By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun
3:36 PM EDT, July 29, 2012
John Cheney Wood, a Baltimore artist who worked in a variety of media, died July 20 of advanced Parkinson's disease at his summer home and studio in Ithaca, N.Y.
The Mount Washington resident was 90.
The son of a master carpenter and an executive secretary, John Cheney Wood was born in Turlock, Calif., and raised in Concord, Mass., where he graduated from high school.
He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1943, and after completing flight training, was a pilot stationed in Marfa, Texas. He was discharged at the war's end in 1945.
Mr. Wood earned his bachelor's degree in 1954 in visual design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.
From 1954 until retiring in 1989, Mr. Wood taught at the School of Art and Design at Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y., where he played an instrumental role in founding the photography, printmaking and foundations programs.
He was also founding faculty member of the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, N.Y.
A working artist, Mr. Wood had a major retrospective of his photographs, drawings, collages and whirligigs in 2009 in Rochester, at the Memorial Art Gallery, Eastman House and Visual Studies.
This exhibition of Mr. Wood's artwork was also shown in New York at Gray Art Gallery and the International Center for Photography, as well as at Syracuse University Art Galleries and the Pritchard Art Gallery at the University of Idaho.
Mr. Wood and his wife of many years, Laurie Sieverts Snyder, who teaches photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art, lived 10 months of the year at their home in Mount Washington and spent summers in Ithaca.
"He spent his last weeks enjoying his family, the birds, moonlight and fireflies, music and art in his beautiful studio," said Ms. Snyder.
Plans for a memorial service to be held at Alfred University in the fall are incomplete.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Wood is survived by a son, Michael C. Wood of Aurora, Minn.; a daughter, Carol Watson Wood of Alfred, N.Y.; two stepsons, Noah Snyder of Boston and Ben Snyder of Seattle; a brother, James Wood of Carmel Valley, Calif.; four grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. An earlier marriage to Suzanne Watson Wood ended in divorce.
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