Remembering Chris Horton (1936-2005)

Memorial Gathering at the Hartford Art School on June 26, 2005

Christopher N. Horton, emeritus professor of experimental studio at the Hartford Art School, died of leukemia on January 1, 2005. Known for his dedication to students and visual arts education, he retired in 1999 after 30 years at the Art School, and six years before that in the Suffield (CT) public school system.

In 1997, Chris received the University of Hartfordís Roy E. Larsen Award for Excellence in Teaching. In nominating him for this award, colleagues praised him for directing programs and developing innovative courses in both the undergraduate and graduate curricula of the Hartford Art School. In addition, he was instrumental in planning the All-University Curriculum, and he advised students in the University Scholars Program and the University-wide Undergraduate Research and Creativity Colloquium. He often represented the Art School on University committees.

A graduate of Amherst College with a major in psychology, Chris received a masterís degree from Wesleyan University (CT) and did postgraduate study at the Tyler School of Art in Rome. He served in intelligence in the U.S. Army in Korea. In 1969, he turned a former summer arts school in Massachusetts into the Cummington Community of the Arts, which he co-directed with his wife, Sherry, until 1972.

Interested in the social and cultural interaction of art and its context, Chris was invited frequently to lecture, serve as visiting artist, participate in panel discussions, and publish in a variety of forums. In 1990 he received a grant from the University of Rhode Island to create a 30- x 5-foot mural from topological maps showing the effect of rising temperatures on coastal sea levels in New England. Five of the panels are displayed here. Chrisís artóa diverse collection of abstract and realist drawing, painting, and sculptureóhas been exhibited throughout New England.

This retrospective exhibit was mounted by Chrisís son, Tobiah, with the expert assistance of colleagues and friends, Barbara DiOrio, Hiro Fukawa, and Peter McLean. The family thanks the Art School administration and staff for their cooperation, Greg Surman for technical support, and Dave Robbins and Natalie Moore for the invitation design. A scholarship in Chrisís name was established as an endowed fund with a generous gift from his childhood friend, John Tucker. Alumni, family, and friends continue to make contributions in honor of Chris to the future of education in the visual arts. We thank you.

Sherry Horton
June, 2005