UPDATED: Celebration of life planned in memory of renowned OKC artist Michi Susan
UPDATED at 4:40 p.m. Nov. 9: After taking a close look at the trend of COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma, organizers have decided to reschedule the celebration of life for Michi Susan to her birthday, June 4, 2021, at Artspace at Untitled, 1 NE 3.
As previously reported, Susan, an internationally known artist and longtime Oklahoma City resident, died Sept. 25 at the age of 95.
"Michi was a gift to Oklahoma," said Joy Reed Belt, Susan's longtime friend and owner of the Paseo Arts District gallery JRB Art at the Elms. "She was forceful ... in conversation and animated. Still, she was a gentle spirit. And she brought a lot to the arts community here."
Susan was renowned for her mixed-media works layered with interesting textures, colors and life. She frequently incorporated small objects ranging from bits of string and squares of cloth to small Japanese coins, origami paper and other items that reflected her heritage.
Born and raised in Tokyo, she moved to Oklahoma City in 1978 and soon became a fixture in the Paseo Arts District as well as in the state arts community. She was especially known for encouraging young and emerging artists in their practice.
Susan was presented with The Governor’s Award at the 2010 Oklahoma Governor’s Arts Awards. The Governor’s Award recognizes individuals for longtime leadership and significant contributions to the arts across Oklahoma.
“A genuinely kind individual with a generous spirit, one of Michi’s greatest legacies as a person and as an artist is the investment she made in other artists across our state," said Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples in an email. "Through her contributions in others, Michi’s presence lives on, forever enshrined in the varied fabric of our state’s artistic voice.”
To read more of Susan's obituary, click here.
The celebration of life was originally planned for later this month. Susan's portrait and the 1,000 paper cranes made in her honor will continue to be on display at Artspace at Untitled. Currently, visits to the nonprofit downtown Oklahoma City gallery are by appointment only.
For more information on the celebration of life in her honor, call 405-815-9995.