Jill Disque-Norton died August 29, 2018. She was born to Austin T. Smith, MD and Louise Morehouse Smith, RN on February 18, 1926 in Philadelphia, PA and grew up in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. Jill graduated from Lower Marion High School and studied at Stratford College, VA, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, PA, University of Pennsylvania, PA, Minneapolis School of Fine Arts, MN, Parsons School of Design, NY, and School of Visual Arts, NY.
As a young woman, Jill served as a Commercial Artist for advertising agencies, newspapers, educational publishers, and others. She worked in multiple media from the 1960s to the early 2000s, including oils, acrylics, watercolor on canvas and paper, bronze, and wooden floor and wall sculptures. She was selected for over 100 invitational and group exhibitions in the U.S., including the Wadsworth Atheneum, New Britain Museum of American Art, Yale University, and galleries in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, CT, ME, NJ and NY. Jill had over a dozen one-artist shows in CT, ME, and NY, including the Pindar Gallery, NY (where she was a founding member), B.E.L. Gallery, NY, Mari Gallery, NY, Silvermine Guild Arts Center, CT, Touchstone Gallery, NY, and Stamford and Bruce Museums in CT.
Jill was awarded First Prize in over a dozen art exhibitions, elected to multiple Artist Guilds and Academies, and was mentioned or reviewed in numerous art and news publications.Her work is included in numerous corporate, museum, university, gallery and private permanent collections.
She taught art to children and adults in school systems and art societies, and in her own Disque Studio. She was happiest creating art in her studio and, especially, on the northern coast of Maine.
Once, when asked about her art, she said, “Ideas are inside and outside of me…to be translated into forms of solid substance in two and three dimensions. The problem is to find the truth within the form…to glorify rather than to embarrass our Maker.”
Later in life, Jill experienced a spiritual renewal. She converted to Catholicism and became a Eucharistic Minister with the church of St. Peter Claver in West Hartford, CT. She visited nursing home and hospice residents and conducted bible study sessions for the elderly.
Throughout her life, she was an avid reader, absorbing hundreds of books, including the classics, history, art, and theological tomes.
Another lifelong passion was nature. Jill resonated deeply with the natural world, always refreshed by a walk in the woods or a stay painting in her beloved Maine.
Jill’s life’s work was recently featured in a Manchester Art Association show at the Dehn Gallery, Manchester, CT, and will be shown at the Symmetry Gallery, Glastonbury, in November.
Jill is survived by her daughters: Wendy M. Soderberg (husband Staffan), Sweden; Forest A. Miner, Holly D. Hood (husband Andrew), and Laura L. Disque, CT; Robin D. Laffosse (husband John Rehberger), VA; eight grandchildren; four greatgrandchildren; and three stepdaughters: Buffy N. Alten, MA, Bonnie N. Wellborn and Brenda N. McLendon, AK. She is predeceased by her brother Thomas S. Smith and her husband Cedric Norton.
A Funeral Liturgy will be held Saturday September 1st at 12PM at Saint James Church 896 Main Street Manchester, CT. Burial will be private. The John F. Tierney Funeral Home Manchester, CT has care of the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Jill’s name to: Catholic Charities 839-841 Asylum Avenue Hartford, CT 06105-2801 or The Salvation Army. For online condolences, please visit www.tierneyfuneralhome.com