Susan Beallor-Snyder Ropes In The Orchid Show

Though she’s a native New Yorker, Susan Beallor-Snyder had a specific vision in mind for her wedding: a tree-lined road leading to a big house.

When she saw Longshore, she knew it was the right place.

But after her 1988 ceremony, Susan and her husband lived everywhere else: California, Atlanta, Maryland, finally Manhattan.

When the couple started looking for a country house, they returned here. Sitting on a bench at the beach, they realized this was the perfect town.

So perfect, in fact, that Susan’s husband said, “I want to live here all the time.”

In 2001 they bought a home on Bayberry Lane. It was “peaceful and beautiful,” Susan says. Their daughters swam at the YMCA, and were involved in Staples Players. Susan — an accomplished artist and photographer, who studied at Savannah College of Art and Design — set up a home studio, and made jewelry.

Susan Beallor-Snyder. (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

But her husband’s work in the entertainment industry sent them back to Atlanta for 12 years. When he returned to New York, they looked for another home in Westport.

By then she was making large sculptures. They could not find a house with enough space here, so they bought in Weston. But much of Susan’s life still revolves around Westport.

Her career, meanwhile, has taken a dramatic turn. Susan is now known — big time — for large-scale sustainable natural manila rope forms.

Susan Beallor-Snyder, with one of her manila rope works.

According to her website, Susan’s rope sculptures utilize “a simple material through which she infuses thought-provoking depth and profound emotion. Weaving and knotting narratives into her pieces she uses her whole body, and although quite physical, it is also meditative and furthers the exploratory process.”

Her most recent installation is in a particularly prestigious spot. The 10-by-8-foot “Weaving Narratives” greeted recent visitors to the “Discover the World of Orchids” exhibition at the US Botanic Garden, on the grounds of the US Capitol.

(The conservatory is now closed, due to the coronavirus. However, the outdoor gardens and grounds remain open.)

Welcome to the US Botanic Garden’s orchid show!

Westporter Liz Kaner — visiting the celebrated living plant museum, as it celebrates its 200th anniversary — recently saw the work, and knew the artist’s connection to town.

A close-up of the US Botanic Garden work. (Photo/Liz Kaner)

Susan‘s other recent sculptures include Love & Gratitude, a limited edition of 50 individually designed natural manila rope sculptures exclusively for CB2, Crate & Barrel’s sister brand.

Her largest commission is Changing Tides, a 14-by-7-foot installation for the Wharf DC’s Channel Building, a luxury residence on the Potomac River.

What’s next? I suggest the Inn at Longshore — the spot where Susan Beallor-Snyder’s Westport connection began, more than 3 decades ago.

(Hat tip: Liz Kaner)

2 responses to “Susan Beallor-Snyder Ropes In The Orchid Show

  1. Kathie Bennewitz

    This is terrific to see and learn about!

  2. John Terpening

    Beautiful work! Very inspiring, goes well with orchids and shipwrights. I especially like the organic, ready to explode fiddleheads, the snakes and lizards, the musky foul smelling thoughts of our socialized mind giving way to the innocent, spontaneous, spasms of a child. Very intriguing, mysterious, stimulating, alive and growing…… a perfect piece/backdrop for an Orchid show.
    I will look to see if I can find a photo of the set I designed for “Night of the Iguana” using burlap, irrigation cloth (rough woven hemp?) and 12″ rusty, badly mangled, corrugated metal culverts. Made it rain on stage just for fun!
    Years ago (in the seventies), I showed my work at local shows and became friends with Norma Minkowitz (I am not sure, but I think I may have one of her pieces somewhere around here, we did a lot of trading back then). Your work snapped me back to a space in time where “arts” and “crafts” ruled the local “scene”. Thank you!