August 11, 1959 ~ May 5, 2014
Lucy Barton Stovall, who died of brain cancer at age 54 on May 5, 2014, became a much-loved part of the Atlanta art community with rapidity in the final few years of her painfully abbreviated life. She became known as an exceptionally imaginative and meticulous book and exhibition-catalogue designer, but few of the artists and gallery owners who worked with her had any notion of the extent of her previous accomplishments as an artist and fine-craft-letterpress printer. Lucy arrived in Atlanta from Madison, Mississippi in 1984, already known as a creator of sensitively poetic linoleum- and woodcuts, which she printed in Stovall Press limited editions with descriptive text in handset type. She was continuing a tradition within her family; her grandfather, Dr. Raymond McLain, had established the nationally respected book arts program at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, and was proprietor of his own small press, the Hobby Horse. Lucy’s equally sensitive and meticulous creations in other artistic media, from prints to wood sculpture, were exhibited in gallery settings and at events presenting the electroacoustic music of her distinguished composer husband, Dick Robinson, with whom she recorded violin duets and whom she married in 2005. The brevity and infrequency of her exhibitions meant that many members of the Atlanta art community knew her only as an exceptionally talented worker in book arts, a genre in which she collaborated with Charlotte Mears in the final years of her life on the imprint of Sweet Air Press, which produced one book of Mears’ poetry and two broadsides of David Sanders’ poems. Lucy was successful in other fields of creativity that she regarded less seriously than their quality deserved. She was, in fact, so often concerned with service to others that she frequently relegated her own goals and artistic career to a secondary position in her life. Lucy was also tremendously funny, and a general spreader of joy as well as indefatigable supporter of the life and well-being of others. That quality will be greatly missed and mourned, quite apart from her professional talents as designer and artist. Lucy is survived by her husband, Richard Allan Robinson, her parents, Rosemary McLain Ware and James Reed Stovall, and siblings Holly McLain, James Stovall, and William Stovall. A memorial for Lucy will be observed at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center, where she and Dick Robinson celebrated their marriage ceremony. The Center is located at 1167 Zonolite Place, Suite C, Atlanta 30306.