Susannah Auferoth

SSusannah and her husband Dirk Auferoth         Susannah and her husband Dirk Auferoth

Posted by: Sadie Smith & Karen Li

Susannah Auferoth is a Massachusetts native and key player in the revitalization of Holyoke, MA. Susannah was born and raised in Paxton, MA and after graduating high school, she decided to enroll as an engineer major at UMass Amherst. After working on her engineering degree for about 2 years, Susannah decided to put engineering on hold and travel to Europe working as a model for the next few years. When she returned, Susannah completed both her engineering degree and a painting degree from UMass. Today, Susannah works as a painter, a renovator, and graphic designer for “Fortune” magazine.


Susannah and her husband have bought the Baustein Building in the Canal District of Holyoke, MA. Slowly but surely, Susannah hopes to renovate the Baustein Building into a place for artists of all kind to rent a cheap space to create their art. She encourages creativity and does not want the artists to have to worry about being too messy or destroying the area. The final plans for the Baustein Building would also include galleries and a restaurant of some sort. Currently, the Baustein Building is home to Susannah’s studio and a couple of other artists. The building is quite large and upon final renovation, will be a wonderful space for artists to utilize.

From the Baustein website: “We bought 532 Main Street in 2012 and named it the Baustein Building. The wordbaustein means ‘building block’ in German, and that’s exactly how we see 532 Main Street — as a building block and part of the framework of Hoyoke’s exciting renaissance and revitalization. Originally built in 1898 as a textile factory, the building will continue to be a place where all kinds of people create all kinds of things.”


From Baustein Website


From Baustein Website









Susannah mainly paints layered oil paintings. She starts by setting up a line grid beneath a set of images. Many of the images involve motion for example, a person jumping, falling, snowboarding, etc. Susannah will mirror the images across the painting against the line grid. The motion images originate from a sketch Susannah has made before hand. She “likes the mobility of a human…there is so much going on in a person’s mind.” After laying the images out, Susannah places layer after layer after layer of oil paint on top. While the color scheme for her paintings varied from painting to painting, all of them were aimed to create a “glowing”. Many of the paintings featured complementary colors.


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