Jon Onye Lockard died in March at age 83, but he left his beloved Washtenaw Community College and his former students a remarkable visual legacy and a vast wealth of knowledge.
Lockard, an instructor in the Humanities, Social and Behavioral Studies department for 40 years, contributed life drawings and portraitures that are seen and admired by hundreds of students, faculty, staff and visitors every day. He taught Life Drawing and African American Art and Culture.
All you have to do is take a stroll around campus to see that his legacy continues through his beautiful, one-of-a-kind portraits. The Detroit native’s signature black and white charcoal paintings grace the walls of several buildings across campus. His talent is also on display in the Business Education building – a colorful mural that honors and celebrates the life of another legendary faculty member, Dr. Morris Lawrence Jr.
As the former president and lifelong member of the National Conference of Artists, Lockard’s work was exhibited nationally and internationally. Adding to his already-impressive career, he served on the committee that designed the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.
His influence touched hundreds of students and faculty as well. “He was one of the best artists in the world, but he was much, much more,” said John E. Lawrence, the recently retired chair of the WCC Performing Arts department. “He was a scholar, a humanitarian, and my friend. Jon taught me many life lessons that made me the man I am today.”
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