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Jack Savitsky was a coal miner, with a sixth grade education who lived and mined in Lansford, Pennsylvania. In 1959 he contracted Black Lung disease. His son, Jack, reminded him that he enjoyed drawing and painting in his youth. Jack’s wife, Mary Lou, was an art teacher and supplied him with acrylics and other art supplies. Savitsky’s work came to the attention of Sterling Strauser, the self-effacing artist, collector and supporter of Self-Taught Artists. Strauser got recognition for Savitsky and he enjoyed fame in his lifetime.

After a time, Savitsky could no longer paint because of his debilitating illness and began to draw with colored pencils. Mary Lou supplied him with high quality paper which he used along side with cereal box tops and anything he could get his hands on.

Savitsky worked from memory, creating many coal mining scenes, but his vision went much further and he would experiment with varied images, from religious to imaginary. He worked on canvas, wood, rocks, etc. His works range in size from 4” x 4” to 4’ x 6’.
John “Jack” Savitsky (1910-1991)
Silver Creek, Pennsylvania

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