Everyone’s friend and neighbor, Robert Guthrie, died suddenly on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. His friends called him “Speedy”. He was known for his fun loving personality and generosity. Robert Guthrie will live on in the hearts of many.
Obituary below published in the Times Picayune from March 3 through 5, 2014
Robert William Guthrie New Orleans has lost one of its finest, most beloved artists. Robert William Guthrie passed away at the age of 56 at his home near Bayou St. John. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and moved with his family to Louisiana in 1966, first to Baton Rouge, and to New Orleans in 1973. Robert graduated from LA Tech University with a Bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Making good use of his training, he proceeded with his vision of making a career in art. After graduation he moved to San Luis Potosi, Mexico, where he started a poster and print-making business. He taught serigraph printing at the Bellas Artes Institute there. Robert’s life in Mexico lit a fire that remained with him, both in his art and in his personal life. His distinctive art has been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout the US, Mexico, the UK, and France.
In 1992 Robert was selected as the artist for the Official New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, as well as being selected for the New Orleans Carnaval Latino. In 1999 he was the official designer for Les Rendezvous D’Lerdre in Nantes, France. As a renowned graphic artist, he also was selected to design and print posters for the Crescent City Classic, Jesuit High School, as well as official proclamations for the city of New Orleans. Robert also designed a bas-relief mural now permanently installed at the Audubon Zoo.
Robert taught watercolor at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art, and was currently teaching painting classes at the JCC on St. Charles Ave. He successfully operated his own French Quarter gallery at 738 Royal St. until the building was sold. Robert effortlessly delved in polar opposites of art media, from the tediously slow process of silk screen printing, to the incredibly difficult and unforgiving water color. He made a difficult art look simple. His work included light, airy watercolors and bold prints mostly around New Orleans themes. His work is eagerly sought after and collected both in the United States and abroad.
Perhaps one of his biggest works of art was his new home. He purchased an old gas station and turned it into a work of art to live in. Robert, it must be noted, was a devoted Saints fan and long-time season ticket holder. He was preceded in death by his grandparents and by his father John William Guthrie. He is survived by his beloved son Patrick Guthrie, longtime partner Kathy Schorr and her daughter Georgia, his mother Martha Guthrie, his twin brother Byron Guthrie and son Benjamin Miles, and his brother John Guthrie and wife Margaret and children Byron and Sylvia. He is also survived by aunts, uncles and cousins in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Wisconsin. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the memorial service at Leitz-Eagan Funeral Home, 4747 Veterans Blvd, Metairie, LA, on Friday March 7th at 1:00 PM. Visitation begins at noon. There will be a reception immediately following services at his filling station home. The online guestbook is available at www.leitzeaganfuneralhome.com.