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Born to create ART to outlive me

Susan Stromberg Stein, MA’77

Artist: Sculptor, Author, Photographer

Susan Stromberg Stein, MA’77; Artist: Sculptor, Author, Photographer

I was accepted to McGill’s Master of Arts program, having completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at Concordia University: With Distinction. I knew I needed to write a thesis. So when I realized that one of my professors was a real live “famous Canadian poet” and there was no biography about him in the McGill Library, I went straight to his office and told him that I would therefore write his biography as my Master's thesis!

After some debate over the following weeks about me promising to never snoop​ into his private life, we agreed and that changed my world. I spent a day each with the following Canadian poets: Leonard Cohen, Ralph Gustafson, Raymond Shuster, Frank Scott, Ken Norris, Ron Everson, D.G. Jones, and Ron Sutherland, learning from them about their friend Louis Dudek. And YES my thesis became his published biography!

Biography of Louis Dudek by Susan Stromberg Stein

I was invited to give the Hugh MacLennan Lecture in 2002 on “The Essence of Louis Dudek – from my point of view”, and I created a bronze book sculpture in his honour that stands on a steel pedestal in McGill’s Rare Books and Special Collections to this day. I have been invited to speak about my Dudek book and my Art career on many occasions. My association with McGill University over the years has been a stellar reference.

As an alumna, I am still involved with McGill. My sculptures are part of the McGill Visual Arts Collection (VAC) and, in 2008, my six-word story “I Create Sculptures to Outlive Me” was one of the winners of McGill’s six-word contest. In 2019, I was most pleased to be invited to attend world-famous Jane Goodall’s Beatty Lecture at McGill University with McGill VAC Director Gwendolyn Owens and Dr. Hans Larsson, Director of the McGill Redpath Museum.

Essence II, bronze book sculpture by Susan Stromberg Stein

Susan Stromberg, Essence II, c. 2001, Bronze and Steuben glass. McGill Rare Books and Special Collections. Dedicated to Louis Dudek, poet and English professor at McGill University.

The Undulating Immortality of Time, sculpture by Susan Stromberg Stein

Susan Stromberg, The Undulating Immortality of Time, 1988, 32.5 x 26.25 cm, Marble. McGill Visual Arts Collection, 1991-035. Dedicated to F. R. Scott, poet and former Dean of the Faculty of Law at McGill University.

Enlightenment, bronze statue by Susan Stromberg Stein

Susan Stromberg, Enlightenment, 2019, Bronze, 1_1. Created for the International Symposium for Endangered Amphibians held at the Redpath Museum.

Susan Stromberg Stein with her sculpture Osmosis

Susan Stromberg and her sculpture Osmosis, which stands in the front garden at Rideau Hall, Ottawa, the official residence of the Governor General of Canada.

Corten steel and brass musicians

Susan Stromberg, Osmosis (left), corten steel and brass. Musicians (right), bronze.

Susan Stromberg Stein working on a sculpture

Susan Stromberg at work.

Susan Stromberg Stein has created over 540 sculptures, including one installed in the garden at Rideau Hall and another in the Canadian Senate. The federal government has also presented several of Stromberg's bronze sculptures as official gifts to heads of state. Her official signature on all sculptures became "Stromberg" when she was invited to be represented by Dr. Stern at Dominion Gallery, Canada’s most prestigious gallery at the time.