Celeste Susany is recognized as one of the nation’s premier equine artists. Her formative years were spent among the pageantry of Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and Del Mar. Celeste received her degree from Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. After graduation, she became an art director for Nehi, a large record distributing company.
Part of her equestrian education came as a hotwalker at Santa Anita. Because she wasn’t brought up around horses, she felt the need to get up close and personal by taking a job on the backside. Although her hotwalking days were short-lived, (because she felt the need to stay alive) it gave her a fuller perspective of the sport.
In 1985, Celeste and her husband, Lee Horton, began growing a small business selling artwork at race tracks and galleries around the country. Her children, Dustin and Leeanne, and her sister, Kathleen, have become a major part of the operations as well. Needless to say, Celeste’s artwork and business has been kept in the family.
Over the years, Celeste has painted dozens of famous horses and Triple Crown Winners. She is still regularly commissioned to do artwork for racetracks and private clients worldwide.
Celeste has had a presence in Saratoga since 1984 when she first exhibited her art at the Race Track. Her artwork graced the front of the program cover from 1998 to 2015. She continues to exhibit there annually. Her work is also displayed throughout Saratoga including her gallery on Broadway, in the Downstreet Marketplace.
While on vacation in 2007, Celeste fell in love with a native Saint Lucian, Marcus Nelson. He helped her become the woman she is today. She has spent much time visiting the island over the past years. The topography, climate and third world lifestyle added a flare of inspiration to Celeste’s creativity. She painted landscapes, sunsets, and the ocean scenes near where she lived. She also painted some of the native people to the island, including Marcus.
Her passion and talent is not only confined to Thoroughbred Racing. Celeste has enjoyed successes as a portrait and landscape painter. In years to come, she hopes to wean from the demand for commerical products, to enjoy her true passion as an artist….painting!