Statement from Richard Reyes-Gavilan Regarding the Passing of Luther "Lou" Stovall
It is with deep sadness that we mourn the passing of Luther "Lou" Stovall, a truly exceptional artist and a beloved member of our community. Lou's contributions to the arts scene in the District were significant, and his impact on the lives of those around him was immeasurable. I had the pleasure of meeting Lou, and he was an inspiration to me and so many others.
Lou's artwork reflected his passion for social justice, commitment to community service, and unparalleled artistic skill. His work was beautiful and meaningful, telling stories of struggle and triumph that resonated with all who saw them.
Stovall and his wife, Di, worked to make art accessible to all: making prints that people can afford, printing posters for political and social causes, enabling many other notable artists to make prints, and welcoming hundreds of student visitors to the studio.
The eye-catching community posters Stovall printed, both individually and in collaboration with Lloyd McNeill, were a familiar sight on the streets of D.C. during the late 1960s, and are also a vital part of our fourth floor permanent exhibit at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.
The display of Lou's artwork at the Cleveland Park Library, which the DC Public Library Foundation purchased with the support of Kristen and Scott Franklin, Martha Coven and Paul Frick, and Chris Cooper and Elizabeth Spratt Cooper, is a fitting tribute to his incredible talent and his lifelong dedication to making art accessible to all. I know that Lou was proud to see his work inspiring and engaging Library visitors, just as he inspired and engaged all of us who had the privilege of knowing him.
Although Lou is no longer with us, his legacy lives on through his art, community work, and the many lives he touched throughout his remarkable life. He will be deeply missed, but we are grateful for the time we had with him and the countless ways he made our world a better place.