Oregon’s awe-inspiring coastline, majestic forests and uncertain weather have inspired artists for centuries. While some artwork documents how the landscape looks, there are those artists who have the ability to convey what it feels like to be standing on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, exploring a tide pool or breathing in the brisk winter air.

The Salem Art Association’s Permanent Collection is fortunate to have an engaging selection of artwork by several notable Oregon women landscape artists including, Constance Fowler, Satsuko Hamilton, Susan Trueblood Stuart, April Waters and Carol Yates. The centerpiece of this exhibition is a beautiful Satsuko Hamilton landscape which honors Sharon Juza (1932-2022), a founding member of the SAA Gallery Guides.

Satsuko Hamilton

“Color is to me the way sound is to a musician.”

Born in Nagoya, Japan, as a young girl Satsuko studied Ikebana flower arranging and the Tea Ceremony, and painted pottery in her parent’s ceramic factory. These experiences eventually led to making art on paper and canvas. Following her marriage to artist George Hamilton, Satsuko relocated to Oregon where she continued to make art and experiment with flower combinations in her garden. Just as she moved the flowers around in her garden, she also changed up the plantings in her paintings.

Constance Fowler

“I teach to paint and paint to teach.”

After graduating from Washington State College in Pullman, the Fowler family moved to Salem in the early 1930s. Constance taught art lessons for a dollar each, until she became a founding faculty member of Willamette University’s Art Department. In 1940 for her MFA, she published twenty engravings of historic Willamette Valley sites titled The Old Days: In and Near Salem, Oregon. As part of the Northwest Regionalism art movement, later she captured the natural beauty and wonder of Oregon in paintings that a blended abstract and figurative elements.

Susan Trueblood Stuart

“Watercolor gives me the speed and freshness I need when I paint outside.”

Raised in Salem, Susan attended South Salem High School, and graduated with an Art degree from Willamette University in 1960. She completed studies in painting and lithography at the University of Oregon in 1967, and later served on the SAA Board of Directors. Exploring landscapes that captured the “drama in shapes that oppose each other, that set up contrast, energy and action”, Susan’s artwork took a deeply personal turn in 2011 with her “Fighting Through Cancer” series. In 2019, Susan was recognized as one of a generation of Oregon artists who “represent the highest levels of artistic statement and creative accomplishment, while maintaining commitments to personalized styles”, as part of Visual Magic, An Oregon Invitational exhibition at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

April Waters

I am painting to explore, be in nature and the pure joy of applying paint to canvas.”

Completing a Bachelor of Fine Art at the University of Colorado, Boulder, April worked for many years as a registered nurse. Drawn in her paintings to water’s reflection, transparency, movement and life generation, she later became interested “in water in a larger context”. This exploration led to the immense “Shero” portraits of international women “working to protect the watersheds of the world and assure that water remains in the commons, for all people.” In 2018 she was honored with a National Science Foundation sponsorship to produce large paintings of the ocean, sea ice, icebergs and glaciers near Palmer Station, Antarctica.

Carol Yates

Like many accomplished Oregon artists, little is known of Carol Yates’ early years and education. The summer of 1989 she worked with Oregon State University (OSU) Art Professor Nelson Sandgren, his son Eric and artist Mark Clarke on a 4,000 square foot mural for the Mahlon Sweet Airport in Eugene. The mural, presumably designed by Nelson Sandgren, combines Oregon landscapes with Indigenous themes. This was the largest mural in the Pacific Northwest at that time. Carol has been involved with the Watercolor Society of Oregon for much of her life. Her artwork has been acquired by OSU, through the OSU President’s Purchase Award, and her 1998 watercolor, “Cherry Orchard in Spring”, was added to the Hallie Ford Museum of Art’s, Northwest Art Collection, in 2004.

Sharon Juza (1932-2022)

“Art adds dimension to your life, but it’s hard to put into words.”

Sharon grew up in Salem, attending Parrish Junior High School (now Parrish Middle School) and graduated from Salem High School in 1947. She attended Oregon State University and later worked for the State of Oregon. In 1964, she became a founding member of the SAA Gallery Guides which greeted visitors to the upstairs art galleries in the Bush House Museum. Following a fire in the historic Bush Barn, Sharon moved with the SAA galleries to the Bush Barn Art Center in 1965. For nearly 60 years, Sharon greeted visitors to the A.N. Bush Gallery and was involved with the work of the SAA Gallery Guides. As a tribute to Sharon’s lifelong commitment to SAA, and the arts in Salem, her husband Bill and the Juza Family donated a beautiful Satsuko Hamilton landscape painting to the SAA Permanent Collection.

For more information on the SAA Gallery Guides, contact:

Laura Stein, SAA Membership & Event Director