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Sue Atchison

Sue Nielsen Atchison was a 1966 graduate of Russell High School. Sue was part of the group that formed the Russell Arts Council in 1976 and was its first president.


She has higher education degrees from Fort Hays State University and Kansas State University. She completed over thirty-five years’ as an art educator in numerous venues. She was privileged to study with some of the best water artists in the country and was also fortunate to study in Mexico as a Fulbright study abroad scholar. At the present time she is enjoying retirement from Kansas State University and painting as much as she can. She has been a board member of the Kansas Art Education Association and was named Outstanding Art Educator for Higher Education 2005-2006. During her tenure at Kansas State University she was awarded the KSU Mortar Board Distinguished Teaching Award.


She’s been a member of the Kansas Watercolor Society and the Oregon Watercolor Society and her work has been included in numerous exhibitions including ACAAK postcard series XXIV and XXV Kansas Watercolor Society, Oregon Watercolor Society, Regionalists Watercolor Exhibit Oregon Coast Council fro the Arts Invitational, Kansas State University Faculty Exhibitions, Columbian Artists Exhibitions, Hays Art Center Show and the Symphony in the Flint Hills exhibition.

Originally a realistic watercolorist, her paintings have transitioned from literal depictions to transformative interpretations in oil and cold wax. Her evolutions into abstract art allows her to immerse herself in the intuitive process of painting and concentrate on presenting emotional compositions.


Sue lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her husband of 52 years, Fred Atchison. Their family includes three sons and daughters in law: Garth & Sara, Nathan & Megan, and Wyeth & Sara and four grandchildren, Erin, 13; Leigh, 11; Henry, 1; and Sheppard, 18 months.


Sue’s current work can be seen at

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