F&M Stories

Memorial Celebration: Bill Hutson's Life and Art

The Franklin & Marshall College community will celebrate the life and art of the late Bill Hutson at a memorial event to be held April 1 at 1 p.m. at the Winter Arts Visual Center.

An internationally respected painter, Hutson was the Jennie Brown Cook and Betsy Hess Cook distinguished artist-in-residence and associate professor emeritus in the Department of Art, Art History and Film at F&M.

Hutson was a professor of painting at F&M for more than 20 years. He passed away from a long illness Sept. 21, 2022.

Hutson's wide-ranging travels and long-standing relationships with other prominent contemporary artists informed his abstracted style, "giving the viewer an opportunity to contemplate a deeper interpretation of the paintings," said Lindsay Marino, director of the Phillips Museum of Art.

Hutson enjoyed more than 20 solo exhibitions as an artist, including a recent citywide exhibition in his hometown of San Marcos, Texas.

When previously asked if he regarded his art as "work," Hutson responded, "It's not work, it's more like prayer — not in a religious sense, but in a meditative sense. It's about the exploration that rises out of that meditation."

Coinciding with the memorial celebration is the exhibition Color, Symbols, and Texture: The Artwork of Bill Hutson, on display at the Phillips Museum through April 27. The exhibit is drawn from a generous gift of art bestowed by Hutson in 2010. Hutson also gifted his collection of the art of many significant African American artists and related materials amassed over 50 years, now housed at Shadek-Fackenthal Library.

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