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Real Human Beings

Tonight I am hosting a film event at Young Eyes Gallery. It’s actually a thank you celebration for the people who contributed to my projects in Jordan and to honor Palestine. Amira and I picked up the “Seven Women’s House Keys” canvas from Gallery 14 yesterday. The canvas will be the focal point of the event tonight.

One shop I failed to mention is the Smoke Shop just off of Paris Circle. The smoke shops are worth seeing, even for those who don’t smoke. I went by there today and took some photos.1 smoke shop2 smoke shop3 smoke shop4 smoke shopOn my walk back to my apartment I thought about how accustomed I’ve become to saying hello to familiar and unfamiliar passerby’s while walking to and from Paris Circle. The people I’ve come to know here remind me of a young man from Russia I met years ago in the Sinai Desert. He owned literally nothing and his job as a garbage collector paid three dollars a day. He invited me to his apartment for dinner. After entering his apartment he presented me with a gift of a scarf his mother made, asked me to sit down and served me a plate filled with chicken and a fork. I asked if he was going to eat and he replied, “I’m not  hungry. Please eat.” Before leaving his apartment I glanced into his kitchen. There was nothing in the kitchen except a pot with a partially cooked chicken boiling on a hotplate . I was using the one plate and fork that he owned. When I said goodbye I told him how exceptionally kind he was. He replied, “No, I am not exceptionally kind. I am a human being. This is how human beings treat other human beings. Anything less is not being a human being.”5 walk home6 walk home7 walk home8 walk homeIn two days I’ll be on a plane flying to the United States.  My experience in Jordan can be compared to a little spot on this earth brimming over with real human beings.

Night Gallery Photos of Art Exhibit, Klotz, Painter, White

My friends Taj Sabet and Holly Harris and her son Zane went to the Night Gallery in Tempe Market Place where I am currently having and exhibition with James White and Brian Painter. The title of the exhibition is “Three Friends-Four Dimensions.” I’ve known Jim and Brian for years and have always been impressed with their work. I’m honored to be sharing an exhibit with them. Jim and Brian are both Professors in Sculpture Departments, Jim at Arizona State University and Brian at Northern Arizona University. My contributions to the exhibit are some of my tapestry canvases. The large canvases are painted, embroidered and beaded. Each takes about a year to create.  I return from Jordan February 1, the day the exhibition ends. I’m so sorry I will miss seeing their newest work in person because it ‘charges’ my life.

I’m always surprised by the uniqueness of their concepts and exceptional technical abilities. Each of their works causes me to verbally react when I first see them by uttering a loud “ha” followed by a smile and my inner voice saying “You have got to be kidding me.” My reaction to their work is the greatest compliment I could give any artist. Their work visually encapsulates years of my thoughts and questions and creates answers and endings for them.  Jim is the king of formulating his ideas in neon. His sculptures in the exhibit say more about Arizona and life in the desert than any words could adequately express. Brian’s metal and bronze sculptures are uniquely Brian. To me, they are structures that ‘solidify” the fleeting impressions in dreams with the concrete reality of daily living. I know I would have walked away from the exhibit feeling uplifted and more complete.  In lieu of attending the exhibit, Taj Sabet emailed me the following photos so I could enjoy the exhibit from afar:1 Suzanne Klotz, James White, Brian Painter. To view Jim White’s sculpture go to

Images of my canvases in the exhibit can be viewed at

If anyone took a video of the exhibition please email it to me and I will post it.

The Fate of Goat Grazing

After being in a foreign land for awhile it is easy to forget that my surroundings are “unusual” when compared to my life in Arizona. This afternoon I looked out my living room window at my neighbor’s yard and noticed some lumps moving in my peripheral vision on a sparse piece of land that divides the street in front of my apartment from the main street. Both streets are prime parking areas for the building permit government office, a short distance from my apartment. Looking closely at the lumps I realized the lumps were goats and a man with a staff herding the goats.1 neighbor's yard.The last time I saw a similar scene was in Bethlehem years ago. A sheep herder was herding his sheep on a hillside outside my hotel window. I wish I’d taken a photograph. The comparison photos would represent the fate of many Palestinian goat and  sheep herders; relegated to grazing their goats and sheep in the medians of roadways in a foreign land.2 goat herder.3 grazing goats4 goats.5 edge of my apartment building.

The Shop of Wonders

This week is reserved for preparing for my departure from Jordan. My preparations include arranging a film event for the people who contributed to the creation and exhibition of the canvas “Seven Women’s House Keys.” Interspersed with preparing for the event are farewell dinners and goodbye coffee klatches.

The film event will be at Young Eyes Gallery. Khalid Homsi, the director of the gallery, is creating a recycled map of Palestine that will function as an interactive artwork at the event.1b Khalid Homsi's recycled map of Palestine in-progress 2.

One of my farewell dinners was prepared by the Al-Afghani brothers at Al-Afghani Bazaar, a shop located about three blocks from Paris circle. The shop is filled to the ceiling with inspirational  items, ranging from historic relics to contemporary knick knacks from Jordan, Palestine, Afghanistan, Egypt and other areas of the world. I could spend years inside the shop asking questions and researching the objects. The purpose of this research would ultimately be to formulate ideas for future works of art. Rather than spending the rest of my life inside the shop, or taking the shop home with me to Arizona, I’m settling for photographing items I find of interest. As is evident in the following photographs, the shop is brimming over with intriguing items:1c interior.2 interior.3 interior.4 interior.5 interior.6 interior.7 interior.8 interior.9 interior.10 interior.11 interior.If I owned the contents of this shop I would deconstruct all of the objects and integrate them into one monumental sculpture or mosaic wall relief.  The piece would conceptually and visually reflect aspects of the diverse cultures, histories, traditions, values, and religions in the Middle East. Ultimately, it would speak to the beauty of unity in diversity.  13 Al-Afghani Bazaar.14 dinner.15 rice and lamb dinner.16 rice and lamb.

Coffee girls!17  Graffiti coffee with Claire.18 Coffee with Julie.19 Nehal and Suzanne, Kepi Cafe.

Wham Bam Knock on Plastic!

I’ve traveled to many countries in this world but I’ve never met more respectful, hospitable, thoughtful and kind people in one country than I have in Jordan.  The people I’ve come to know here are dynamic forces of example of the human potential for kindness. In other words, they appear to have acquired the divine art of living, the highest art of all. My hope for humanity has been restored and I plan to take this hope home with me when I return to the States in two weeks.

While walking the other night I stopped by the Potato and Salad shop to say hello to the “men.”  After saying, “Hello men!” I was offered a seat on a bench and we began one of our many philosophical discussions. The topic for the night was, “What does the expression knock on wood mean to you?”  After hearing six different versions of the meaning, and knocking on all objects within reach, I inadvertently announced that I was no longer taking taxis other than to go to the airport. To solidify my decision we all knocked three times on the plastic table top and I left.1 men only.2 men.3 men.

The next night Zohreh invited me to a dinner party at her apartment. Getting to Zohreh’s requires taking a taxi. After undergoing an inner battle about riding in taxis, that I lost, I rescheduled what I had planned and took a taxi to Zohreh’s. We all had a wonderful evening and delicious food while discussing movies and parasites. Before departing I brought up the subject of “knocking on wood” and asked for the input of everyone there.4 Zohreh's dinner5 Zohreh's dinner6 Zohreh's dinner7 Zohreh's dinner8 Julie's strawberries at Zohreh's dinner

After hearing different versions of the meaning of ‘knock on wood” I said my goodbyes and Julie, Christina and I headed out the door to find a taxi. After hailing a cab, I sat in the passenger’s seat next to the driver and Julie and Christina sat in the back seat. On the drive back to Paris Circle I realized I didn’t have my seat belt on and visualized the time I was in Mexico when the jeep I was riding in rolled three times and landed upside down in a deep, wet gully. The driver of the jeep ended up with a broken arm and I ended up with a slight concussion, barely escaping a crushed head from the roll bar. While visualizing the mosquito infested gully, and leaning towards the center of the cab to fasten my seat belt, wham bam, a car driving 35 mph smashed into the passenger’s door. Knock on plastic, I wasn’t resting comfortably against the door. I’m looking forward to sharing my taxi experience with “the men.” A possible topic for our next philosophic conversation could be “paying attention to one’s inner voice.” How exciting! I can’t wait to hear their stories. What better topics are there to learn about the “art of living?”

By the way, the Seven Keys + More exhibit received some positive attention from the press and television. The following are links to a few of the articles:

Ask Any Bear

I emailed Sophia Isajiw, my blog manager, the other day and mentioned that my apartment is extremely cold and I am so tired that I feel like I could sleep for a year. Sophia lives in Canada. My home base is in Arizona, and has been since 1975. Sophia is accustomed to cold weather. I am not. Sophia’s response to my email was, “You need some warmth to sleep for a year! Being in the cold is not very conducive to good sleep, as any bear will tell you!” I haven’t seen any bears here to ask about the effects of the cold on sleep, but I have seen hundreds of cats.

The cats, although feral, are quite friendly and appear to be healthy. They take up residence in trash bins, apartment hallways, under tables at outdoor cafes, and any place of their choosing.1 trash bin with cat.3 cat on couch.3 cats in street.

Fulbrighter Julie DeSoto and I went to Graffiti Cafe to escape our cold apartments the other night to talk about all the things we have left to do on our bucket lists. Mustafa, our waiter, made Julie the most uniquely creative and cat-friendly cappuccino I’ve ever seen.4 Julie at Graffiti Cafe.5 Rabbit.6 Julie and Mustafa.

When Julie added sugar the rabbit actually pursed it’s little lips and swallowed it!7 Rabbit eating sugar.

Between Webdeh and downtown Amman there are some beautiful meditative places. Within the walled confine of Darat Al Funon there are steps that lead downward to numerous terraces that eventually bring one closer to downtown. Yesterday, while visiting the terraces at Darat Al Funon, I happened upon Fulbrighter Jordan Denari who was also enjoying some quiet time viewing the ancient ruins.8 Jordan at Darat Al Funon terrace.9 Darat Al Funon terrace.10 Darat Al Funon terrace.11 Darat Al Funon terrace.12 Darat Al Funon terrace.13 Darat Al Funon mosaic path.14 Darat Al Funon terrace.15 Darat Al Funon terrace wall.16 Jordan, Darat Al Funon terrace.

7 Keys + More Grand Success

The opening of the exhibit “7 Keys + More” at Gallery 14 was a grand success. To sum it up, thanks to the efforts, creativity and friendship of many exceptional people the exhibition and opening could not have been better! 1 Embroideres and artists.A heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed and supported the exhibition!2 Amira, Suzanne, Sharif Hind Nasser, gallery director.3 canvas and keys.4 group.5 group.6 Khaled Homsi, Suliman, Suzanne, Garrett.7 Alain, Eda, Kathy.8 Dima, Suzanne, Deyala, Dalal.9 Hind's Interactive piece.10 Nahid and Hind's interactive piece.11 group.12 Suliman, Iraheem, Suzanne, Amira.13 Artists and embroiderers.14 Suliman, Hanan, Bssma Elias, Tahseen.15 Suzanne and canvas.16 artists and embroiderers.17 Majedah, embroidered dress.18 Majedah.19 Hanan, Suzanne, Majedah.

7 Women’s House Keys, opening January 8


Seven Women’s House Keys 

Suzanne Klotz

with invited artists: Abdalrahem Alarjan, Ahmad Canaan, Hanan Al Khalidi, Mohammad Abuzraiq, Abul Hay Mossallam, Mohammad Nasrallah and poet Abeer Foad.

Artisana Jordan Arts and Craft Center, Gallery 14, Reception January 8, 2014

6:00 to 8:00 PM

14 Mansour Krishan Street, Jabal Amman

+962 (06) 464 7858


Seven Women’s House Keys الفنانة الأمريكية سوزان كلوتز تدعوكم لحفل افتتاح 

وذلك بمشاركة الفنانين : عبد الرحيم العرجان, أحمد كنعان, حنان الخالدي, محمد أبو زريق, عبد الحي مسلم, والشاعرة عبير فؤاد.

8 كانون الثاني (يناير ) 2014 وذلك الساعة 6:00 وحتى 8:00 مساءاً

ارتيزانا الأردن مركز الفنون والحِرف غالري 14

14 شارع منصور كريشان –  جبل عمان

هاتف : 7858 464 06 962+

Directions for the taxi driver:

الدوار الثاني – جبل عمان – شارع منصور كريشان

من الدوار مباشرة – البريد الاردني الشارع النزول – اول شارع ع اليمين هو شارع منصور كريشان

ارتيزانا على اليسار بعد بضعة مبان  

2nd circle – jabal Amman – Mansour Kraishan ST.

The Jordan post is visible from the circle – down the street next to it  – the first street to the right is Mansour Kraishan ST. Artisana is to the left after a couple of buildings.

Proxy Fulbright Mom and the Pros and Cons of Marriage

On her seventy second birthday Fulbright Scholar Zohreh Sullivan was unofficially designated as “Fulbright Proxy  Mom!” Who designated her as Proxy Mom? I did. Why? Zohreh’s passion for cooking, and her generous spirit, insures that all of the Fulbright chicks (male and female) don’t starve during their stints in Jordan.  She also disperses her magic herbal healing potions to those of us who need it. I came down with a nasty cold and happened to mention it to Zohreh. Before I knew it our trusty cab driver Nahid was at my door holding a bottle of Zohreh’s magic potion and a huge container filled with cabbage rice.1 Zohreh's magic potion.

Within a half hour of drinking the potion my sinus headache disappeared and my throat felt normal again. I finished off the container of cabbage rice in three days and was once again ready to brave the world on the other side of my front door. Thank you, Zohreh!

Zohreh invited Fulbright peeps to be her guests at her 72nd birthday party at Rakwet Cafe.  After we were all seated, an incredible spread of Arabic dishes was placed on the table and a Tupperware container filled with a quinoa dish was placed in front me. True to her thoughtfulness, Zohreh created a glutton free dish for glutton allergic me.2 Zohreh's b-day3 Zohreh's b-day.4 Zohreh, Mia, Eda5 Zohreh's b-day.

The most inspirational part of knowing Zohreh is her pride in her age and association of it with her love for her life. Every cab driver and person she talks to is proudly informed that she is seventy-two years old, followed by the many privileges and advantages age has over youth. She honors her age like a victory crown, and wears each year magnificently. Happy birthday, Zohreh!

About a week prior to Zohreh’s birthday party Amira, Zohreh and I went to Majedah’s embroidery shop, Grand Mother’s Dress. 7 Zohreh at Majedah's shop.While we were there Majedah’s mother made a surprise visit . It was wonderful seeing her again.8 Suzanne greeting Majedah's mom. We immediately began talking non-stop. Remember, I know six words in Arabic, and Majedah’s mother knows exactly zero words in English. We discussed the benefits of marriage, she was encouraging me to marry anyone, and I was pointing out the benefits of being single and the horrors of divorce.12 everyone giving advice about men.9 discussing men.As we carried on, rallying back and forth, the two men in the shop intently listened..13 two men watching women talk about men.After our lengthy, adamant conversation we laughed, performed the normal (for the two of us) left cheek-right cheek kisses five times, and I accepted her invitation to eat her delicious stuffed grape leaves at her house at a later date.14 two happily single women.15 two more happily single women.

Toasty Warm

Claire and Mia had a pre-Christmas party for Fulbright peeps during the first snow here. It is not obvious in the photographs, but it was extremely cold, especially indoors because of the lack of central heating (that works). Claire and Mia cranked up their portable heater and  for the first time since the arrival of the snow we were all toasty-warm. Great food and even greater company!1 Claire and Mia.2  Randal, Christina, Julie.3 Randal, Christina, Julie.4 Randal, Christina, Julie.5 Jordan and Claire and somebody behind Claire.6 Garrett.7 Mia.8 Julie and Jordan.9 Zohreh and Jordan.10 group.11 Garrett, Randal, Christina.12 Garrett, Randal, Christina.13 group.15 group final.