LOUIS B. SLOAN, a prize-winning landscape painter whose work hangs in prestigious galleries and many private homes, is also remembered as a nurturing teacher at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
"In his quiet voice, he nurtured young artists as if they were buds about to bloom," said Kitty Caparella, a Daily News reporter and former student.
"He taught them to see, develop the skills to paint and showed them how to clean their brushes. He made sure poor students had supplies, took students on painting trips to the Catskills and elsewhere and continued to be a friend, long after graduation."
Lou Sloan, painting instructor at the Academy from 1963 to his retirement in 1997, a conservator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for 18 years and a recipient of many honors for his work, died of a heart attack Oct. 15. He was 75 and lived in the Northeast.
"He was a great painter and a great human being," said Elizabeth Osbourne, a painter and Academy teacher for 40 years. "He was inspirational. He gave to everyone, his students and colleagues.
"He was also very approachable and very modest, not affected in any way. He had a wonderful balance of being a talented artist and giving to other people."
Al Gury, chairman of the Academy's painting department, said Lou was a "gentleman, in the traditional sense. He was kind; he cared about his students, and was extremely loyal to his friends."
"He was a real mentor to so many," said Gury, who was one of Lou's students. "He was accessible. He liked people. He liked sitting and talking to young students who came to his office."
Lou was the fifth of 13 children of Matthew and Anna Mae Sloan. He graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School and studied at the Fleisher Art School before winnin a four-year scholarship to the Academy from Philadelphia City Council in 1952.
He started painting as a child, but growing up in West Philadelphia in a family with 12 siblings, Lou once said, was challenging. He would paint in the kitchen or at night when things got quiet before he was able to open his own studio.
A teacher at Alexander Wilson Elementary School gave him his first set of oils.
"That set of oils was what really shaped my life, directed it into art," he once said.
Among artists who mentored him was the late Julius Block, a teacher at the Academy and a painter celebrated for his portraits of black people.
Block admired Lou's art when he was only 11 or 12, Lou once said, and urged him to study at the Academy.
Lou was particularly encouraging to black artists, and in 1975, helped set up "A Black Perspective on Art," an exhibition of works by black artists in New York City.
Lou received many honors in his career. In 2005, he was given the Academy's third annual Distinguished Alumni Award. Other honors included the Louis Comfort Tiffany grant, the Academy's Jennie Sesan Gold Medal, the Emily Lowe grant, the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and the James Van Der Zee Award from Philadelphia's Brandywine Workshop.
His paintings are in the permanent collections of the Pennsylvania Academy, the Museum of Art, Woodmere Art Museum and in numerous private collections.
In 1997, Felicity R. and Peter A. Benoliel established the Louis B. Sloan Landscape or Still Life Prize to honor him. It is awarded to an Academy student entering the third year who works primarily as a landscape or still-life painter.
Lou, who never married, is survived by seven brothers, Bueford, Carl, Ronald, James, John, Andrew and Warren, and two sisters, Roxy Haines and Barbara Sloan.