expression of creativity, to share our experiences lived out through our art. I’ve known Susan Stockton for 25 years. We have spent long hours together on day-long advocacy trips to Albany and that’s actually how we got to know one another so well and developed such a deep friendship. Since that time she has become an extension of family to my children, a friend who has been there through the thick and the thin. She has become a mentor to me, teaching me to pay attention to the unearned privilege society awards me when they perceive me as “abled” versus “disabled.” She gently reminds me through her consistent approach to navigating disappointment, that this life is not an easy climb. She has taught me about self-awareness and empathy and I am blessed by her friendship. I am thrilled for her as she celebrates her first public art opening at 6 p.m. March 29 at the Pieters Family Life Center. This exhibit is more than the outcome of her creativity and skill. It is the beautiful outcome of her climb. Her climb for greater respect, her climb for greater autonomy, for a home of her own and a life that is fulfilling to her. It represents her vulnerability, her courage and her perseverance. Her success through the climb and despite the climb. Congratulations, Susan! I share with you her artist statement that will accompany her art… Hi my name is Susan. When I was 8 years old I started making Pony Bracelets and just kept making them for fun. My long time ago friend who lived next door to me, we started selling them for $1.00. So my dream was to become an artist but I knew it wasn’t going to happen without hard work. So as I turned 17 years old I started selling necklaces from twine and friendship bracelets when I was in school. By the time I turned 25 years old I just made bracelets and earrings for a hobby and for fun. At one point, a friend said, “Susan, I love your stuff. Have you ever thought about selling it?” At the time, I didn’t think I would be able to, but she thought I could. I am now selling my jewelry and my paintings at the Pieters Family Life Center. So my dreams and goals are happening now as I bloom by making earrings, paintings, pillows and more. I also create custom orders.