This exhibition celebrates the Sheppard family's recent gift of artwork to OCAC
A self-described Artist/Teacher/Designer Linda Moore-Sheppard received a B.F.A. Drawing and Graphic Design from the University of Omaha, and M.A. in Surface Design from Miami University after also pursuing graduate studies in Drawing at Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska and in Fibers and Drawing, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Drawing was the initial focus of the artist, and as Linda wrote in her personal statement 20 Years of Self-Portraits (1987): it “remained the conduit to my creative energies. I felt freer to express abstract ideas in fabric, but when the ideas stopped flowing, I knew I should return to drawing to reconnect the circuits.”
A collection of Linda Moore-Sheppard’s textile designs was exhibited at the 1987 Textile Institute Annual World Conference in Como, Italy, as a finalist in the Focus on International Young Designers Competition. Her fiber art was shown in twenty-four separate venues, most invited or nationally juried exhibitions over the years 1977 through 1994 (her last year of professional record keeping).
Born in Cheyenne, Wyoming Moore-Sheppard spent the majority of her adult life in the Oxford area while raising two children, Susanna and Zachary, with her husband, Jim. During that time, Linda was a visiting instructor at Miami University teaching Fiber Arts, Fabric Design, Photo Imagery on Alternative Surfaces, and Photo Imagery & Embellishment on Fabric. She was a contributor to the community by her dedicated teaching of art at the McGuffey Foundation School; she was a vocal supporter of locally owned businesses and a participant in the organization Birth and Family Network. She produced artworks for the Fitton Arts Center in Hamilton, and for the Oxford Branch of the Lane Library, then located at the corner of Walnut and So. College Avenue.
In the latter part of her life, the artist's energies shifted clearly to a spiritual realm: the contemplation of life cycles and a faith in a feminine life-force she named the "Goddess." Works like Self-Portrait (1990, collage), The Stone Woman (hanging quilt, 1990) and Untitled (hanging quilt, 1990’s, female figure on a celestial spiral) reflect this spiritual perspective and development of a mystical feminism. In the artist’s own words from 1987, “In my artwork I want to strive toward the ideals quoted by Judy Chicago from Anais Nin's Second Diary, to create ...without megalomania, without schizophrenia, without madness..." but, "rather to be the closest to the life flow."
Linda Moore Sheppard described herself early on as an "optimistic realist" affirming her humanistic core but recognizing the de-humanizing influences in the world. She was vocal in her opinions. Late in life, she identified as a "fellow traveler" (having like values) with the Quaker Women's group. On her 58th birthday September 13, 2002, she was hospitalized for a stroke and passed away five days later on September 18, 2002.