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In Celebration of Suzann Waggoner's Life

Lindsay Ainsworth | Published on 10/21/2023

Suzann had a way of turning even the most ordinary scenes into extraordinary works of art. Her strokes of genius graced the walls of galleries, the homes of admirers and the hearts of all who had the pleasure of witnessing her creativity in action. She had a beautiful handwriting and penned lovely notes instead of emails. She was a generous spirit with her art and resources. She served as archivist on the board of directors for Mid-Southern Watercolorists and is a Diamond Signature Member. She was accepted into seven of the Annual Juried Exhibitions and won four awards. She made contributions to our organization that will forever be unmatched. 

As a preschooler, Suzann Waggoner was drawing on lampshades, adding illustrations to books and regularly getting into trouble for doing so. Undeterred, she followed her passion for lines and colors and allowed it to flow from her hand. 

”The South Miami native attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, initially enrolling in home education classes to appease her traditional parents but changing her major to art at the end of the first year. When she called home to tell her parents, she could hear the disappointment 480 miles away. “My father said he would keep me enrolled but wouldn't pay for any art supplies.” Always resourceful, Waggoner noticed that art students were throwing away half-used sketchbooks and tubes of watercolors that weren't completely squeezed out, so she went “dumpster diving” for supplies. “That's how I became a watercolorist, because I couldn't find oil paints,” she laughed. Throughout her life she continued to create and to give. “If you are a painter, it’s a gift to you. Give it away every chance you have,” Waggoner said. “Donating your talent to a cause is essential." Suzann believed artists should leave this world having shared all the lessons of their craft. That she did. 

She was also a member of Conway League of Artists, and past president. Her artworks are represented in the archives, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. She was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Women in the Arts for the national society Daughters of the American Revolution. She was also represented by the Arkansas Arts Council, a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and has four paintings in its permanent collection through the competition Small Works on Paper.

Mid-Southern Watercolorists has lost a measure of gentility with Suzann’s death. May she Rest In Eternal Peace. 

The Suzann Waggoner Memorial Award will be given at the 54th Annual Juried Exhibition. You can give here

Exerpts of this obituary were taken from a 501 Life article written by Stephanie Brazile.

You may leave your condolences online here.

Suzann Waggoner