Renowned Artist/ Sculptor Donald Locke passes away
Outstanding Guyanese Artist/Sculptor, Donald Cuthbert Locke, passed away yesterday in the United States. He was 80.
Born in September 17, 1930 in Stewartville, West Coast Demerara, Locke began painting in 1947 under E.R. Burrowes, MBE, in the Working People’s Art Class in Georgetown.
He earned a Teacher’s Certificate in 1950 and contributed annually to Working People’s Art Class (WPAC) exhibitions. Locke served for a time as WPAC’s secretary, assisting in organising outdoor and traveling shows in Berbice.
In 1952, he won the WPAC’s First Prize Gold Medal Award for abstract painting The Happy Family.
Awarded a British Council Scholarship in 1954, he studied at Bath Academy of Art in Wiltshire, England. In 1959 he was awarded a Guyana Government Award to Edinburgh University, Scotland. Between 1964 and 1970, Locke was Art Master at Queen’s College.
In 1979 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Sculpture and went to the United States. He was artist-in-residence at Arizona State University for one year; he became a permanent resident in 1980.
During the following eleven years he spent in the Southwest, Locke was known for his figurative sculptures in bronze and for his series of articles on the contemporary art of the Southwest in Artspace magazine, for which he was Arizona’s correspondent.
In 1982 he was art critic for New Times, a weekly news and arts journal in Phoenix. His art criticism has also appeared in Arts Magazine.
He began painting again in 1989. He moved to Atlanta in 1990 and for five years was one of the resident studio artists at Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center. Locke was a member of the part-time faculty at Georgia State University and Atlanta College of Art.
He retired from teaching in 1996. For three years he wrote a weekly review for Creative Loafing, Atlanta and is a member of the Advisory Board of Art Papers.
Locke’s recent work, primarily sculpture, was influenced as much by native cultures and vernacular myth as by classical European tradition. His most recent body of work seamlessly fuses these elements, integrating influences of his various ancestries (Africa, Asia, European).
The management and staff of Kaieteur News extend sincerest condolences to his immediate family, other relatives and close friends.