Kenneth Marcus Hugh was born August 14, 1916. He started painting at the age of 5 and took private art lessons. He was sketching portraits and figures by the time he was twelve. He graduated from Charles F. Brush High School in 1935 and then attended The Cleveland School of Art on a scholarship, graduating in 1939. He attended both schools under the name Kenneth Marcus. He then pursued his dreams of painting portraits, watercolors and oils, printmaking and silk screen designs. He added Hugh back to his name after marrying fellow classmate, Mary Agnes Matousek, in 1941.
Hugh won awards in many juried shows including Cleveland May shows starting in the 1930’s, at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, the Fine Arts Association of Willoughby, Beck Center for the Arts, Cleveland Jr. Chamber of Commerce Art Show and the Cleveland Artists Guild. Other juried shows include the 33rd Traveling Exhibit of Water Colors by Cleveland Artists, the Cleveland May Show Artists Traveling Exhibit, the Cleveland Jewish Community Center, the Contemporary Arts Gallery in New York City (1947), the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Dayton Print Show.
He had many one man shows in local galleries and his work hangs in the corporate collections of B.P. America, Holland Hitch of New Jersey, Spencer Manufacturing, and Underwood Canneries of Boston, Massachusetts.
Hugh was interested in motion and color and the interaction of it. He has said, “I invite the eye to enjoy a tide pool of kaleidoscopic colors, the dynamic and tranquil faces of nature, as well as the vibrant and disquieting mood of the urban scene.” Helen Cullinan, former art critic for the Cleveland “Plain Dealer” once likened the “quick line and spontaneous distortions” of Hugh’s work to the spirit of Red Grooms, Stuart Davis and Reginald Marsh.
In his later years, Hugh exhibited his work at the Erie Art Museum in Pennsylvania, the Valley Art Center in Chagrin Falls, and Baycrafters in Bay Village until his death at the age of 94 on February 11, 2011.
(Hugh had four children and lived with his wife, Mary Agnes Matousek (also a 1939 graduate of The Cleveland School of Art) in South Euclid, Ohio for sixty-nine years.)
1939 graduate of Cleveland School of Art
Awards from juried shows:
Cleveland May Show – two Honorable Mentions in 1939 and 1944, also exhibited in 30’s, 40’s, 60’s and 1990.
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio – Honorable Mention in 1943 also exhibited in 1989,1992-1998.
Fine Arts Association of Willoughby third place 1982 and Honorable Mention 1986
Beck Center for the Arts, Lakewood 1981-1990 Honorable Mentions in 1988 and 1989.
Cleveland Jr. Chamber of Commerce art show First Place 1948
Cleveland Artists Guild – second place award
Other juried shows:
33rd Traveling Exhibit of Water Colors by Cleveland Artists (1960-61)
Cleveland May Show Artists Traveling Exhibit 1949 or 1960
Cleveland Jewish Community Center 1984-90
Contemporary Arts Gallery in New York City 1946 or 47
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Valley Art Center – Chagrin Falls, OH 1984
California Water Color Society
Dayton Print Show
1030 Gallery, Cleveland 1944 Wartime group show, 1947 or 48 and possibly other years
Erie Art Museum – annual spring show for many years until about 2009.
Bay Arts – Bay Village, OH
Trumbell Art Gallery – Warren , OH
Corporate collections that own his art:
B.P. America 1991
Holland Hitch – New Jersey 1986
Slabe Manufacturing – Willoughby, Ohio
Adelman Capital L.L.C.- Beachwood, Ohio
Spencer Manufacturing – Spencer, Ohio 1986
Underwood Canneries – Boston, MA
Thomas Stanton, Director of Squires, Sanders and Dempsey Law Firm 1992
Solo Shows and others:
Gallery V – Columbus, Ohio 1995
Evelyne Shaffer Gallery – Akron, Ohio 1992
Cain Park Gallery – Cleveland Heights, OH 1975/83/91
Ninth Street Studio – Cleveland, Ohio 1989
Cleveland Garden Center 1988
Holden Arboretum – Kirtland, OH 1987
Ashtabula Fine Arts Center 1987
Fairmount Center For the Arts – Novelty, OH 1986
Woman’s City Club – Cleveland, OH 1948 & 1983
Cuyahoga County Library, Mayfield Hts. Branch
Chagrin Falls Little Theatre – 1983
Valley Art Center – Chagrin Falls, OH
Visual Forum, Trinity Cathedral – Cleveland, OH
Bratenahl Invitational 1983-85
Pentagon Gallery (spring and winter) 1983-84
Harris-Stanton Gallery – Akron, OH
Circa 2000 Gallery – Woodmere, OH
Lawrence Churski Gallery – Bath, OH
Alumni Exhibit of CIA in 2000 and other years
Three Rivers Festival 2000 – Pittsburgh, PA
Walden Campfire Benefit 1989 – Aurora, OH
Spaces Gallery – Cleveland, OH
Zanesville Art Center – Zanesville, OH
Malvina Freedson Gallery – Lakewood, OH (now closed)\
Alan Gallery – Berea, OH (now closed)
Firelands Association for the Visual Arts – Oberlin, OH
Hugh assisted Carl Gaertner in teaching water color at the Cleveland School of Art in the summers of 1943 and 1944.
He taught life class and water color painting at the Jewish Community Center in the late 1930’s for the Council Educational Alliance.
Some of his instructors at the Cleveland School of Art were Glen Shaw, Rolf Stoll, Joseph Rogozin, Michael Rothenstein