Jo Ann Fanning Durham

Jo Ann Fanning Durham passed away on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.

Funeral: 10 a.m. Friday, June 8, 2018, at First United Methodist Church, Fort Worth.  A Celebration off Life reception will be held in Wesley Hall following the service.  Burial will be at Sulphur Springs City Cemetery. Visitation: 4-6 p.m. Thursday at Thompson’s Harveson & Cole Funeral Home.

Memorials:  First Street Mission Fund at First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth or the Sulphur Springs City Cemetery.

Jo Ann was born on May 31, 1935 in Sulphur Springs to Judge William Jeffress Fanning and Merle Jo Barrett Fanning.  At age 5, her grandmother, Callie Elizabeth Fanning, took her into the fields to paint bluebonnets and there began her great passion of  art and painting.  The family moved to Austin and during WW II lived in Chicago, Ill and Palo Alto, California.  Returning to Austin, her first exhibit with her fellow students was at the Austin Public Library in 1945.  Her first Girl Scout Badge was an artist palette.  She graduated from Sulphur Spring High School in in 1953. The family moved to Texarkana while she was attending college.  She attended Texas Women’s University, The University of Texas at Austin and graduated from Texas A& M – Commerce.  She lived in Dallas, Shreveport, Lubbock and Washington D.C before moving to Fort Worth.

She is in five Who’s Who in the United States and England and in Who’s Who in American Art.

Her work has been exhibited in the Belgium Grand Prix for seven years.  She was awarded an honorary doctorate in arts and an Ambassador from the International Academy for Arts in Belgium, along with other medals.   She has exhibited works in Parris, Francis in the Grand Palais in the Salon D’Automme, for two years, Society International Des Beaux Arts, for two years  and the US France Show .  She has exhibited works in the United Kingdom in the US Wales Show at the Cynon Valley Museum in Aberdare and in Cardiff at St. David’s Hall.

Her work has been exhibited and won Awards in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Washing D.C. and other major cities as well as Canada, Lebanon and West Africa.  Her work has been published in “American Artist”, “International Artist”, Manhattan Arts”, Women Artist Datebook”, Women Artist International” and in books Creative Watercolor, Art and Healing, Visual Journeys, Art of the 21st Century, and Splash 8, a collection of America’s best contemporary watercolors and unique insights.  She was the recipient of four grants as an Artist in Residence with the Texas Commission of the Arts.

Two of her paintings are in the permanent collection of the Fort Worth Public Library Downtown.  Three of her paintings are in the permanent collection of the Woman’s Club.  Fifteen of her paintings are in the permanent collection of Texas A&M Tarleton.  Twenty of her paintings are in the collection of Texas A&M Commerce, and in the Sulphur Springs Library and FUMC in Sulphur Springs and Fort Worth.

She was a member of the Woman’s Club Art Department, Cadmean Club, History Club and Friday Lecture Club.  She was a past president of the Art Department of the Junior Woman’s Club.  She was a past president and Regional Director the Texas Fine Arts Association and served as a member of the State Board.  She was a member of the National League of American Pen Women and served as president of the Fort Worth Branch and State President.  She was a past president of Gamma Phi Beta Alumnae and an office for Fort worth Panhellenic.  When she was president, Gamma Phi Beta gave the first public tour of the Scott Home in Jun 1975, which became “
Thistle Hill”.  She served on the Board of Stewards at FUMC.

She was a signature member of the International Society of Experimental Artists – Nautilus Fellowship and a past president and member of the advisory board.  She was a signature member fo the Society of Layerists in Multi Media, Society of Watercolor Artists, and Southwest Watercolor Society.  She was  a member of the Salmagundi Club in New York.

She was a member and past president of Francis Cook Van Zandt Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.  She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Mary Isham Keith Chapter.  She was a member of the Livingston Chapter of the Daughters of the American Colonists and the Tarrant Chapter of the Daughters of 1812.  She was awarded the NSDAR “Women in the Arts Recognition Award” for lifetime achievement in the visual arts.  She was a past member of the TCU Fine Arts Guild, Tarrant County Arts Alliance and one of the four founders of the Committee for an Artists Center. She started the art shows at the UNTHSC with the assistance of the late Dr. Charles Ogilvie in 1979.

She was a charter member of the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. where a file on her work is kept in the Library.  She was honored as a Distinguished Alumni of Texas A&M University Commerce for her art career.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, William E. Durham, son, John Lee Durham, and special friend, H.T. Priddy.

Survivors: Son, William F. Durham and wife, Charlotte Durham; sister, Jane F. Sullivan; brother, Dr. William J. Fanning and wife, Robyn; grandchildren, Johnathan N. Durham and Lauren V. Bostwick; and niece, Ellie Fanning.

Author: Staff Reporter

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