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In Memoriam – Denzil Hurley

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Submitted on July 1, 2021 - 2:59pm

The School of Art + Art History + Design is sad to announce the passing of Professor Emeritus Denzil Hurley on June 22, 2021. He taught at the University of Washington from 1994 to 2017.

Hurley was born in Barbados in 1949. He received his BFA from the Portland Museum Art School (Oregon) in 1975 and then earned his MFA at Yale University in 1979. Over the years, he received two NEA Fellowships in Painting; a Guggenheim Fellowship; a Pollock-Krasner Fellowship in Painting; a residency at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Norwalk, CT; a Juror’s Award in the Tacoma Art Museum’s 9th Northwest Biennial; and he was Old Dominion Fellow / Visual Arts, Princeton University. Hurley showed his work widely and had solo exhibitions at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the Weatherspoon Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, Burnett Miller Gallery in Los Angeles, and Canada in New York City. Canada will have another solo exhibition of his work in 2022. His work is owned by several institutions across the nation including The Brooklyn Museum, Library of Congress, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale Art Gallery, Portland Art Museum (Oregon), and Henry Art Gallery.

While accomplished as an artist, Hurley is best remembered by many as a teacher. He taught at Yale University, Scripps College, Claremont Graduate School, Hampshire College, and the UW, plus he was a visiting artist and critic at more than a dozen additional institutions. After his passing, numerous former students wrote testimonials on social media about the impact he had on their lives. Two representative examples come from Samantha Bates (BFA 2013) and Noah Simblist (MFA 1999). For those who want to share their condolences or memories with Hurley's family, please visit the inmemori page they have created.

We will share details for a local gathering in Hurley's memory when they are available. For those in New York City, Canada will have a gathering in his honor on Tuesday, July 6, 5–7pm.

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