John Sidney White

July 23, 1931January 29, 2023
Jack White left this earth forever on the night of January 28, 2023, at his home in Austin, Texas, with his wife Valerie and his daughter Gia by his side. He was 91 years old. Jack’s great passion in his life was his art. He not only created extraordinary fine art that is preserved in numerous private and public museums and collections throughout the United States, but in the homes of his many patrons in the USA, Canada and Greece. He will be remembered as a beloved and revered mentor of many young artists; as a dedicated teacher by students who took Mr. White’s art classes in public schools, in prisons or at the university level. He will be missed by his fellow artists, colleagues and friends. He was creating beautiful works of art until the end of his long and productive life. Jack was born near Raleigh, NC, to Alma and John White Sr. After completing his secondary education in segregated public schools he joined the United States Air Force and served honorably for four years. He earned a Bachelor’s degree at Morgan State University in Baltimore in 1958. He proudly remembered that his graduation speaker was the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King! His work life as a young public school art teacher started in upstate New York. While his two marriages there ended in divorces they brought him the joy of fatherhood, and eventually the love of two grandchildren. He will be sadly missed by his son Keith White and his beloved daughter Gia White and her son Emilio, all of California. In Syracuse, his long- time residence, he leaves behind his devoted son John C. White and his cherished granddaughter A.J.White; as well as innumerable friends, patrons and colleagues. Jack was the co-founder of the Community Folk Art Center where he was honored with the Augusta Savage Spirit Award in 2009 for his “pioneering work in the arts”. He taught at a number of institutions of higher education, including Syracuse University, Ohio State University, Cayuga Community College and the Empire College of the State University of New York (SUNY). Throughout his adult life he mentored prisoner artists and was revered by his students at the Auburn Correctional Facility. Jack spent the last third of his long life with Valerie Bauhofer, in a union that was based on love and passion, but also on mutual admiration and respect, and a shared love of adventure. Even though they never were rich, together they traveled to some of the great cities and museums of the world – Vienna, Budapest, Prague, London, Paris, Madrid and Barcelona, Stuttgart, Rome and Florence, Istanbul, Havana, Mexico City, Ottawa and Montreal. After Jack’s retirement in New York they spent five years in Athens, Greece, where Valerie worked, and where he taught college art classes. Because he did not have a studio there, he created mostly work on paper that were shown at Zygos Galleries in Athens. After they moved to Austin, TX, where he was warmly embraced by Valerie’s family and friends, he continued his work as an artist in his studio at the Austin Visual Arts Association, and exhibited in major venues in Austin, Houston and Dallas. While he will be remembered in the art world for his adventurous vision and his pioneering work, many more will recall the handsome tall Black man who was humble and modest, and who shared his gifts so generously. May he rest in peace. There will be a Celebration of Life at Sparky Park, 3701 Grooms Street in Austin on Friday, February 24, from 2 to 5 pm. On April 29 at 4 pm there will be a Celebration of Jack’s life, hosted by the Community Folk Art Center in Syracuse, NY.

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Saturday, April 29, 2023

Celebration of Life

4:00 pm

Community Folk Art Center

Syracuse, NY

Past Services

Friday, February 24, 2023

Celebration of Life