Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Susan Wakeen was raised by two creative parents who encouraged the pursuit of an art career. Growing up in Avon Connecticut, a favorite part of her growing years was drawing and painting.
Wakeen attended Central Connecticut State University, majoring in math and psychology. For many years she taught Special Education in Brookline and Waltham, Massachusetts. Always with sketchbook and pencil close by, the reality of being a fine artist seemed far reached. Her twin sister, Sandra, encouraged her to look for a means to start studying art more seriously. She started with evening courses at the Boston School of Fine Art; later studying with Joshua Graham and Dorothy Lepler, who would become influential in teaching her discipline, observation, and control. Susan continued her studies at the Scottsdale Artist School with world renowned instructors including Betty Patt Gatliff, noted artists Rosalind Cook, and Tuck Langland, among others.
In 1982 Wakeen debuted her sculptures and dolls in New York City at the International Toy Fair. She was instantly recognized for her outstanding work and awarded "Doll of The Year" for her sculpture of “Jeanne”. Wakeen was offered a position at Hasbro Toys in Pawtucket Rhode Island as senior designer and contributed greatly to the growth of the doll design department.
Wakeen soon began creating sculptures of babies which led to the founding of the Susan Wakeen Doll Company Inc. For over 25 years she was recognized by her peers and collectors as one of the top artists in her field; and was honored with more than 48 nominations and awards in the industry including "Doll of the Year" and "The Award of Excellence." During this period she would travel to Italy, China, and Spain to perfect her artistry.
After twenty eight years in the doll business, and with encouragement from her husband, family, and friends, Wakeen turned her attention completely to the fine art of sculpture. For the past twelve years she has been pursuing a career as a fulltime sculptor and her works are now found in homes, and collections throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia.
National Sculpture Society
Portrait Society of America
Art Students League NY
Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists
2015 Portrait Society of America “Best Portfolio” International Portrait Conference
2015 The Artist Magazine Portrait Award December Issue
2015 Portrait Society of America “First Place Sculpture", 17th Annual International Conference Atlanta Georgia
2015 Art Renewal Center “Honorable Mention Sculpture”
2016 Academic Artist Association “First Place Honor"
2016 11th Annual Juried Art Show Roxbury Congregational Church “Awarded Certificate of Excellence"
2016 Portrait Society of America Awarded "Certificate of Excellence", 18th Annual International Conference Atlanta Georgia
2017 Academic Artist's Association 67th National Exhibition, Awarded "Certificate of Excellence"
2017 Art Renewal Center, Awarded "Certificate of Excellence"
2017 Portrait Society of America “First Place Sculpture", 19th Annual International Portrait Competition, Atlanta Georgia
2017 Allied Artist of America, Inc. “Marilyn Newmark Award for Realism", 104th annual Exhibition, New York, NY
2017 Salmagundi Club “Joseph Hartley Memorial Award", 39th Annual Juried Painting and Sculpture Exhibition for Non Members, New York, NY
2018 Academic Artist Association “First Place Award", 68th Annual Exhibition
2018 National Sculpture Society “Pietro and Alfreda Memorial Award", 85th Annual Awards Exhibition at Brookgreen Gardens