Spring 2014 Switzer Distinguished Artist Josephine “Jo” Stealey
ODE TO SUSAN
Archivally processed leaves, cotton paper, wire armature, gold leaf, silk organza, thread & wrought iron hangers
Donation by the artist
“Ode to Susan” draws upon the long tradition aprons have played in all cultures as symbols of work, homemaker, caregiver and celebratory moments. This apron references the mid-20th century idealized woman in her “pretty little apron” waiting for her husband to come home and do his bidding. Simultaneously this piece considers the role nature plays in our life. Mother Nature cares for all humanity. She provides sustenance and protection and allures, charms and seduces.
Department Chair of the Visual Arts and head of the fiber program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Jo Stealey has combined her passion for ceramics, weaving and handmade paper in her artwork. These materials along with earth’s natural environment and her connection between the physical and ethereal worlds serve as Jo’s primary sources of inspiration in her ever evolving bodies of work.