Monday, March 20, 2023     Volume: 24, Issue: 3

Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on May 29th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 13 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 20, Issue 13

Susanne Schenck exhibits travel and nature photography at Grossman Gallery


Born and raised in Sweden, photographer Susanne Schenck developed a passion for nature and wildlife long before ever picking up a camera. One consistent source of nostalgia for Schenck is the memory of her childhood home, near a forest just 1 mile outside the small town of Osby.

A collection of Susanne Schenck’s travel and nature photos will be on display at the Grossman Gallery in Lompoc, starting Saturday, June 1.

“We had a huge meadowseveral acresin front of our house. We’d often watch moose and deer and other animals cross,” Schenck told the Sun. “The area mostly consisted of a deep, dark evergreen forest. The only thing you’d hear would be a squirrel running up or down a tree, a rabbit running into a bush, or birds singing.”

Schenck’s love for travel also started at a young age, she said as she fondly recalled memories of her family’s trailer and hitting the road for weekends when the weather was good enough. 

“We camped all over southern Scandinavia as many months out of the year as we could,” Schenck said. “New adventures every summer weekend. The rest of the year, it was too cold.

“I’ve always had an adventurous mind though,” she continued. “As an adult, I wanted to travel for longer periods of the year.”

Wanderlust followed Schenck into her early 20s and enticed her to take a job as a train hostess, after moving to Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden.

“It was a lot of fun traveling on the train all over Scandinavia,” Schenck said. 

The desire to travel only grew from there. At 24, Schenck took a leap of faith and moved to the U.S. with one of her best friends.

“I was trying to find out what I was going to do with my life,” Schenck said. “I had just ended a 7-year-long relationship, and all I had was a suitcase of my belongings.”

After moving to Los Angeles, Schenck found work as a secretary and obtained a student visa in order to start college. She met her future husband, Lloyd, while taking general education classes at El Camino College. 

Destiny brought the two to Lompoc in 1998, where they both found jobsLloyd as an engineer and Susanne as a teacher. But Schenck’s globetrotting days were far from over at that point. Over the next few years, the couple enjoyed vacations to Hawaii, Costa Rica, Iceland, and Australia. It was during their adventures that Schenck realized how passionate she felt about documenting these tripsand that the amount of photos she had taken was more than enough to make up a portfolio.

Lompoc photographer Susanne Schenck hopes viewers of her landscapes feel as if they were actually there with her in person on her various travels.

“I have always been mesmerized by the idea of photography. To be able to stop a moment in time and record it is somehow enticing,” said Schenck, who believes a good photo should be an opportunity for its viewers to temporarily flee their own reality.

After realizing photography could be more than just a casual hobby, Schenck decided to join the Lompoc Photographers Guild earlier this year. A selection of her travel and nature photos will be on display at the Grossman Gallery in Lompocstarting Saturday, June 1which marks Schenck’s second public exhibition (Cypress Gallery in April marked her first).

More than any other reaction, Schenck hopes attendees’ minds will be transportedas if they were actually there with Schenck in person on her various adventures.

“I want my viewers feel like they are there in my imagesseeing what I saw and enjoying it just as much as I did.” 

Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood wants to travel more. Forward Groupon deals to

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