Joseph A. Whalen (1927-2015), The Artist in the Men's Room, undated; watercolor, 11 x 14; Private Collection
Joe Whalen Passes Away, Leaves Legacy in the Lockport Union Sun & Journal
Saturday, December 19, 2015
Artist, teacher, friend, community advocate. Lockport's Joseph Whalen wore many hats throughout his life.
Serving as an educator for more than 30 years, Whalen shared his passion for art with generations of students. His drawings and paintings have inspired many.
So, Lockport is mourning Whalen, 87, who passed away Thursday at Niagara Hospice House after a long illness.
Whalen began drawing at around 8 years old as a way to pass the time while in the hospital with a bone disease. He began painting a few years later, turning a passion turned into a more than 75-year career. His paintings can be found on the walls of hundreds, if not thousands, of homes, galleries, offices and businesses throughout the world.
Some of his favorite paintings included "The Pool Player," the painting of a man playing pool at Walt Lillis' Pool Hall at Main and Market streets. He loved this painting so much that it hung on his living room wall. Another favorite was "Jenny Light," the painting of a woman asleep on her front porch with beer cans around her.
Friend and fellow Lockport artist Jack DiMaggio said Whalen was his mentor for many years.
"My heart aches for what will be lost to my community and to so many," he said. "Certainly he will live on and will never be forgotten by his family, friends and the thousands he has touched."
DiMaggio said Whalen meant more to him, "than I can say in words."
This past October, "Whalen: A Legacy," an exhibit of select works by the artist over a 75-year-period was held at the Market Street Art Studios.
More at www.lockportjournal.com