. Sukey Bryan in the studio, Stanford, California.
. Photo: James Dewrance
. 2011, Fishers Island, New York.
. Photo: Jim Brooks
Sukey Bryan was born in New Jersey in 1961 and grew up in Connecticut and France. She graduated in 1983 from Yale University with a B.A. majoring in Fine Arts and English. At Yale, Bob Reed was an important influence. She worked for two years as a graphic designer in New York with Massimo and Lella Vignelli, and Michael Bierut followed by three years of free-lance work in San Francisco.
She began painting weekends and evenings while working in design and decided to turn full time to fine art. She attended the Maryland Institute College of Art graduating with an M.F.A. in 1990. Bryan received a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council in 1991.
With the support of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1993, Bryan painted several years of work based on the volcanic environments of Iceland that explored the interactions between natural elements (lava, water, gases and rock) during seismic activity.
A resident of California since 1997, from her studio on the Stanford campus, Bryan has created works that focus on the natural eco-system in particular wildfires, water in many forms, and plant life. During the summer of 2008, she was artist in residence at Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. A stay of 3 weeks was the source for 5 years of work and over 100 paintings and prints that explore the Alaskan glacier ice cycle, from snow to ice to melt-water. This work celebrates the natural ice cycle that is jeopardized by the rise in atmospheric temperature.
During the California drought, her work explored the patch of sky over her own backyard, blue skies with floating fluffy white rainless clouds culminating in a public installation piece entitled "Sky fountain: installation in the time of drought" at Stanford University which led to a new aspect of her practice, large-scale installation.
Bryan was the 2018 artist in residence at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco making art concerning the environment and climate change. She created many public installations and group projects about ocean, marine animals, rivers, wildfire, hawks, all leading up to the Global Climate Action Summit in September 2018 in San Francisco. A multi-faith service kicking off the summit was held at Grace Cathedral with world leaders and world faith leaders and included Bryan's 12 column installation of enlarged California native Black Oak leaves and on the cathedral rose window, an installation of the famous NASA Blue Marble earth.
Bryan has continued to create paintings, prints, and ceramics focusing on natural systems, concurrent with large-scale installations including at the Palo Alto Art Center, The Brower Environmental Center in Berkeley, St. Bart's NYC and the automobile charging company, ChargePoint. Her work is held in many private and corporate collections and the US Embassy in Norway.
Bryan is married to Stanford physician/scientist Jim Brooks and has two wonderful sons, evolutionary biology phd student, Will Brooks and NBA sports journalist, Matt Brooks.