Grigsby, Jefferson Eugene Jr., PhD,
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renowned artist and Professor Emeritus of Art Education at Arizona State University, passed away on Sunday, June 9, 2013, at the age of 94. He was a resident of Phoenix for 46 years. A painter and premier art educator, Grigsby's passion was teaching. He lectured and researched the links between Native American, African and African American art. Born on October 17, 1918, in Greensboro, NC, to the late Jefferson Eugene Grigsby, Sr., and the late Purry Dixon Grigsby, he was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 60 years, Thomasena, in 2008. A veteran of WWII, Dr. Grigsby served honorably under General George Patton. He earned degrees from Morehouse College (BA), Ohio State University (MA), and New York University (PhD). His remarkable career included: Founder and Chair of the Art Department at the segregated Carver High School (1946-1954) and Chair of the Art Department, Phoenix Union High School (1954-1966). Beginning in 1966, Dr. Grigsby served as professor in the School of Art at Arizona State University and remained in that capacity for 22 years. In 1977, he authored the book, "Art and Ethnics". A tireless advocate for community arts, Grigsby founded the Consortium of Black Organizations and Others for the Arts (COBA) and chaired the Artists of the Black Community/AZ. He served on the boards of the Phoenix OIC and as President of the Booker T. Washington Child Development Center until his death. In 1958, Grigsby was one of six American artists selected by the Museum of Modern Art to teach at the World's Fair in Brussels and in 1966, was awarded the National Gallery of Art's 25th Anniversary Medallion of Merit. He was a recipient of numerous other awards and commendations and his works can be seen in private and public collections around the world. Dr. Grigsby is survived by two sons, Eugene, III (Sharon) and Marshall (Harriet); a sister, Miriam Grigsby Bates; and a brother, Marvin, both of Charlotte, NC; four grandchildren: J Eugene "Jeff", IV, Jenna, Kimberly and Michelle; and two great grandchildren. The family encourages anyone wanting to learn more about Dr. Grigsby's remarkable career and legacy to visit www.eugenegrigsbyart.comA memorial service is being planned for October, 2013. Memorial contributions may be made to the Booker T. Washington Child Development Center.
Published in The Arizona Republic on June 16, 2013