Suzie dePoo (nee Zuzek), American, 1920 - 2011
Most venerated and highly reclusive of the famed women artists of Key West, Suzie DePoo’s career spanned many decades. Although best celebrated for her watercolors and ceramic tile creations, she also worked in ancient, reclaimed drift wood, centuries old glass from Bottle Beach collected in the fifties, wire and just about anything that can be shaped or painted on.
In a word Suzie DePoo was a classicist. She graduated from Pratt Institute on the GI Bill after serving in the second world war. Her work is monochromatic or vivid in color, the expressive distortions remind one of what it takes to make fine art. She incorporates classic literary influences; mermaids, unicorns and Biblical references. Ruminating in her later eremite life, she took immense pleasure exploring variations on themes, the work becomes more lustrous and valuable.
Much of Suzie’s sum and substance was displayed at The Customs House Museum one woman show “A Remarkable Retrospective”. Many of Key West’s most prestigious collections include Suzie DePoo’s work. Her large ceramic tile work graces the Monroe County Library, two exquisite examples of art in public places. She created originals for the Pier House when it first opened and also painted the piano for the bar. Other examples of her work include the entire ceiling, walls and doors of a near shore island, elegantly treated with color on wood.
Her classical training at Pratt prepared her for thirty years of textile design at Key West Handprints. During the years when the Handprint factory produced fabulous serigraphic works with natural dyes on Sea Island Cotton, Suzie was selected to design intricate representational floral, landscape and seascape patterns reflecting the natural beauty of the Keys.
Though passing in 2011, Suzie's, works of art continue to weave a rich legacy into the fabric of Key West’s artistic archives. The Gallery on Greene is honored to represent this most exceptional of the artists of Key West.