By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE — Her artwork shines in collections worldwide, but her warm smile and generous spirit now remain just in the memories of those stunned to learn of the Feb. 12 death of artist Patricia Izzo, 72, of Wyandotte.
The Downriver painter and photographer, a resident artist of River’s Edge Gallery, 3024 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte, passed away at home surrounded by her family.
Izzo received a Bachelor of Science in Art Education and a Master of Arts degree in painting and photography from Northern Michigan University.
Her work, which has been shown in galleries worldwide, has received numerous awards, appeared in print publications, and was featured in the third “Harold and Kumar” movie.
To see Izzo’s work, go to izzophotography.com.
Jeremy Hansen, partner, director and curator at River’s Edge Gallery, said the art gallery will never be the same.
“Patty was a force for our Downriver community’s unique artistic culture,” he said. “I only hope that I am able to share with the world what an amazing powerhouse she was.”
Hansen said her uniquely styled work has found a home in collections worldwide.
“Those whom she influenced and mentored will now have to take on the task of making our world a better place, because the queen lioness is gone, and we must stay on task and fight for the cultural revolution.”
River’s Edge Gallery owner Patt Slack said Izzo was the heart of the gallery.
“Her studio on the third floor was always filled with beautiful works of art in all stages of the creative cycle,” she said. “Her motto, from Joan of Arc, was, ‘I am not afraid – I was born for this.’”
Slack said Izzo’s capacity to care was vast.
“Her truly dancing eyes and smile meant to share joy and take away the pain,” she said. “She was an empath, and could feel pain across the room. She would go sit with a stranger and just talk. If you think she loved you, she did.”
Slack said Izzo’s biannual show with Martine MacDonald will still be held in September.
“She will be so missed,” she said. “Only her art will give us solace.”
MacDonald said Izzo was one of her best friends.
“Pattie was kind and generous, and I was a better person and artist having had her as a friend,” she said. “Her bright light touched so many, and she had a big heart and an abundance of kindness. I already feel her loss deeply.”
Ted Varkas, a clinical social worker and therapist with the Henry Ford Cancer Institute in Brownstown Township, said Izzo taught art and brought hope and joy to cancer patients.
“The art will forever serve as a legacy to the inspiration she brought to her students, who faced cancer, and turned to art to cope,” he said.
Cancer survivor Caro Miranda said she met Izzo, who believed everyone was an artist, when she was in remission.
“Through her tutelage and encouragement, everyone was,” she said. “She donated her time and energy for years instructing cancer survivors to paint. I know Patty’s legacy will live on forever.”
Her niece, Rachel Louria, said Izzo was a special person who believed in magic and created it for everyone around her.
“She picked me up from school every Wednesday, in her yellow Mustang, and took us to get treats that our parents wouldn’t allow,” she said. “She made our birthdays a special event, and she was kind, generous, carefree and loving, and an incredible artist who captured so many beautiful moments.”
Her niece, Grace Ray, said Izzo was a special person and artist, whose light will continue to shine through her art.
“She was one of a kind, and had the most amazing heart,” she said.
Izzo was a past board member with the Downriver Council for the Arts, and was affiliated with the Michigan Friends of Photography, the Opportunity Center and the Guidance Center, the Scarab Club, the Women’s Caucus for the Arts at Rutgers University, the Feminist Art Project; Reckless Prophets, Detroit Focus Portfolio, Society for Woman in Erotic Art Today, and the Detroit Artists Market.
Visitation will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Feb. 17 and 2 to 8 p.m. Feb. 18 at Czopek Funeral Directors, 2157 Oak St., Wyandotte, with a 6:30 p.m. Feb. 18 scripture service.
She will be in-state 9:30 to 10 a.m. Feb 19 at Christ the Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 1540 Riverbank St., Lincoln Park, with a 10 a.m. funeral mass.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Arc Downriver to support Izzo’s work with children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Donations may be made to: Art at the Arc, 1028 Oak St., Wyandotte MI 48192.
To learn more, go to downriverarc.org.
Because of pandemic precautions, the family urges those wishing to share stories and to gather in Izzo’s memory to do so at the River’s Edge Gallery.
For more information, go to funeralhomesofmichigan.com/czopek/obituary/patricia-izzo-kulczycki.