Featured Artist | Susan Santiago
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
Susan Santiago, founder of Galeria San Francisco, was born and raised on the East coast where she spent her summer vacations on the sandy beaches of the New Jersey shore. After graduating from high school she moved to Greenwich Village, New York and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from New York University.
Later she moved to Woodstock, New York in order to pursue her dream of becoming an artist. While living in Woodstock, she taught school in Ulster County and attended the Art Students League, where she studied drawing and painting for a number of years. She left New York and moved to Venice, California where she enrolled in the Fine Arts Graduate Program at California State University, Los Angeles earning a MA in Fine Arts. Upon graduation she devoted herself to painting full time in studios in Venice and later downtown Los Angeles. She eventually decided to forgo city living and moved to Topanga Canyon, where she met her husband Ral, an architect and nightclub owner. She lived in Topanga Canyon and in Box Canyon both located in in the Santa Monica Mountains, not far from the Pacific Ocean. She continued to paint and enjoy the rural scenery while teaching art for over 25 years in Los Angeles. Susan served as the Art Department Chairperson at Palisades Charter High School in Pacific Palisades, California, before she retired from teaching in June of 2011. During summer vacations, she and her husband took many trips to Mexico and they eventually fell in love with San Miguel de Allende. Her husband designed their current home with a large art studio and they moved there permanently in July of 2011.
San Miguel, a well-known artist´s colony and UNESCO World Heritage site, along with the people and culture of Mexico continues to inspire Susan´s current body of work. She now devotes herself full time to her painting. Susan has exhibited in galleries on both the East and West coasts and was represented by Orlando Gallery in Los Angeles for over 28 years, and by Magenta Gallery, in San Miguel de Allende for 2 years. In 2015 Susan opened Galeria San Francisco in San Miguel de Allende in the historic center of San Miguel and later moved her gallery into the Fabrica La Aurora, What used to be a textile factory, today houses canvases, sculptures and artisan products of great artists who live in San Miguel.
The Cultural Center of Art and Design, La Aurora, which has been unveiled as one of the main attractions of the city of San Miguel de Allende, has a great reason for celebration: its first twelve years of history.
After being for nine decades an important engine for the labor sector in the textile industry, the walls of the Aurora Factory mutated to house in them, canvases and handicrafts in exchange for the looms that in themselves had already given fame and recognition.