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visual arts: Painter responds to mom's combat with Alzheimer's disorder with artwork

Nancy Gilson  |  For The Columbus Dispatch

towards the conclusion of the life of her mother, who became plagued by Alzheimer's sickness, Susanne Dotson all started painting scenes of flowers, particularly the roses her mother loved.

The Columbus artist, who started the homage to her mom at the start of 2020, referred to the acrylic artwork "just all started pouring out of me." On Dec. 20, at the age of 96, Harriet Keller intelligent — additionally a painter — died in her home in LaGrange, Ohio, within the northeastern a part of the state.

Dotson's colourful floral sequence is introduced in the brief North's Sarah Gormley Gallery. The reveal, which also can be seen on the gallery web page, is titled "are you able to inform Me Who i'm," one of the vital questions Dotson's mother would ask in her closing years.  

The art work are vivid with contrasting summer time hues. "Morning Roses" gifts light-yellow blooms towards a deep-aqua heritage. "He at all times Gave Her purple" showcases the pink roses that Dotson's father generally purchased for his spouse.

The massive "Weeping Roses," one of the vital art work that Harriet Keller shrewd saw before she died, masses faded-crimson roses on an aqua background. As in many of those artwork, the flora drip what appears like tears from their petals or stems.

"My mother adored roses, and she or he cherished crimson. She all the time dressed me in red and," Dotson said, laughing, "I hate purple … She idea this portray changed into beautiful."

As a younger college scholar, Dotson, now 76, studied art on the tuition of Akron, then went on to a career in company as an interior clothier and manufacturing representative. but throughout these years, she made time to paint. significant Ohioans might recognize her for her "farm and style" works, specifically whimsical photos of chickens, some wearing costume jewelry.

In 2017, Dotson sold her enterprise and began to attend graduate college in high-quality paintings at the Columbus college of paintings & Design, incomes her grasp's degree in 2019.

"i used to be the oldest adult there. Even the janitors have been younger," she observed.

for the reason that then, she's been portray full time.

Gallery proprietor Sarah Gormley visited Dotson's studio where she discovered Dotson's floral tributes to her mother. "My rule for my gallery is that I ought to love the works to be able to have them in a exhibit," she observed. Dotson's works passed her look at various.

The art work in "can you inform Me Who i am" don't seem to be sorrowful as one may expect given the catalyst of Alzheimer's; somewhat, they are bold and largely happy. In one of the art work, equivalent to "Scrambled concepts," Dotson has subtly included questions her mother would ask: "what is your identify?" "How lengthy have you ever lived here?"

"The last Flamingo" recollects two dozen of her mother's pals who socialized together as younger girls in LaGrange and referred to as themselves "The Flamingos." Dotson spoke of her mom, absolutely, was the last one.

The artist is not bound if she will be able to continue this collection, however she pointed out, "I still have two (artwork) on easels."

What she does be aware of is that the works have been made from love.

"I'm each grieving and celebrating my mother," she pointed out.

"are you able to tell Me Who i'm," artwork by using Susanne Dotson, continues via Jan. 31 at the Sarah Gormley Gallery, 988 N. excessive St. Hours: noon to five p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. visit


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