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 Melvin Whitsett Carter  (1930 - 1998)

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Lived/Active: Colorado      Known for: abstract landscape painting, teaching

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Ad Code: 4
Melvin Whitsett Carter
from Auction House Records.
Colorado Landscape-View of Sangre de Christo III
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is the obituary of the artist, published in the Rocky Mountain News, January 22, 1998

Mel Carter, Denver artist, teacher and advocate for the arts

Mel Carter, who urged his colleagues to not forget the artist behind the art, died at home several days ago of what the coroner's office called natural causes. His body was found Tuesday by police after a neighbor notified them that he had not seen the artist in a few days. Mr. Carter was 67.

Those who worked and studied with Mel Carter remembered him as much for his tenacity as an arts advocate as for his artwork.

"He probably had the most effort on our students because of how much he cared for them as a person and as an artist," said Nancy Steinfurth, director of the Art Students League of Denver, where Mr. Carter had taught drawing since the League's beginning in 1987.

"He was the league's biggest cheerleader," she said, adding that a tribute to Mr. Carter, including his work and that of others,would go on view in March in the league's lobby.

Mr. Carter also served on the Denver Mayor's Commission on Art, Culture, and Film. At the Jan 14 session, "he said our meetings were too dry," said commission chairman Henry Lowenstein. "He said we needed to bring more social graces to them. He was an excellent artist, and an imaginative and perceptive human being."

That human touched was at the heart of what he did, said Fabby Hilliard, Director of the Office of Art, Culture and Film. "He helped keep it focused on artist, the product, that there are people who do these things," she said. He humanized all of it."

"More than being a phenomenal artist, he was an amazing teacher" said Wendy Foster, an owner of Abend Gallery, where his paintings often appeared in group shows. "He gave so much."

He exhibited widely, including a show in 1996 of watercolors that focused on friends and models who had died of AIDS.

Mr. Carter who moved to Denver in 1940s also had taught at the Community College of Denver, was a judge for the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, and had received a Fulbright Scholarship. He received his bachelor of fine arts degree in art education from the University of Illinios and his master of fine art in painting from the University of Guanajuato of Mexico.

A memorial service is being considered, but nothing yet has been scheduled, said Bob Kyle, a friend and representative of Mr. Carter's estate.

Kyle said contributions should be made to the Art Students League, where Mr. Carter had been on the Board.

Mr. Carter is survived by an aunt, Freda McGregor, and a cousin Nan Lloyd, both Chattanooga, Tenn.

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