When MOCA Jacksonville decided to produce an audio guide to complement an exhibition on James Rosenquist's late prints, I was asked to engage John about a potential collaboration. Nearly a year into my role, our paths at the Museum or university had yet to pass, so I blindly emailed him about the project.
At first, he was hesitant and skeptical of this fairly new curator and beyond protective of his dear friend Mr. Rosenquist, describing his collaborative role with artists as a “lawyer-client privilege.” I echoed his sentiment, cherishing those relationships more than words can describe, and John went on to request “convincing.” I obliged in what would become a wonderful exchange of meetings and emails about everything and anything printmaking related. Shortly thereafter, I received an email from John with the subject line, “I feel better,” and from that point, it was nothing but full steam ahead.
When we finally met to discuss the project in person, I was nervous: I was going to meet with THE John Hutcheson, who had worked alongside THE James Rosenquist. As a curator, I probably couldn't have been anymore star-struck. Not knowing John and being overly cautious, I printed every possible document to share with him at our meeting-checklists, large images, descriptions, and floor plans-hoping, just hoping it would be enough convincing. His warm demeanor and smile immediately put me at ease; before me was a man with so much passion and experience yet so humble and ultimately generous. His infectious spirit set the tone for our meeting. (For example, he once referred to himself as a “worker-bee” in reference to his role in a print shop. A dogged printer, I always revere him as a master printer, not a bee, and believe others share my sentiment.) That afternoon, we toured the galleries, gushed over images, and squealed with excitement at the level of sophistication to produce the prints that would be on view in Time Zones.
John ultimately agreed to contribute his expertise about the technical side of printmaking, share the hows and whys of transferring image to paper, and produce audio tracks about specific works. He also kindly lent his ear (and mind) to me on countless occasions. When I inquired about why Rosenquist would use Mylar and lithographic tusche in some lithographs over others, John thoughtfully replied with a 794-word email with potential reasons; his energy and enthusiasm bounced off my screen. Thanks to him, I now know more about Mylar than I could ever imagine.
For me, the true joy occurred when we walked through Times Zones together during the members' preview. Anyone near us would overhear “ooos” or “ahhs,” as we'd point (but not touch) the actual objects within an arm's length away. Thank you, Mr. Hutcheson, for an irreplaceable experience and lasting memory very close to my heart. The pleasure will always be all mine.
It is hard to write something about a professor that will continually be an influence in my life and his students' lives. Professor John Hutcheson was more than a teacher to me, but a friend. There was never a time that I would pass his office and he wouldn't invite me to sit and catch up. He was the type of professor who never gave up on his students. Professor Hutcheson's love for art fueled him. He was filled with encouragement and a willingness to help. He always had his students' best interests at heart and genuinely wanted them to excel. For me, Professor Hutcheson was my professor, friend, and cheerleader. I can't remember a time when he wasn't smiling and encouraging me to pursue my goals. Professor Hutcheson would constantly challenge me to look at art and the gallery space in different ways. His kind disposition was contagious, and he will live on through the students who were lucky were enough to have the opportunity to be taught under him. Thank you, Professor Hutcheson. You will be missed.