Jo Taylor Harris passed away Friday morning, May 5, at the age of 90. She was born in Big Sandy, Texas in 1927 to J.D. And Pearl Faulk Smith. At an early age Jo showed an amazing aptitude and ability for painting. After receiving a formal education from North Texas State University in Denton, Texas, and at the University of Guanajuato, Mexico, where she studied as an exchange student, Jo began her long professional art career.
Mrs. Harris painted full-time for gallery shows for nearly seven years. Her paintings appear in museums and in private and corporate collections. Eighteen of her award winning paintings have been procured by a private collector for permanent display at Baylor University in Waco.
Her entries and awards earned her active membership and signature status in the American Watercolor Society in 1977, making her the first woman from Texas to achieve that honor. She is one of the charter members and a signature member of the Southwestern Watercolor Society in Dallas, Texas. She was elected an honorary member of the New Mexico Watercolor Society, and the Mt. Pleasant Watercolor Society in Mt. Pleasant, Texas.
Jo spent 14 years teaching at the North East Texas Community College in Mt. Pleasant where she honed her skills and established her reputation as one of America's premiere water color artists, and as a talented teacher.
After her retirement, Jo moved to Rockwall and stayed active in the art community. She became a partner at Artisans Studio Gallery in Dallas where she taught for several years. In 2003 Jo published her book "Watercolor Wisdom: Lessons from a Lifetime of Painting and Teaching". "Watercolor Wisdom" documents and explores that astounding creative energy that Jo knew so intimately.
Jo is survived by her daughters: Mary Akin and Beth Morgan and husband Ron; 7 grandchildren: Jonathan Aslan, Matthew Aslan, Joseph Aslan, Leigh Putman, John Morgan, Haley Taylor, and Emily Taylor.
She was preceded in death by her husband: Jodie Ralph Harris; her son: Robert B. Taylor, Jr.; and two sisters: Juanita Duncan and Arlene Parks.
Graveside services will be held at 12:00 P.M. Saturday, May 6, at Rose Hill Cemetery in Pittsburg.