Suzanne Jackson (b. 1944, St. Louis) first moved westward with her parents to San Francisco, after which the family continued north to Yukon Territory. She came of age in the remote natural environment of pre-statehood Alaska, later returning to the Bay Area to study painting and theater at San Francisco State University, and dance at the Pacific Ballet. She settled in Echo Park in 1967, where she worked as an artist and teacher, and attended Charles White’s drawing class at Otis Art Institute. Jackson engaged a community of artist and activist peers—including David Hammons, Timothy Washington, Alonzo Davis, Dan Concholar, Senga Nengudi, George Evans, Gloria Bohanon, Betye Saar, and Emory Douglas—through Gallery 32, which she ran from her studio in the Granada Buildings near McArthur Park from 1968 to 1970. Her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles was held at the Ankrum Gallery in 1972.
Jackson works in Savannah, Georgia, where she has lived since 1996. She is a 2019 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant and was recently the subject of a major retrospective exhibition and monograph, Five Decades, organized by the Jepson Center for the Arts, Telfair Museums, Savannah (2019). She has exhibited solo projects at O-Town House, Los Angeles (2019), Danville Museum of Fine Arts, Danville, Virginia (2010), and Fashion Moda, New York (1984). Her work has featured in institutional surveys and historic exhibitions including Life Model: Charles White and His Students, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2019); West by Midwest, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2018–19); Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, Brooklyn Museum, New York (2018–19); Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960–1980, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2011–13); Gallery 32 & Its Circle, Laband Art Gallery, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles (2009); Synthesis, Just Above Midtown Gallery, New York (1974); Directions in Afro American Art, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca (1974); and Black Mirror, Womanspace Gallery, Los Angeles (1973).