Suddenly You’re Gone

I was in graduate school for Art Education at S.U. from January 1992 until December 1993. That’s when I decided I would be a professional artist.  Up until that time, I was either a student or…well, I don’t know what, a dabbler?  I was always an artist, but never really believed I was truly one until then, I guess.

I taught myself how to use oil paint and began peddling my paintings around town, getting restaurants and coffee shops to offer me one-month exhibits.  That led to a few articles about my work in the Syracuse New Times and The Post Standard newspapers, which gave me the confidence to continue to seek more ways to become a part of the local scene.

Around this time, I joined the Cultural Resources Council’s Visual Arts Committee.  I don’t remember how I found out about it – the paper?  Very likely.  There was no Facebook or cell phones back then.


I worked with Bill Delavan, Arlene Abend, Linda Bigness, Steve Joslyn, Bob Shenfeld, Joan Applebaum, Yolanda Tooley and Michael Moody.  I became the Chair of the committee at one point.  We were responsible for the juried exhibitions at the John Mulroy Civic Center in Syracuse, NY.  We would have monthly meetings to plan the shows, set up installation dates and art receptions.


I ended up dropping out of the committee for the typical reason – volunteering ends up taking its toll and you find yourself not having any time to pursue your own art while helping other artists achieve their dreams.  I remember introducing someone to the local art critic who then wrote a wonderful article about the kid in the following Sunday’s paper (lol, she’d never even mentioned me in an article – I was lumped in like the Professor and Maryanne in the original Gilligan’s Island sitcom song.)


The benefit, of course, was that my colleagues became life-long friends.  Yolanda passed away a couple years ago.  Today I found out that Michael Moody has died.


I just saw him last month at the Edgewood Art Gallery art opening and before that at his booth at Plowshares at Nottingham High School and before that it was the Westcott Street Fair.  His set-up at Westcott was right in front of the mural he created by the fork in the road with Beech Street.


Michael displayed his artwork at the Chittenango Middle School library not too long ago, which included giving a talk to my students, discussing his favorite pieces, his joy in creating art and living life as an artist.

michael at CMS

Our last conversations were full of mutual admiration society stuff, a lot of love yous,  laughter and hugs.  I thanked him again for the information about that art contest my student ended up winning and he thanked me back and said he was really glad that I pursued the contest and that we won it to boot.  He is/was an amazing person and artist.  I will miss his presence in our art community very, very muchy-much. <3


6 thoughts on “Suddenly You’re Gone”

  1. Great blog posting! My condolences on the passing of Michael Moody. I did not know him well, but I remember his positive and generous attitude towards anyone who created artwork.
    Your art students are fortunate to have you.

    1. Thanks, Domenico! Michael also gave me a bunch of Scrabble pieces once and I used only those pieces to create my DreamTime paintings. It was a challenge to create words for so many paintings but I managed to use all but 3 As and one B! I am still in shock that he is gone.

  2. Hey I’m his grandson Jaylen if you could reach out to me when you had the chance I️ have some questions about his work and how to get it preserved

    1. Hi Jaylen – Nice to know you! Have you considered doing a retrospective of his artwork somewhere? Like approach a gallery – Eye Studio, Edgewood Gallery or somewhere he has shown? I know he was a regular at Plowshares, the art and craft show they do at Nottingham High School in December. The Delavan Ctr. hosted a retrospective when Yolanda Tooley passed away and they may have sold everything. Another way to go is to approach museums, like the one at SU or the Everson. The people at the SU Art Gallery at Shaffer can help you with storage and preserving.

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