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Gary Hughes, Cape Region sculptor

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Gary Hughes, 86, died at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Wednesday, July 6, 2016.

Gary was born in Columbia, S.C., April 6, 1930, to Gary L. Hughes and Rhoda English Hughes (later Brown) who moved to Baltimore, Md. a year later. Gary said that he started drawing before he started school. It was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with an art that would take him through a fascinating and diverse career.

Gary drew and cartooned his way through the Baltimore County (Dundalk and Catonsville) school system; he graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1952. He received a BFA.

His first professional work as an exhibits artist/designer and sculptor was interrupted by service in the Army (1952-54) after which he joined the animation staff of a film production company. As art director, Gary created and designed animated films for entertainment, education and industry.

In 1963 he started his own animation company, Film Studio Inc., later changed to Gary Hughes Inc., in Kensington, Md. He produced hundreds of animated sequences for a large variety of clients, among them, top ad agencies, the National Geographic Society, Smithsonian Institution, PBS and NBC. His creative work earned him many awards.

In addition to animating, cartooning and painting, sculpture was an interest that had persisted since childhood. Gary was drawn back to the medium in 1983 and began creating limited bronze editions of his work. Immediate acceptance in nationally competitive shows, and the acquisition of his bronzes by private art collectors reinforced his enthusiasm and commitment.

Recognized for originality, humor and quality of form, Gary Hughes' work is found in a number of collections from coast to coast and abroad, including the Rehoboth Art League, the San Diego Airport terminal, Coronado Island Lake, Columbia (Md.) Corporate Park (commissions) as well as hundreds of private and corporate collections. Since 1985 he had worked in his Maryland studio near Washington, DC. In 2013 he moved both residence and studio to Rehoboth where he had vacationed for much of his life.

Gary's creative talents and mechanical abilities led him to design, build and/or adapt furniture, houses, animation equipment, and fountains. He had an insatiable curiosity: he loved music - especially classical and jazz, he biked and walked around Washington, D.C. and the Eastern Shore. A camera collector and prolific photographer, Gary took thousands of photographs in his travels around the United States, Central America and Europe.

Gary loved people; he made friends easily and kept them. Buddies from his childhood, school, collage, work, the beach, neighborhoods and extended family remained close throughout his life, including his former wife Mary Elliot Hughes, and he kept making new ones until his death. They will miss Gary's enormous sense of humor and humanity. He loved to laugh, tell stories and jokes. Everyone has at least one "Gary story."

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, historian Ellen Roney Hughes of Rehoboth Beach; and his sister Jane Hughes of Timonium, Md. His indomitable spirit lives on in his beloved sons Jeffrey Hughes (Dorothy) and Chris Hughes; an "adopted" son Chris Adams; and his seven grandchildren: Devin, Garrett (Kelsey), Trevor (Stephanie), Kyle (Amanda), Garland, Judah, and Patrick; and two great-grandchildren, Eliza and Levi.

Donations can be made in his name to the Rehoboth Art League, 12 Dodds Lane, Rehoboth Beach, and to the Delaware Hospice, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, DE19963

All private services are being handled by Parsell Funeral Homes and Crematorium, Lewes.

Copyright 2016 Cape Gazette, Lewes, Delaware. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: July 15, 2016

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