Susan Mikula may not be a familiar face in the media sphere, but she has been a popular figure in her field since the late 90s. Her rise to popularity is partly because of her career as an artist but majorly for the romantic relationship which she shares with famous television personality and political commentator, Rachel Maddow.
One of the most talked-about TV news correspondents, Maddow is known for her nightly cable TV program, The Rachel Maddow Show, her commentating style, as well as her sexuality. While we explore the duo’s love story, we’ll also take a deeper look at the life and career of the less-talked-about celebrity, Susan Mikula.
Who is Susan Mikula – Rachel Maddow’s Partner?
Born on March 7, 1958, Susan Mikula is a self-taught artist and photographer. She is of American nationality with French and North American origins. Susan spent her early years in the urban industrial area of New Jersey where she was born into a family that is grounded in art and creativity. Her family, however, later moved to New Hampshire where she attended the Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Following her graduation, Susan Mikula self-trained in photography. She had earlier acquired skills in colour theory during her days at the Hampshire College. Combining the two arts with hard work, Susan achieved her dream of becoming a successful artist, despite not acquiring any degree in the field. She actually majored in Accounting.
After years of working as an accountant for a firm, Mikula began her photography career in 1998. That was the year she landed her first solo exhibition after years of belonging to art juries and participating only in group exhibitions. She landed a spot at the Northampton Center for the Arts where her solo exhibition was tagged ‘Lux in Tenebris’. The same year, she joined a group show at State of the Arts ’98 Oregon where her works were displayed in both solo and group exhibitions in different U.S cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco.
Exploring Susan Mikula’s Artworks
Susan Mikula is outstanding for her use of old-fashioned technologies like pinhole and Polaroid cameras to produce artistic photographs. The camera she uses, an SX Polaroid was last manufactured in 2007. Using vintage film, she works with only available light to create photos which are mostly out of focus but at the same time, covers essential feelings and form of her subject.
She then scans and reproduces the original Polaroid shot which she often prints on mulberry paper without manipulating the image. Thus, she produces photographs which among other qualities, are unique for their luminous nature. Most of her works usually capture things like windows, hallways, festivals, landscapes, houses, people, and more.
Owing to her unique expertise in photography and peculiar art pieces, Susan caught the eye of the Art in Embassies Program who hired her to do site-specific works in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, for the U.S. Embassy. The works which remain in the Permanent Collection of the U.S Embassy were later commissioned in 2017.
Earlier in 2007, she got the opportunity to exhibit her artworks, precisely her large-scale digital Duraflex prints at the New York State House. In 2009, she landed another exhibition spot at Provincetown’s TJ Walton Gallery in Massachusetts. The next year saw her hold her first photography exhibition tagged the ‘American Device Recent Photographs’ in San Francisco.
More recently, one of Susan’s popular artworks, ‘On the Cruising Cloud – The Interdicted Land’ was displayed at the Rice Polak Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The artist also has her works in private collections in Europe and the United States.
Her Earnings and Net Worth
Susan has successfully established herself in the field of photography through her unconventional vintage art gallery. In addition to practical artistry, she is also a successful writer, an endeavour that has also contributed to building her worth. Some of her book credits include Susan Mikula: Photographs (2008), Susan Mikula: u.X (2013), Susan Mikula: American Bond, Thrill Show One, Thrill Show Two, Picture Book (2015), and Kilo.
Alongside the fame, Susan has earned a good fortune from her artist career. Her net worth is currently estimated at $5 million. There are, however, no details of how much she earned from each of her works.
Meanwhile, Mikula’s net worth is nothing next to that of her partner, Rachel Maddow who has an estimated net worth of $20 million. The Rachel Maddow Show has remained MSNBC’s most successful show with around 2.5 million regular viewers from around the world. It also ranks as America’s #1 prime-time news program on cable television at the moment.
Owing to her longtime success on the MSNBC, Rachel Maddow takes home an annual salary of $7 million. Among other successful ventures, Rachel, just like Susan, is a successful writer. In 2012, she became a best-selling author for her book, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power.
How and When Did Susan Mikula Meet Rachel Maddow?
Susan Mikula met Rachel Maddow for the first time in 1999. At the time, Maddow had nothing of the fame and wealth she enjoys today. She rather did all sorts of odd jobs to make ends meet while working on her doctoral dissertation. Their meeting was a matter of chance as Susan just hired Rachel to help her with some yard work at her home in the Berkshires, Western Massachusetts.
Despite meeting on a business scale, the two quickly became friends. Rachel who has been an open lesbian since her teenage years later revealed in a US Weekly interview that she fell in love with Susan “at first sight”.
The duo subsequently kick-started a romantic affair which has since continued to wax strong. Following this, Maddow began to share with Mikula, her Massachusetts farmhouse home. She, however, maintains her Manhattan apartment from where she attends to her job on weekdays, coming home on the weekends.
The Secrets Behind Mikula and Maddow’s Longstanding Relationship
Susan Mikula has been Rachel Maddow’s partner for over two decades. They, in fact, count among the longest gay partners in recent times.
Keeping their relationship strong is the fact that Susan and Rachel have a number of things in common. During a recent interview with People, Mikula revealed that they neither have any cable connection nor a television at their home. This she said is because they both have “the TV disease”; meaning they’ll watch it all day if they ever have one.
Both ladies make the sacrifice of keeping away from work and the screens on the weekends to enable them to spend as much time together as possible. While Rachel plays the dude, Susan plays the mistress, mostly cooking the duo’s meals. Susan has also helped Rachel manage her cyclical depression which she has suffered since puberty.
The couple also has a common passion for shooting firearms. That explains exactly why they had their first date at an NRA-hosted ‘Ladies Day On The Range’ event!
Are Susan Mikula and Rachel Maddow Married?
Susan Mikula happens to be the first and only gay partner Rachel Maddow has had so far in her lifetime. Born in 1973, Maddow is 15 years younger than Mikula. But despite their significant age difference, the couple has enjoyed a controversy-free relationship from the word go. Considering the level of success their relationship has enjoyed, many have continued to wonder why the loyal pair have ditched tying the knot for so long.
Speaking in an interview with The Telegraph on the issue, Rachel Maddow suggested that they remained unmarried in other to sustain the creativity of their relationship which many heterosexual couples have lost in marriage institutions. This simply means that unlike other gay couples such as Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, Susan and Rachel do not attach much value to marriage. Despite remaining just partners, their longstanding relationship has been a source of inspiration to many of their kind.