Most venerated and highly reclusive of the famed artists of Key West, Suzie Zuzek DePoo’s career has spanned many decades. Although she is best celebrated for her watercolors and ceramic tile creations, she also works in ancient, reclaimed driftwood, centuries old glass from Bottle Beach collected in the fifties, wire and just about anything that can be shaped or painted on.
In a word Suzie Zuzek de Poo is a classicist. She graduated from Pratt Institute and studied at the Art Student’s League in NYC after serving in WWII. Her work, monochromatic or vivid in color, defined the expressive distortions and reminded one of what it takes to make fine art. She incorporated classic literary influences; mermaids, unicorns and Biblical references. In her later eremite life, she took immense pleasure exploring variations on themes. Well into her ninth decade the work became more lustrous and valuable.
Many of Key West’s most prestigious collections include Suzie Zuzek de Poo’s work. Her large ceramic tile work graces the Monroe County Library, two exquisite examples of art in public places. She created originals for the Pier House when it first opened and also painted the piano for the bar. Other examples of her work include the entire ceiling, walls and doors of the fabled Ballast Key, elegantly treated with color on wood.
Her classical training at Pratt prepared her for thirty years of textile design for Lilly Pulitzer at Key West Handprints. During the years when the Handprint factory produced fabulous serigraphic works with natural dyes on Sea Island Cotton, Suzie was selected to design intricate representational floral, landscape and seascape patterns reflecting the natural beauty of the Florida Keys.
Suzie Zuzek de Poo, continued to weave a rich legacy into the fabric of Key West’s artistic archives until her 90th birthday.