Susan Rosenberg Jones
2017 Annual Juried Competition
Second Time Around
After having been married for 32 years my husband passed away in 2008, after a long illness. Once widowed, I experienced the confusing and mixed feelings of grief: guilt, loneliness, regrets, indelible memories of loving glances, hugs, and laughs. In 2009 I decided to try online dating because I wanted to meet a man for an occasional movie or dinner date.
The second man I met online was Joel, and we felt a bond right away. Soon after, I closed my account on JDate. We married in January of 2012 in a lovely ceremony at home. I hadn’t expected to fall in love, but I did. To my surprise and delight, I found that I could deeply love this wonderful man who entered my life, while holding dear the memories of my first husband.
Having been in a long–term marriage, I came to this new relationship with the tools in place to be a good wife. We quickly fell into the routine and ease of being a stable married couple, except that we were newlyweds in our 60’s. There is humor in that. For one thing, our bodies are not supple and streamlined the way they were when we were young. We both come with a lot of baggage, and at our ages, it’s no big deal, nothing to get excited about. We’ve both seen a lot, done a lot, and have higher thresholds for idiosyncratic behavior than in our 20’s and 30’s.
In this series, Second Time Around, I delight in observing my new husband as he goes about living day to day. We both know that life is short, and perhaps because of our newfound love and comfort, can journey through this life with a certain enthusiasm. We feel secure, yet we know we’re lucky.
Susan Rosenberg Jones was born and raised in Boston, and moved to New York City in 1976. She holds a BS in Education from Lesley College. As a post grad, she enrolled in SVA as an undergrad (at the time, they did not offer an MFA program) and studied photography for two years.
In 1978, Susan began working at a lab in Manhattan as a custom black and white printer. She loved that job but quit when she became pregnant for fear of the chemicals. A few years later, she started working as a photo researcher for a stock photo agency, and began a long career in stock photography, licensing images to various publishing and advertising clients.
During her daughter’s growing up years, Susan photographed regularly, shooting chromes in those days because it was most convenient.
In 2008, Susan’s husband passed away after a long illness. She felt the needto photograph seriously again and purchased her first digital camera. Feelingrusty, she took a course at ICP just to re–connect with the camera controls and practice with editing software. Other Continuing Ed classes followed.
She worked on various portrait projects: women of a certain age, couples who’d been together for many years, and in 2011 began work on Building 1, a series about her neighbors in the apartment complex in Tribeca where she’d lived since 1984.
In 2012 she married her second husband, Joel. As a tangent to her photographs of her neighbors, she began shooting in her own home, and Joel was a willing subject. He was a bit skittish at first but he became more comfortable as she kept photographing. From this practice, Susan’s body of work, titled Second Time Around emerged.
Susan explores her feelings about growing older, family and community connections, through photography.
Artist’s website: www.susanrosenbergjones.com