Scottsville, N.Y. (WHAM) - Susan Ferrari Rowley is an accomplished sculptor. But even after decades of success and recognition, one email took her by surprise.
In fact - she didn't believe it was real.
"Somebody's scamming me. This can't be true," she said.
But it was not a scam.
"And it was the address, and I said, ‘Oh my god,' and I read it, and my hands started to shake and my voice started to quiver," she recalled. "Because they said we have selected your work and we would like to include you in this exhibition."
The exhibition is “Time Space Existence,” part of the 18th Venice Biennial of Architecture. And Susan, from Scottsville, is one of 30 invited from around the world. And one of only seven Americans.
"They look at your body of work, your entire career, the trajectory of your work,” she says. “The artists I'm seeing who've been in this exhibition are not young. They're mature artists. They're proven artists."
Ferrari Rowley’s piece for the exhibition is about to be shipped to Italy. It will be on display for six months, and will be viewed by an estimated 300,000 people.
Susan's pieces - aluminum frameworks wrapped in white, light fabric - seem to defy gravity.
“I love the creative process when I'm designing and making the sculpture,” she says. “It's problem solving. It's creative problem solving, and I think I enjoy doing that.”
Susan's work can be seen in public spaces around town, and in galleries in Manhattan.
But as much as she loves to create, she also loves to teach. She is an associate professor at MCC.
"I couldn't leave either of those loves behind. I could not walk away from teaching and I could not walk away from being a sculptor. I had to have both, and I did."
And now, she's someone we know - soon to be known in none other than the art capital of Venice. She believes it now; that email was for real.
More information about the exhibition and a fundraiser to defray the artist’s costs can be found here.