Community Foundation of North Louisiana has named painter Susan Duke as the 2020 winner of the G. Scott Griffin Award. The award, which features a cash prize of $1,000, is given annually to a local artist who has contributed to the community through his or her art while overcoming adversity. Susan was honored at a reception at Artspace on Thursday, September 10, 2020.
Susan is a talented visual artist whose oil paintings depict the beauty in everyday things. Her work has been referred to as “kinetic impressionism” because of the intense energy in which she paints. In her application, Susan shared that she has struggled with chronic illness since she was a child. In 2017, Susan was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer, which continues to impact her today. Her illness forced her to focus on the glimpses of beauty found in everyday moments. Like Scott, Susan is defined not by adversities, but by the beautiful art she creates. She is also a writer and is close to finishing a book!
The award is named in honor of G. Scott Griffin, who was a multi-disciplinary, multi-media artist with accomplishments in musical composition, instrumental performance, photography, and film. Because of these achievements, it was often unrecognized that Griffin overcame many adversities in the execution of his art. From his childhood, Griffin coped with a visual handicap, congenital nystagmus, which would have been reason for most talented artists to cease performing. Rather than giving up his artistic dreams, Griffin invited his audiences to join him on a journey of discovery and beauty that was possible through the lens of his camera and his varied canvases. His legendary music enchanted listeners because he played from the heart and not by sight.
Griffin died of complications related to cancer on October 7, 2007 at the age of 45. The Scott Griffin Fund was created at the Community Foundation to keep his memory alive and to honor those artists who approach their art and life with the same passion and persistence as Griffin.
Past recipients include: Cathy Cobb, Ian Quiet, Larry Taz Sanchez, Aaron Cox, Bertha Cooper Harris, Angelique Feaster-Evans, Poetic X, Carlos Colón, Buddy Flett, and Bobby Darrow.