West Orange Arts Council presents ‘Outlander Inspired’

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — The West Orange Arts Council will present “Outlander Inspired: The Story, The Characters, The Light,” by artist/photographer and show fan Heidi Sussman, from Saturday, Jan. 18, through Saturday, Feb. 1, at the West Orange Arts Center, 551 Valley Road. An “Outlander” premiere party and artist reception will be Saturday, Jan. 25, from 5 to 8 p.m., with a snow date of Feb. 1.

The gallery showcases images captured via cell phone and manipulated to create digital illustrations and one-of-a-kind mixed media art. They tell a visual story of the time-traveling 20th-century Claire Fraser and her 18th-century Highlander husband Jamie Fraser, main characters from the popular TV drama, “Outlander,” inspired by author Diana Gabaldon’s novels.

Sussman, a West Orange artist and former WOAC chairwoman, discovered “Outlander” a little over a year ago and, while watching, was inspired to explore the many dimensions of the characters. In a darkened room she photographed the action with her cell phone and then altered the images employing several of her signature image transfer, photo encaustic and digital illustration techniques. 

“As a photographer I am intrigued with how the world, real or imaginary, is lit,” Sussman said. “Light becomes its own character whether viewing art as a flat, two-dimensional piece, or in motion as in TV or film. The lighting in ‘Outlander’ is truly spectacular.”

As a teaching artist, Sussman offers workshops in the various processes she uses to create her art. She is on the faculty of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in Summit , and has most recently been invited to present three of her innovative arts workshops this summer at Art Makers Denver. Her local art studio is located in Manufacturers Village in East Orange.

“I was impressed with Heidi’s work and with her unusual way of producing it through active and engaged, rather than passive, TV viewing,” WOAC Chairwoman Patricia Mitrano said. “Whether you are an art lover or an ‘Outlander’ fan, the intent of this exhibit is to appeal to a diverse audience, to demonstrate diverse techniques and to bring new visitors to our community art gallery.”

For more information, visit www.heidisussman.com and www.woarts.org.