Yesterday I learned of the passing of one of the great leaders of the art community in Jacksonville, Hamish MacEwan. Hamish was born in Scotland, eventually coming to the US and earning a Masters of Art degree from Harvard University. His career brought him to Jacksonville and though he gained notoriety as the head of the arts department at Episcopal High School in Jacksonville and producer of cultural programs for Jacksonville’s local PBS Station. It is in his paintings and personal relationships that Hamish’s real legacy is found.
I can still vividly remember my first encounter with Hamish. I had only been working at Fogle Fine Art for a short time, when Hamish came into the gallery on Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville. I had, of course, already been familiar with his work from living in Jacksonville and working for SuperStock, who handled the licensing of much of his artwork.
He came into the gallery looking like a character from a Rosamunde Pilcher novel, dressed in cordoruoys, tweed jacket ( complete with elbow patches! ) and hat. His voice had that beautiful Scottish lilt and he was the epitome of a Scottish gentleman. I always remember his hankerchiefs, because they reminded me of my own grandfather, also an old-school hankerchief user.
Hamish was a prolific artist, painting every day even into his 90’s. In 2009, Fogle joined forces with MOCA Jax to do a retrospective of his work the year Hamish turned 90 years old, “90 in “09” showcased the artistic journey of this remarkable artist. I was fortunate to give Hamish a ride home after the opening at the gallery. He was blown away by all the attention and so appreciative and humbled by this celebration of his life of work.
After I dropped Hamish off that night, I watched him amble along the sidewalk to his apartment, leaning on his cane. I pictured him the next day, same as always, painting in his studio. I like to think that he is still painting.
Goodbye, Hamish. Thank you for the creative legacy you have left us all.
All images via Fogle Fine Art.