The picture is blurry, probably a "caught image" from a cell phone in the hand of a fellow contra dancer - there are many "better" pictures of her, in focus and more formally composed photographs, but it is Susan Moffett's last choice for the profile picture on her Facebook page, and we include it here because it seems to speak volumes about her energy and enthusiasm for life. Today we remember this artist who meant so much to the community, beginning with words from just a few of her many friends:
"Susan was a wonderful printmaker, a fine arts educator, a musician, a world traveler and a great friend. She sought and found the experiences that make life vivid and meaningful. The lives she touched are a beautiful ripple expanding into the world. I will miss her for the rest of my life." - Wendi Smith, artist
"Susan was a creative force. In the visual art community we knew her work mainly as beautiful, spiritual reflections on the natural world which are greatly admired. But the depth of her creative energy was vast and not limited by media. She was a loving and nurturing mother, a devoted teacher, a poet (especially of haiku), a musician and dancer. Susan was surrounded by loyal, loving friends who all knew her in one or more of her creative manifestations. As we are gathering and sharing our grief we are still learning from each other about her many talents." -Kay Grubola, artist and curator
"Susan was one of the building blocks of our program (at IU Southeast). Our fabulous print shop was built from scratch by Susan and Brian Jones – resulting in one of the best equipped shops in the region. Susan was a dedicated printmaker, who created beautiful prints throughout her career at IUS and after her retirement. She was active in regional and national printmaking organizations, a member of FACET, and a former Dean. For more than 30 years at IUS, she taught and inspired countless numbers of our students." - Debra Clem, Painting Professor at IU Southeast
The following is from our last Artebella post on Susan, in November 2016:
Music is so often, if not always, an integral part of the life of a visual artist. Besides being a highly respected printmaker and teacher, Susan Moffett is also a “Caller” for contra and square dances, and now is playing the fiddle. If we might characterize such pursuits as folk music crossed with precision of execution, it would be perhaps be a fair description of the work we see here.
The tradition and protocol of printmaking includes labored technique, process, and the notion of limited editions of prints pulled by the artist to their exacting standards, but we find Moffett abandoning those for what she calls the, “the freedom and spontaneity of woodcut monoprints. Instead of a traditional series of perfected prints with a consistent image, I opt to use the block prints in an intuitive exploration of organic forms, creating rhythm within and relationships between the prints. Small prints are repurposed in relationships of color, density and repetition, to make a larger installation.”
Although Moffett is too educated and sophisticated in her sensibilities to be labeled a folk artist, there is an elemental quality in these latest images. Yet, because they are densely textured and highly detailed, they are also complex. We often find such tension at the heart of art that is compelling, a balance of contrasting themes and aesthetic that seems the honest, organic result of genuine discovery.
Moffett was a founding member of PYRO Gallery in Louisville. She has exhibited throughout the United States as well as abroad in Ireland, Poland and Australia. Her work is in numerous public and private collections including:
• Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, Evansville, IN
• Hyatt Regency, Louisville, KY
• Brown-Forman Distillers Corp., Louisville, KY
• The Kentucky Foundation for Women, Louisville, KY
• Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, Louisville, KY
• University of Dallas, Irving, TX
• The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
• Owensboro Museum of Art, Owensboro, KY
• The University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.