John Wesley Hardrick
“Stream in Winter”
Oil on board; 8 x 10 inches
Signed lower left
A proud Indiana artist his entire life, John Wesley Hardrick emerged on the art scene as a near-prodigy, drawing by the age of 6, doing watercolors at 8, and exhibiting some of his work at the age of 13. One of his teachers at Harriet Beecher Stowe School was so impressed with his work that she showed it to local arts patron Herman Lieber, owner of an art supply store, who saw to it that John attended children’s art classes at the John Herron School of Art. While attending Emmerich Manual Training High School, he was a student of Otto Stark (1859-1926), and in 1910, he began attending regular classes at Herron, where he studied under William Forsyth (1854-1935). In 1914 he married Georgia Ann Howard and held his first exhibition.
Hardrick continued to receive community support. One of his paintings, Little Brown Girl, which was given to the Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis for its permanent collection. The Allen Chapel Church in Indianapolis commissioned him to paint a large painting of Christ and the Samaritan Woman in 1928. Four of his paintings were selected for the Second Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art in San Diego. Its catalog read: “In spite of acute poverty, this young man has the faculty of discerning beauty in everything, being able to face all his adversities with a smile that conceals the feeling within, at the same time he possesses a personality which strangely draws people to him.”