"Susan was such a positive force in the arts community," said Linn Lane, director of WomanKraft. "She's done a lot for many local people, especially artists, including writers and musicians." She was also a volunteer with Meals-on-Wheels and a benefactor of many other local charities.
When WomanKraft was evicted from its space at the southeast corner of Congress and Sixth in 1991, Chambers-McGregor helped the group buy a dilapidated old Queen Ann house on Stone Avenue. The members renovated it, and the gallery has been there ever since.
"She gave us a generous down payment for this building," Gayle Swanbeck, director of exhibits, said. "It would have been almost impossible, without her, to buy it.... She was a wonderful person."
She traveled to Japan every year to study, and created fabric designs in the Japanese style, Swanbeck said. A silk-screen artist and a painter of watercolors and oils, Chambers-McGregor exhibited frequently at the gallery. In 1995, two years before the death of her mother, the painter Freda Chambers, mother and daughter put on a joint exhibition at the gallery.
Right now, the gallery has another joint show, featuring the work of Chambers-McGregor and her husband, the photographer Art McGregor. The exhibition had long been planned, but Chambers-McGregor's unexpected death, from complications of surgery, prompted the gallery to change it into a memorial show.
Chambers-McGregor frequently made paintings based on photographs her husband took on their travels together, and one room contains these linked works. A second room is a retrospective of Chambers-McGregor's silk screens and other paintings.
"The travel show is an opportunity for the community she served so well to honor her memory in a meaningful way," said Lane.
The Susan Chambers-McGregor Memorial Exhibit continues through Saturday, October 30, at WomanKraft, 388 S. Stone Ave. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Call 629-9976 for more information.