As a woman and the youngest artist in the NF Mural group, Natalia wanted her piece to reflect the strength that young Black women demonstrated along the Underground Railroad. In her piece, the three women featured are all Freedom Seekers and worked to help other individuals cross the border into Canada. Niagara Falls was a pivotal location on the Underground Railroad because for many, it was the last stop they had to pass through before reaching freedom. Natalia had never learned in school just how important the area was to the Underground Railroad until working on this project, and she wanted the piece, with its emphasis on the Falls and all of the different routes Freedom Seekers took to reach them, to really highlight to the community its rich history in the movement. When creating the mural, Natalia made sure to use contrasting colors that would truly stand out against the wall to help emphasize the monumental bravery of these featured women and all of the Freedom Seekers.
About the Artist
Natalia Suska is a Polish native and artist who had taken several different art courses within the Niagara Falls City School District while growing up. In high school, she took AP Studio Art with Rob Lynch, a well-known artist and teacher, who inspired Natalia to continue with her passion for art not just in school but in her free time as well. Her work began with graphite drawings and eventually transitioned to color and paints. Her Studio Art final project was a collection of 24 pieces, half of which focused on theme and the other half of which was designed to show her range of mediums and expanse of creativity. Natalia wanted to continue with art after high school, but at first didn’t know how, as she was attending Georgetown University as a Mathematics major. The summer after her freshman year she heard about the NF murals project, and encouraged by her former teacher Mr. Lynch, she decided to apply. She had previously created two larger-scale canvas works, but this is her first mural.
Natalia’s background in math and technology tends to come out in her pieces. Usually, she likes to be precise and exact, working with shapes, even when she is doing portraiture. Even though her style isn’t hyper-realistic, she still always implements a geometrical touch. In fact, this technique was inspired by her AP Calculus teacher, who was also a musician in his free time, and she would talk to him often about the overlap between mathematics and the arts. With her psychology minor, Natalia is currently learning more about how the brain makes the connection between the two.