Remembrances of Richard Kushinsky
We are posting peoples remembrances of Richard.
It is with a heavy heart that we share this news, the passing of a remarkable man, Richard Kushinsky. As you all know he was a pillar to the guild, serving as President, starting up the Print Club, serving as a board member and running the monthly Acoustic concerts. Richard was a kind, thoughtful, creative and extremely talented man. We will always have his spirit among us everywhere...Blessings on everyone at this sad time. Our heart felt prayers go out to his family, friends, and all who were touched by his kindness and generosity.
"I’ve known Richard and Ilona about 20 years. He would love to tell this story: Sid and I met Richard and Ilona at our neighbor’s house at a dinner party. The conversation was a “getting to know you “ mode, and Richard explained that he dabbled in art. I asked him had he ever been to the ArtistGuild, he knew nothing about it. He was astonished that he had lived in Toms River for so long and never knew it existed.He jokingly would tell Ilona that it was all my fault that he became such an integral part of the Guild and our artist community.
Richard was a very strong supporter of the arts and the Guild. He introduced the artists to encaustic painting, supported the concert series and initiated the print group, as well as serving on the Board.I will miss his friendship, his sense of humor and his presence at our Guild.Rest In Peace Richard"
"My friendship with Richard started and ended with the OCAG. My first impressions of Richard were in the context of his leading our Board of Trustees. was a strong leader-inviting wide participation and cutting off discussion when it became repetitive. Richard was devoted to the Concert Series which he organized and hosted so faithfully. The musicians were always delighted to accept Richard's invitations to play in our gallery. Richard always had the financial well-being of the guild in mind as he dispensed coffee and the packaged cookies he always brought. He was fond of saying "the coffee and cookies are free, but the OCAG is a non-profit organization and your contributions to the donation jar would be appreciated." Once a year the proceeds of the concert series would be donated to Harbor House. Richard was particularly pleased when the nights receipts were higher than usual. I count myself lucky to have known and worked with Richard!" Russ Whitman
The first thing that I was struck by on meeting him was Richard’s deep, resonant voice; he said that as a young man with dreams of acting, it helped land him the role of Tevye in a touring production of THE FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, which he reluctantly refused, choosing a more reliable and responsible path to support his prospective family, as a lawyer and eventually Ocean County judge. That early trait of character never changed; no one was more bedrock solid as a friend, nor more generous with his time, expertise and help if it was needed, nor giving of hospitality in his home.
He was also a man of honor and great integrity. I remember once making a disparaging remark about lawyers, I think from a Mark Twain reference; he called me on it immediately, and I backpedaled with an instant apology to him personally.
Richard’s teasing sense of humor could skewer us all, but it belied his great heart and underlying warmth, not only to his friends, but to humanity. He was as quick to forgive as he was to make amends if a barb hit a bit too deep.
Of course his talent and exploration of media in art was unbounded, and he enjoyed sharing all his insight and knowledge, encouraging others not only through constructive criticism, but often buying work that held promise. He believed in promoting all culture, and served as an example, volunteering to serve as the Guild’s President, as well as teaching classes, and organizing the Guild’s concerts. Our world is diminished by his passing. Katie Stacy