James Powell Hendricks (1938 - 2017)

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  • "Really sorry to hear this news about an old friend ~ Jim..."
    - Lucia Russom
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FLORENCE – James Powell Hendricks, of Florence Road, died Wednesday, July 26, 2017, after a short illness.

James was born August 7, 1938, in Little Rock, Arkansas, to Christia (Powell) and Leland Hendricks.  He graduated from Little Rock Central High School (1956) and continued his education with a bachelors degree from the University of Arkansas (1963) and an Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa (1964).

James retired Professor Emeritus, having taught fine art at University of Massachusetts Amherst for 39 years (from 1965 to 2004).  Prior, he taught art at Mount Holyoke College and the University of Iowa.

Aside from his career as a professor, James was a prolific painter and sculptor who exhibited his work internationally (including England, Macedonia, South Korea, Columbia, and Japan) and throughout the United States (including New York City).  A collection of his early Photo-realist Moon paintings was included in a group exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian in 1969 and the National Gallery in 1970. Time Magazine photographed one of his paintings for the cover of the August 9, 1971, issue.  Shortly thereafter, James left Photo-realism for a more personally expressive style in Abstract Expressionism and Color Field Painting.  He continued in that vein until the last day in his studio.  He is perhaps best known for his very large and colorful, acrylic on canvas, abstract paintings.  His vitae includes an extensive list of museums, art centers, galleries, colleges and universities, commissions and projects, public and private collections, and a comprehensive bibliography.   

James leaves his wife of 18 years Leslie Cernak; his daughters Elizabeth and Valerie; his step-daughter Lochlyn Cernak-Mitchell; his cherished granddaughter Rebecca; several sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews; and many great friends.  He was predeceased by his sister Mary Lee Conatser.

A Celebration of Life will be held at James's studio and residence October 14,  at noon.  Friends are welcome to attend.  For directions / further information, please email:  [email protected].

Mitchell Funeral Home in Easthampton is handling the arrangements.  Visit their website at www.mitchellcofuneralhome.com.

To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to legacy.com/obituaries/gazettenet.
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Mitchell Funeral Home
15 Park Street
Easthampton, MA 01027
(413) 527-0872
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Aug. 9, 2017
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