Artist June Kilgore died on December 27, 2006, at age 79. The Huntington native was an expressionist painter who spent 30 years as an art professor at Marshall University. Kilgore’s modern and abstract work evokes intense emotion and a sense of the spiritual.
An eloquent communicator, she had a significant influence on her students at Marshall and inspired many accomplished West Virginia artists, including Dolly Hartman and Sally Romayne.
Kilgore’s work can be found in a number of prestigious collections, including those of former Senator Jay Rockefeller and the Federal University of Brazil. She was the subject of the first artist retrospective at the Culture Center in Charleston and had one-person exhibits in Louisville and New York City.
In 1997, Kilgore won one of three Governor’s Awards in the West Virginia Juried Exhibition for her abstract painting “Black Garden Stone for Meditation (With Guardians),” which also received the show’s highest honor, the D. Gene Jordon Memorial Award. Two years later, she won another Governor’s Award.
June Kilgore is remembered today as one of West Virginia’s most influential artists of the 20th century.