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Willard J. Sauter
Willard J. Sauter (American, 1912-2000) noted artist, teacher, designer and lecturer known for his landscapes paintings in oil and watercolor. He was born in Buffalo, NY, to John and Sophia Mohring Sauter and had two sisters; Cora and Ruth (Ryerse). He studied at the School of Fine Arts of the Albright Art Gallery School with Mildred C. Green (American, 1874-1951) and Florence Julia Bach (American, 1887-1978) and furthered his studies at the Buffalo State Teachers College (graduate) in Buffalo, the Art Institute of Buffalo, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, and the International School of Art in Massachusetts under Emmy Zweybruck (Austrian-American, 1890-1956), as well as with Paul Strisik in Jamaica.

He taught art for a total of 43 years; in Buffalo public schools from 1933-43 and 1946, as senior instructor for advertising at the Mohawk Valley Technical Institute (later known as the Mohawk Valley Community College (M.V.C.C.) in Utica, NY, and as the instructor of drawing at the Kirkland Art Center in Clinton, NY, from 1960-61. In addition, he also taught drawing for NBC WKTV television in Utica, NY. He was a member of the Buffalo Society of Artists and president of the BSA from 1942-44. In 1976 he retired from the M.V.C.C. as a Professor Emeritus. After retiring, he continued to teach art and watercolor classes at the Kirkland Art Center and maintained his studio in Clinton, NY. He was also the originator, organizer and one of the judges for the Downtown Utica outdoor art shows, Utica, NY.

Willard worked in different mediums such as; oil, water, gouache and casein (milk paint). His wife was Muriel P. Sauter and they had three children; John, Bruce, and Jeanne. Willard was a member and also taught Bible classes at the Zion Lutheran Church in Utica, NY. He also served for three years in the Army during WWII and was stationed in Italy and France, and was the staff Sergeant at Camp Barclay. The following is a lovely poem that was hand-written by Willard during his time while serving in WWII:

Oh I have seen the sun go down,
Upon a thousand sunny days,
And yet somehow - despite its blaze,
There is a touch of sadness in the sight,
That covers Earth with Evenings light,
When all the lovliness [sic] of day,
Has spent its charm and slipped away,
To flee forever to the west,
And with the sun to find no rest,
So shall it be when my last sun,
Its long descending course has run,
And when this dust is laid away,
In the warm earth where I have trod,
My restless spirit breaking free,
Shall soar above to walk with God.


-By W.J. Sauter


Chronology:

1912- July 23, born, to John and Sophia Morhing Sauter, and had two sisters; Cora and Ruth (Ryerse), Buffalo, NY.

1933-43- Exhibited at the Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY.

1940- Won prize, exhibition at Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY.

1940-45- Exhibited at the Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright-Knox Art Gallery), Buffalo, NY.

1941- Won prize, exhibition at Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY.

1942-43- Won the Silver Medal, Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY.

1942-44- Was President of the Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY.

1944- Exhibited, Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY. Won prize, exhibition at the Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1945- Exhibited, Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY.

1946- Won prize, exhibition at the Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Won prize, Exhibition at the Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY. Married Muriel Phillips who passed away in 1955.

c1946- Began working as senior instructor for the Advertising Design/Production Department at the Mohawk Valley Technical Institute (later known as the Mohawk Valley Community College (M.V.C.C.), Utica, NY.

1947- Won the Silver Medal, Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute Museum, Utica, NY. Won Cuppins Prize, Buffalo Society of Artists annual exhibition, Buffalo, NY.

1950- Exhibited, group show, Utica Art Club, the painting “Road in Winter”, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute Museum, Utica, NY.

1952- Won the Norman Hadley prize for the painting “Tired Old House”, Buffalo Society of Artists, Hotel Statler, Buffalo, NY. Won prize, exhibition at Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY.

1953- Exhibited, solo, 53 Western landscape paintings from Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming and other Western States, at the State University of New York Institute of Technology (SUI), Utica, NY.

1954- Exhibited, group show, Cooperstown Art Association’s 19th annual show at the Library building, painting “Out of Town Visitors” (second place), Cooperstown, NY.

1955- His wife Muriel P. Sauter died of cancer, Clinton, NY.

1958- Exhibited, and won prize, Sherburne Art Society, Sherburne, NY. Received the Special Gold Certificate, from Commerce Commissioner Edward T. Dickenson, New York State Department of Commerce, Albany, NY. Exhibited, group show, 15th annual art exhibit of Artists of Central New York, had painting purchased by the Institute “Valley of the Mohawk”, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute Museum, Utica, NY.

1960- Exhibited, and won the Galed Gesner award at the Outdoor Festival, and three first prizes, Mystic Art Association, Mystic, CT.

1961- Exhibited, and won the first and second prizes, Mystic Art Association, Mystic, CT.

1962- Exhibited, solo, Utica, NY. Exhibited two man show (with Henry R. DiSpirito), Utica Art Club, included in the exhibit was a sculpture portrait of Sauter by DiSpirito, and an oil portrait painting of DiSpirito by Sauter, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute Museum, Utica, NY.

1966- Completed a 24 foot high mural of Christ at the Zion Lutheran Church (member), which took Willard 3-1/2 years to paint, and was done as a memorial to his wife Muriel who died of cancer in 1955, Utica, NY. Won the Patrons prize and Gold Medal for the painting “Valley of the Mohawk”, Buffalo Society of Artists, Hotel Statler, Buffalo, NY.

1967- Was promoted to the rank of Full Professor at the Mohawk Valley Community College, Utica, NY.

1969- Painted oil paintings of the Stations of the Cross for the interior of St. Peter’s Church, North Utica, NY. Exhibited, group show, State University of New York “Convocation of the Arts Exhibition”, his painting “As the Crow Flies” was selected, Albany, NY.

1970- Exhibited, solo, watercolors and oil paintings, Rogers Conservation Center, Sherburne, NY. Exhibited, group show, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute Museum’s 33rd annual exhibition of Artist of Central New York, his “Study of a Tree” pencil sketch was included in the show, Utica, NY.

1971 Exhibited, solo exhibition for the United Artists, at the Horizon Hotel at the Oneida County Airport, oils and watercolors, December through February 1972, Oneida, NY. Was named Chairman of the faculty Committee to name three additional buildings on the Mohawk Valley Community College campus for the Silver Anniversary Commemoration in early spring, Utica, NY.

1974- Married Phyllis Thomas who passed in 1992.

1976- Retired from teaching at the Mohawk Valley Community College (M.V.C.C.) as a Professor Emeritus for more than 30 years, Utica, NY.

1982- Co founded the Central New York Watercolor Society (CNYWS) along with 13 other charter members from the central New York Region, and was its first president, Utica, NY.

1983- Exhibited, group show, Central New York Watercolor Society (CNYWS), Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute, Utica, NY.

1984- Exhibited, group show, Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute sidewalk art show 44th annual exhibit, his watercolor “Three Visitors”, Utica, NY.

1985- Exhibited, solo, Dodge-Pratt-Northam Art and Community Center, Boonville, NY. Exhibited, group show, Utica Art Club annual exhibition, in the art room of the Utica Public Library (Honorable Mention), Utica, NY. Exhibited, group show, The Kirkland Art Center’s 1985 Central New York Regional Art Show, 57 works representing 44 artists, Clinton, NY.

2000- Died, October 4th, at the age of 88 in the Katherine Lutheran Home of Western New York after an extended illness, services were held October 9th at the Zion Lutheran Church, New Hartford, NY, and he is buried in Woodside Cemetery, Belleville, NY.

Exhibited also at: The Adams Gallery (solo), Buffalo, NY; Artists of Central New York, Utica, NY; Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute, Utica, NY; Utica Art Club (prize), Utica, NY; Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany, NY; Clinton Artists Exhibition; Old Forge Exhibition, Old Forge, NY; New York State Fair; and Town Art Gallery, Rome, NY.

Memberships/Associations: The Central New York Watercolor Society (CNYWS) and its first president, Utica, NY; Buffalo Society of Artists (president from 1942-44), Buffalo, NY; The Buffalo Art Council, Buffalo, NY; The Mystic Art Association, Mystic, CT; Syracuse Art Association, Syracuse, NY; Utica Art Club, Utica, NY; Syracuse Artists, Syracuse, NY; Artists of the Upper Hudson; The Eastern Art Association; (Previous member) the District Luther League, Buffalo, NY; (Previous member) Concordia Lutheran Church and was superintendent of the Sunday School there for 10 years, Buffalo, NY; Zion Lutheran Church (member and teacher of Bible classes), Utica, NY; the Clinton Kiwanis Club, Clinton, NY, and the Boonville Kiwanis, Boonville, NY; and the Kirkland Art Center, Clinton, NY.

Honors, Awards & Prizes: Prizes 1940, 1941, 1946 & 1952, and the Silver Medal 1942, 1943 and 1947, Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY; Prize 1944 & 1946, exhibition at the Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; The Roy Mason Fellowship, 1948; Kronenberg Prize, 1949; Norman Hadley Prize 1952, Buffalo Society of Artists, for the painting “Tired Old House”, Hotel Statler; Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, 1955; Patrons prize and Gold Medal 1956, Buffalo Society of Artists, for the painting “Valley of the Mohawk”, Hotel Statler; Sherburne Art Society Prize, 1958; Galed Gestner Memorial Award; Outdoor Festival and three First Prizes (1960), First and Second Prizes, 1961, Mystic Art Association, Mystic, CT; Utica Art Club, Utica, NY; Roy Mason Prize, 1948; The Special Gold Certificate, 1958, from Commerce Commissioner Edward T. Dickenson, New York State Department of Commerce, Albany, NY; Honorable Mention, Utica Art Club annual exhibition (1985), in the art room of the Utica Public Library, Utica, NY.

Collections: Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, Christmas Card; Mohawk Valley Community College, Utica, NY; Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute, Utica, NY; YMCA, Buffalo, NY; Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Detroit, MI; Zion Evangelical Church, Utica, NY.

Murals: Mosaic mural at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Detroit, MI.

Lectures: “Color and You”; “Window Display from Idea to Sale”; “Advertising, Selecting Advertising Media”, in Rochester, NY, sponsored by the State Department of Commerce (Albany, NY). and “Chalk Talk”; “Adverstising: covering the selection of media and planning displays”, March 15th, 1963, among many others.

For possible additional information or images from this artist, please visit the AskArt link

(Rewritten & compiled chronologically by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY, meibohmfinearts.com, 11/2008 (Updated 08/2013), sources: A Special thank you to Joyce L. Maher, Administrative Assistant, and the staff at the Zion Lutheran Church, Clinton, NY, for their help with Willard J. Sauter’s death date and additional information regarding his service & burial place; And a special thank you to Dean Brownrout of 20th Century Finest, fine art and gallery space located at Michael Donnelly Interior Design, Buffalo, NY, for his help regarding Willard J. Sauter’s death date and additional information with the following 2 links: Zionluth.net, History of Zion page, and Communitas online, MVCC Faculty /Staff Newsletter (PDF), May 8th, 2006; The poem supplied by descendents of the artist; and numerous other sources too long to list here and are furnished upon request.)
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