Susan Santiago was born and raised on the East coast where she spent her summer vacations wandering the sandy beaches of the New Jersey shore.
After graduating from high school she moved to Greenwich Village, New York and, in 1971, received a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from New York University.
A year later she moved to Woodstock, New York in order to pursue her dream of becoming an artist. While living in Woodstock, she taught school in Ulster County and attended the Art Students League, where she studied drawing and painting for a number of years. In 1978 she left New York and moved to Venice, California and enrolled in the Fine Arts Graduate Program at California State University, Los Angeles. She earned an MA in Fine Arts in 1982. Upon graduation she devoted herself to painting full time in studios in Venice and later downtown Los Angeles. She eventually decided to forgo city living and moved to Topanga Canyon, where she met her husband Ral, an architect and nightclub owner. She lived in Topanga Canyon for 16 years and in Box Canyon both located in in the Santa Monica Mountains, not far from the Pacific Ocean. She continued to paint and enjoy the rural scenery while teaching art for over 25 years in Los Angeles. Susan served as the Art Department Chairperson at Palisades Charter High School in Pacific Palisades, California, before she retired from teaching in June of 2011.
During summer vacations, she and her husband took many trips to Mexico and eventually fell in love with San Miguel de Allende. Her husband designed their home with a large art studio and they moved there permanently in July of 2011. San Miguel, a well-known artist´s colony and UNESCO World Heritage site, continues to inspire Susan´s current body of work. She now devotes herself full time to her painting. Susan has exhibited in galleries on both the East and West coasts and was represented by Orlando Gallery in Los Angeles for over 28 years, and by Magenta Gallery, in San Miguel de Allende for 2 years.
In 2015 she opened Galeria San Francisco, in an historic building above the main square in San Miguel, where exhibits her own work and also represents various artists who live and work in Mexico.
In 2016, she opened a classroom space adjacent to the gallery where she teaches Acrylic Painting and local artists conduct workshops in various media.