Susan Brearey is an internationally acclaimed artist whose nature-inspired work has appeared in galleries abroad and throughout the United States. She is also a singer, and performed recently in one of the Club 47 concerts that brought musicians David Amram and Judy Collins to Putney. Susan teaches drawing and painting at Putney, curates the exhibitions in the gallery of the Michael S. Currier Center, and coordinates performances and music festivals. Susan works with the students who design and hand-craft a unique diploma for each graduating senior.
Putney offers an extraordinary mix of freedom and focus. Academics, the arts, work, and play are all are worked at with wonderful intensity. A lunch conversation might be about the level of water in the pond, the sheep being sheared in the field, the large-scale student drawings in the Currier Center, and a Physics class’s catapults on the soccer field.
To thrive here, a student should have a certain amount of ‘wattage’—which is to say that the lights should be ‘on’ and he or she should be ready to work concertedly, creatively, and often independently. It’s not insignificant, for example, that our board of directors—which includes the sort of artists, lawyers, scientists, business people, and journalists that some young people might normally find intimidating—always includes two students. And those students vote, and their votes count.