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Frederick Spratt

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Frederick Spratt Artist and educator, passed away April 29, he was 80. Fred Spratt, with his late wife Keiko Mochizuki, was the premiere impresario of the South Bay Arts Community. Born 1927 in Iowa, he learned house painting at his Grandfather's elbow. And trained as a sign painter. By 1967, Fred Spratt was recognized as a significant artist. His work being shown that year at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. During the 1970's, he honed his vision among a group of Southern California painters and sculptors concerned with "high finish." Fred crafted large, flawless color fields. A retrospective of his work is on view now at San Jose Museum of Art. Frederick Spratt held a seat on the art faculty of San Jose State University from 1956 to 1989, including nine years as Department Chair. Upon retirement, he was Acting Dean of Arts and Humanities. In 1993 Fred and Keiko founded the "Frederick Spratt Gallery". Exhibiting Major artists including George Herms, Billy Al Bengston and Robert Graham. They also launched the careers of many up-and-coming Bay Area artists. After the death of his wife Keiko in 2003, Fred continued to mount important exhibitions at the gallery. But, by 2006, failing health precluded continuation of a full exhibition schedule. Fred returned to the studio, and began a series of new paintings based on a delicate crescent shape. Frederick Spratt is survived by his daughter Kris and sons, Mike and Shahn. A memorial service will be held June 14, at The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, 560 So. 1st St. San Jose, from 5 to 7PM. A potluck dinner to follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. For more information visit: www.FredSpratt.com
Published in San Jose Mercury News on June 1, 2008
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