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Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN                  Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1979

The Banff Centre, School of Fine Arts, Banff, Alberta, Canada      Post graduate studies in Fine Arts, Certificates 1982-84

Appalachian Center for Crafts, Smithville, TN                             Certificate of Apprenticeship with Rebecca Medel, 1984-85

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN           Certification for Professional Teaching License, 1999

Chattanooga State, Chattanooga, TN                                         Computer and Spanish courses

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN                   Numerous art workshops in a variety of media


Susan J. Parks was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and attended Middle Tennessee State University where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1975 with a concentration in jewelry, textiles, and printmaking.  From 1982-84, she attended the Banff Centre, School of Fine Arts in Banff, Alberta, Canada where she developed a body of work in the Textile Department.  An Apprenticeship with Rebecca Medel in the Textile Department of the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, Tennessee led her to assist Ms. Medel in executing a large sculpture for the Lausanne Biennial of Textiles in Switzerland.  

She worked in the fine jewelry business from 1984-1990 and did residencies and workshops in art for the Hamilton County Schools(Chattanooga, TN), Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga and Hamilton County Parks and Recreation, and the Creative Arts Guild in Dalton, GA.  After serving for a year as the Art Coordinator for the newly opened Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee, she began working as an Art Teacher for the Cleveland City Schools where she was employed from 1996 to 2012. since 2012, she has taught for the Hamilton County Schools teaching Art 2,3, and 4 at Signal Mountain Middle High School.

Work includes drawings, jewelry, clothing, costumes, wind sculptures, and puppets.  She designed 44 pieces of wind sculpture for the World University Games in Edmonton, Alberta in 1983.  She designed fabric installations for 212 Market Street Restaurant and Chattanooga State Community College in Chattanooga.  She has designed puppets and costumes for the Tennessee Aquarium, the Adopt-a-Coast program in Florida and many private individuals since 1992. Fabric and textiles have been exhibited nationally and appear in many private and corporate collections.

Awards include “Best of Metals” from the Tennessee Artist-Craftsman Association in 1977, Scholarships to the Banff Centre, 1st place in “Color, the Spectrum of Expression” in 1986, and Third Place in the Second National Fiber Arts Competition in 1989, as well as placing in local shows in Chattanooga and showing at Four Bridges three times.

Professional work includes serving on the Volunteer Boards of the Association of Visual Artists and the Hunter Museum in Chattanooga, Art Selection Advisory Committee for Ross’s Landing, Chattanooga, serving on the Allied Arts and Leisure Council of Cleveland/Bradley County, and served as past president of the Tennessee Valley Rock and Mineral Club.

Her company, Adornments, is based on creating handmade textiles, jewelry, and art works on paper. She began operation in April of 2006 and is based in Chattanooga, TN.

Currently, Ms. Parks serves as a high school art teacher at Signal Mountain. Middle High School and is in her 19th year of teaching art full-time.