Friday, November 5, 2010
Jim Hutchinson Florida Hall of Fame inductee for 2011
Florida's Hall of Fame is the highest and most prestigious honor bestowed by Florida Council
on Arts and Culture. It is a highly competitive award granted to one visual artist and one
recording artist per year.
Gallery on Greene artist James Hutchinson’s oil painting depicted here “East Wind”, 48” x 36” demonstates the consummate career of this outstanding artist. “During the windy season, The Trade Winds blow all day and night. The coconut fronds sound like a harp and play non-stop." Relates Jim, and he should know. Jim Hutchinson is probably best known for his talent to depict South Florida, Everglades landscapes, Florida Seminoles and Native American Indian tribes. But, his flowing brush always has captured much more. All styles are unique and all are captured forever by his individual strokes of genius. In 1950 Jim’s sister, Patsy, married Florida’s premier artist, A.E.”Bean”Backus and Bean welcomed Jim in his studio. Jim watched closely while Bean painted and saw first hand the self-discipline and patience needed to create a work of Art. Bean also encouraged Jim to study Art in college. He attended Palm Beach Junior College, then transferred to Florida State University. A year later the Korean War and a tour of duty in Guam interrupted his studies. After his discharge, Jim attended Art school in New York, spending his leisure time wandering through New York City’s wonderful Art museums, closely studying the brush strokes of the great masters. One evening friends suggested the Hutchinsons live and paint among Florida’s Seminoles before the Indians were assimilated into the white culture. They researched the idea and in April of 1960, with a letter of introduction to the Seminole Council from Dr. Wiliam Sturtevant, an Ethnologist with The Smithsonian, Jim stood before the Council to present their plan. Within hours, Jim and Joan were given written permission to camp on any Seminole reservation without a time restriction. In July of 1960 the twosome moved onto Brighton Seminole Reservation northwest of Lake Okeechobee and their adventure began. Seminole families, shy at first, accepted the couple and took interest in Jim’s work. Many of the paintings Jim completed in the first two years on Brighton appeared in Miami’s Channel 10 production on the Seminole tribe, called “Dawn to Dusk”. In the Fall of 1962, a patron funded the Hutchinsons return to Brighton for another two years. The completed paintings were selected to be displayed in the rotunda of the Florida Pavilion at the 1965 World’s Fair in New York City. From Dec. 1972, through 1978, with a five-year grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and matching funds from the public sector of South Florida, Jim produced fifty paintings depicting the History of the Seminoles. During this time, Governor Askew asked Jim to serve on his Council of Indian Affairs for the State of Florida. The completed Seminole History paintings are today an important part in Miami’s Historical Museum of Southern Florida’s permanent collection. The Gallery on Greene has represented Jim Hutchinson since 2003