Elizabeth Suriani- NOCO’s 30 Under 30 (2023)

By: Staff


Q: What’s your occupation? Explain your career, your accomplishments and professional highlights.

A: I am a contemporary artist and gallery manager at Artworks Center for Contemporary Art in Loveland. As gallery manager, my responsibilities include social media, marketing, contracts and exhibition installation. I also create and sell my own artwork. I currently have my first U.S. solo exhibition at Artworks, titled “CHROMOPHOBIA,” which recontextualizes themes of Western aesthetics and how they translate to masculine and feminine roles through a classical and contemporary lens. I also taught English abroad from 2018-2020 as well as art for international students from 2020-2022 online. While abroad, I curated and exhibited my first international solo exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand.

Q: Tell us about yourself, your history and how you came to be where you are now.

A: I grew up in Loveland, graduated from Thompson Valley High School and received a BFA in fine art from the University of Wyoming. Shortly thereafter, I moved to Thailand and taught English for almost two years. While in Thailand, I created a solo exhibition at Buffalo Bridge Gallery based on the overproduction and waste of single-use plastic. Upon returning to Colorado in 2020, I was accepted as a studio artist at Artworks and started my career with a series based on marginalized groups and traumas. I was hired as gallery manager in 2022 and have continued to create as a working artist.


Age: 29 

Occupation: Artist, gallery manager at Artworks Center for Contemporary Art


Q: Tell us something unique about you.

A: I’m a purple belt in MMA and am working toward my black belt. I have also traveled to 14 countries and lived for an extended period of time in both Italy and Thailand. In Italy, I (legally) snuck into the San Lorenzo chapel, which holds Michelangelo’s largest collection of charcoal drawings.

Q: What do you consider your biggest accomplishment, either professionally or personally?

A: My first solo exhibition was international and made with over 600 pieces of plastic I collected around Bangkok. I am also proud to say that as an emerging artist, my first solo exhibition here in the states was fully purchased by a local collector.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?

A: I have plans to return to academia and will have completed my master’s in conservation and restoration of cultural heritage from the University of Amsterdam. I will then be working in international museums to conserve and care for historical pieces of art while continuing to create, show and sell my own artwork.

Q: What piece(s) of advice would you give to your younger self?

A: I would advise myself to learn how to take time for me. You don’t want to make burnout your reality. Imposter syndrome is a real thing, and it’ll kick you in the teeth, so don’t second guess yourself. You’re doing exactly what you need to be doing. And most importantly, take at least one business and marketing course (more would be better)—you’re going to need it!

Q: How do you balance your work responsibilities with creating your own art?

A: I treat my art like a main job on top of being a gallery manager. I make sure to be in the studio at a certain time in the morning and have at least three to four solid hours to do any painting, packaging or admin work. After spending the afternoon as gallery manager and getting as much work done in the time allocated, I go back to the studio for another three to five hours, depending on my schedule for the evening.

Q: What message do you hope to spread through your artwork?

A: It depends greatly on the series I am creating, though I have found integrated themes of social and environmental justice. Often, I create work that brings awareness to large problems and creates discussions around these topics. Themes I have worked with so far include plastic waste and environmental destruction, individual stories of trauma and patriarchal themes in art aesthetics.