Homer Hacker (1917-2013)

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Homer and Lydia

The Ohio Watercolor Society is pleased to honor Homer Hacker as the recipient of the OWS Jim Brower Lifetime Achievement Award. Homer—or Hack, as many know him—has been described as a Dayton treasure. He is one of Ohio’s most beloved artists and has been an integral part of the growth and success of the Ohio Watercolor Society including creation and support of the Hodnett-Hacker Memorial High School Scholarship. Homer has served in many board positions including president of the organization from 1988 to 1990.

As a young man in Dayton, he studied at the former art school of the Dayton Art Institute on Saturday mornings. Later he earned a degree in art from Ohio University. “It was the Great Depression and I was sure to get the degree in commercial art so I could make a living,” said Hacker, who spent the next 20 years at the Dayton Daily News rising to the position of chief photographer. This career was followed by 21 years as creative director at Top Value Stamps.

Though he never had the opportunity to meet Rockwell, he did get to know much about him during the nine years that Rockwell illustrated covers for Top Value Stamps. “By that time I was married to my Lydia and we had three sons,” Hacker said. “In 1980, I retired from the corporate world and began painting seriously.”

His watercolors, mainly portraits and landscapes, prompted about 30 one-man shows in principal cities throughout the United States coupled with workshops. Closer to home, he held workshops at studios in Middletown, Cleveland and Columbus.
He was a co-founder of Art Center Dayton in the 1940s and helped establish Kettering’s Rosewood Gallery in the 1970s. He received the Montgomery County Cultural District’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008; and was honored with the prestigious Elizabeth Callan medal in 2009 at the American Watercolor Society International Exhibition. Homer’s talent was inherited from his father, the late Owen Hacker, a designer of labels and seals for a Dayton company. All three of Homer Hacker’s sons are pursuing careers demanding artistic creativity.

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