In Memoriam: 2023 Obituaries in Glasstire

by Jessica Fuentes December 31, 2023

With 2024 on the horizon, we look back to reflect on the artists and cultural workers we’ve lost this year. In 2023, we said goodbye to significant people who left long-lasting and far-reaching legacies, including Jesse Treviño, James Harithas, Vernon Fisher, and Jesse Lott. Additionally, there are those who were lost all too soon, including Vinod Hopson and Aimee Cardoso.

Below is a chronological list of obituaries that have appeared in Glasstire in 2023, with excerpts from and links to the original articles.


A photograph of artist Jesse Treviño stands in front of his nine-story mural titled "The Spirit of Healing."

Artist Jesse Treviño stands in front of his nine-story mural titled “The Spirit of Healing” in 2016. Photo credit: Kathryn Boyd-Batstone / San Antonio Report

Jesse Treviño, 1946 – 2023
Jesse Treviño, the renowned San Antonio artist whose work centered Chicano icons and culture, died Monday, February 13, 2023 at the age of 76. Perhaps best known for his iconic La Veladora of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a three-dimensional mosaic at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Mr. Treviño has multiple murals throughout the city of San Antonio, and his work is in prominent collections across the United States.

A headshot of Vinod Hopson.

Vinod Hopson

Vinod Hopson, 1975 – 2023
Vinod Hopson, a Houston artist, storyteller, and cultural worker, died on February 28 at the age of 48. From 2001 to 2020 he managed the FotoFest’s communications and press. Artistically, Mr. Hopson is best known for his research and storytelling project, Those Who Desire, which highlighted people and places of color that have long been overshadowed by the predominantly white narratives and histories of Houston.


A photograph of museum director James Harithas.

James Harithas

James Harithas, 1932 – 2023
James “Jim” Harithas, the Houston-based artist, curator, patron, and museum director, died on Thursday, March 23, 2023 at the age of 90. Though he may be best known as the director of the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, which he founded with his wife Ann, Mr. Harithas held several curatorial and director positions throughout his lifetime.


A black and white photograph by Robert Shaw of Murray Smither, Laura Carpenter, and Virginia Gable on top of a moving van with a small crowd of people below.

Murray Smither, Laura Carpenter, and Virginia Gable (seated) with the staff of Delahunty Gallery, c. 1975. © Robert Shaw.

Murray Smither, 1937 – 2023
Murray E. Smither, a Dallas-based artist, gallerist, and art dealer, died on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at the age of 85. Throughout his lifetime, Mr. Smither left an incredible mark on the Texas arts community, helping found galleries and supporting regional artists.

A photograph of artist Woodrow Blagg.

Woodrow Blagg

Woodrow Blagg, 1946 – 2023
Woodrow Marshall Blagg, Jr., a Pennsylvania-based artist with deep connections to Fort Worth, Texas, died on Saturday, April 1, at the age of 76. Best known for his large-scale hyper-realistic graphite drawings depicting cowboy culture, Mr. Blagg was also an accomplished photographer and inspired his younger brothers, Daniel, Dennis, and Doug, to pursue the arts.

A black and white photograph of artist Vernon Fisher by Gay Block.

Gay Block, “Vernon Fisher, Fort Worth, Texas,” 1984, gelatin silver print, 13 7/8 x 11 inches. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Gift of the Texas Historical Foundation with support from a major grant from the DuPont Company and Conoco, its energy subsidiary, and assistance from the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Vernon Fisher, 1943 – 2023
Vernon Fisher, one of the most renowned contemporary artists in Texas and a longtime educator, died Sunday, April 23, at the age of 80. Beyond the exhibitions, collections, and accolades, and across generations, from students to peers to curators and more, Mr. Fisher leaves a tremendous legacy.

Read a personal recollection about Mr. Fisher by Matthew Bourbon.


A photograph of artistic married couple Emilia and Ilya Kabakov.

Emilia and Ilya Kabakov

Ilya Kabakov, 1933 – 2023
Ilya Kabakov, an ex-Soviet artist based in New York, known for his collaborative room-sized installations, died Saturday, May 27, 2023. In 1991, Mr. Kabakov met Donald Judd in Vienna. The following year, Mr. Judd invited Mr. and Mrs. Kabakov to visit Marfa. In 1993, Mr. Kabakov gifted School No. 6, a multi-room installation that fills an entire building, to the Chinati Foundation.


A photograph of businessman and art patron Seth Davidow.

Seth Davidow. Image courtesy of Site131.

Seth Davidow, 1965 – 2023
Seth Davidow, co-founder and Board President of SITE131 in Dallas, died Friday, June 16, 2023, from complications related to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). In 2015, Mr. Davidow combined his business savvy, passion for the arts, and love for family to co-founded SITE131 with his mother, an art curator and former director of the Arlington Museum of Art and Dallas Contemporary.


A photograph of artist Frank X. Tolbert 2.

Frank X. Tolbert 2. Photo by and courtesy of Ann Stautberg.

Frank X. Tolbert 2, 1945 – 2023
Frank X. Tolbert 2, a Texas artist known for his depictions of regional birds, died on Thursday, July 13, 2023 at the age of 77. Perhaps best known for his Texas Bird Project series, a decade-long project depicting native Texas birds, Mr. Tolbert’s artistic career stretched over 50 years.

A photograph of Jesse Lott at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art with his wire figure sculptures in the background.

Jesse Lott at The Station Museum of Contemporary Art, 2021. Photo: Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle.

Jesse Lott, 1943 – 2023
Jesse Lott, a Houston-based artist and mentor who co-founded Project Row Houses (PRH), died on Monday, July 24, 2023 at the age of 80. Known for his sculptures made from found materials and his devotion to community enrichment, Mr. Lott was a significant figure in the Houston arts scene and beyond.


A photograph of artist Wayne Gilbert in his home studio.

Wayne Gilbert in his home studio in 2022 in Houston. Photo credit: Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

Wayne Gilbert, 1946 – 2023
Wayne Gilbert, the Houston-based artist and owner of G Spot Contemporary gallery, died of cancer on Tuesday, August 17, 2023. In 1998, Mr. Gilbert began making art in the style that he is best known for today, which involves working with unclaimed human cremated remains. Beyond his own artistic practice, Mr. Gilbert was a significant part of the Houston art scene.

Read a personal remembrance of Wayne Gilbert by Brandon Zech.

A photograph of Lucas and Aimee Cardoso.

Lucas and Aimee Cardoso. Photo by Tyler Germaine.

Aimee Cardoso, 1990 – 2023
Aimee (West) Cardoso, one of the co-founders of Art Tooth and a North Texas artist, died, along with her husband, Lucas, in a car accident on Friday, August 25, 2023. In her initial role with Art Tooth, Mrs. Cardoso served as a curator and managed many of the administrative tasks. She served as the organization’s Executive Director from 2017 to 2020.


A black and white photograph of artist Robert Irwin.

Robert Irwin. Copyright: © Marvin Silver

Robert Irwin, 1928 – 2023
Robert Irwin, the renowned artist known for his site-specific installations, died due to heart failure on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, at the age of 95. Aside from his installations, Mr. Irwin’s most notable and visible projects might be the Getty Center Central Garden in Los Angeles and various projects for Dia:Beacon in Upstate New York.


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David Conn December 31, 2023 - 10:20

We also lost my good friend Joe Guy .

Gozo December 31, 2023 - 18:27

Robert Irwin’s Marfa installation of 2016, “untitled (dawn to dusk), stands out here in Texas. Other pieces/installations are scattered around the state. Anyone not familiar with Irwin’s work would do well to see the recent documentary, “Robert Irwin: A Desert of Pure Feeling,” is well worth viewing. Over the many decades, Irwin’s work increasingly focused on empower viewers to See. This effort can hardly be overstated in relation to how one interprets and interacts with non-representational art.

Jim Malone January 1, 2024 - 11:13

Well done except for the omission of Linda and Ed Blackburn. Both exceptional artists. This is especially disappointing as Glasstire did an announcement for Linda’s passing How this slipped through is strange and bewildering. Better next time

Jessica Fuentes January 2, 2024 - 09:01

Thank you for the comment and your support of the Blackburns. As Linda and Ed died in 2022, you can find both of them listed in our 2022 In Memoriam article. Here is a link:

David McGee January 1, 2024 - 13:00

So many wonderful souls,to my brothers Jesse, Frank, and Wayne
Let flights of angeles sing thee to thy rest.


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