Bea Kuhlke

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  • "I only knew Bea through her gorgeous, color-drenched..."
    - Laurie Cordaro
  • "I was shocked to have just learned about Bea's passing. She..."
    - Bill Lawless
  • "So sorry to hear of Bea's death; she was a gifted artist..."
    - Myrtie Cushman
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  • "Bea will be greatly missed in the art community. I am so..."
    - Marjorie Milne
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Bea Kuhlke
AIKEN, SC - Bea Kuhlke died peacefully at home in Aiken early Sunday morning, December 21, after a year-long battle with lung cancer, and complications from stroke. She was 73 years old.
Bea was a prolific and popular painter and art teacher in the CSRA, and leaves for the ages a rich legacy of paintings and inspired art students. Bea was born and raised in Augusta, Georgia. After graduating from Georgia Southern, she lived in Florence, Italy for two years studying art under European master Hans J. Staude. Upon her return to the U.S. she began her full-time art career, supporting herself and a series of beloved dogs, painting in her studio on Reynolds Street in Augusta, and for the last twelve years in her backyard studio building at her home in Aiken. Bea was on faculty at the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art in Augusta for 25 years, and has since conducted numerous workshops and seminars for serious painters in the CSRA.
Among artists and art appreciators, Bea's work is well-known for the richness and surprising combinations of colors she employs. Her subjects have always reflected her love of the beauty of life around her, as seen in her dazzling florals, provocative interiors, colorful landscapes, and almost magical dog portraits. Her love of life and unshakable integrity is reflected in the beauty and honesty of her artwork.
Bea was predeceased by her parents, Edmund Hill Kuhlke and Lilian Hook Kuhlke of Augusta, GA. She is survived by her husband of 12 years, J. Craig Chattin; two sisters - Caroline Tefft of Augusta, GA, and Agnes Holah of Eugene, OR; two step children - John Chattin of Pawcatuck, CT and Dianne Orton of Conway, SC; and four step grandchildren.
There are no visiting hours. A celebration of Bea's life will be held at her church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Augusta, at a date to be announced. Interment will be a private family affair. Donations in Bea's name, in lieu of flowers, will be welcomed at the SPCA or any animal shelter.
Expressions of sympathy may be left at
Funeral Home
South Carolina Cremation Society
138 Corley Mill Road
Lexington, SC 29072
(803) 594-0705
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Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star on Dec. 23, 2014