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Artist June Kilgore (September 29, 1927-December 27, 2006) was born in Huntington. She was an abstract expressionist painter who spent 30 years as an art professor at Marshall University. She was one of the most influential West Virginia artists of the 20th century. Kilgore’s work, although not figurative, holds a strong sense of the spiritual and a very emotional communication. She was known also for her eloquence in talking about art. Kilgore is cited as an influence in the development of several accomplished artists in West Virginia, Dolly Hartman and Sally Romayne among them.

Kilgore’s work is part of prestigious collections, including those of Sen. Jay Rockefeller and the Federal University of Brazil. Hers was the first retrospective of a West Virginia artist’s work done by the Culture Center at the state capitol in Charleston. She had one-person exhibitions at galleries in Charleston and elsewhere, including the Pratt Institute in New York. She was honored with the Distinguished West Virginian award in 1995 by Governor Caperton. In 1997, Kilgore won one of the three $5,000 Governor’s Awards in the West Virginia Juried Exhibition. Her abstract acrylic painting, ‘‘Black Garden Stone for Meditation (With Guardians): Transcendence’’ also received the highest honor in the show, the D. Gene Jordon Memorial Award.

This Article was written by D. B. Shawver

Last Revised on July 20, 2023

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Shawver, D. B. "June Kilgore." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 20 July 2023. Web. 23 June 2024.


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