Home News Vision Spotlight: Remembering artist David K. Mahoney

Spotlight: Remembering artist David K. Mahoney

Submitted Newspaper clipping The caption reads, "Painting of 'Cathedral Ledge,' N. Conway, N.H., oil on board, White Horse Ledge, 1985."

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

By Terry Rhodes

Special to the Daily Record

Roswell and its art community lost a great talent on June 7, when painter and fine art conservator David Mahoney passed away.

Born July 17, 1946 near Boston, Massachusetts to a large, loving, Irish Catholic family, Mahoney was an artist from the get-go.

He was serious, studious, and single-minded in his desire to draw and paint well. Nothing, except his love of nature and animals, came close to his devotion to the pursuit of art and beauty. He attended the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston on a scholarship, the Boston School of Practical Arts, the Boston Institute of Arts and independent study programs in France and Holland (Netherlands).

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Living in a studio loft in Boston he exhibited his watercolors and landscapes in city galleries. He was street smart and a keen observer who was constantly honing his craft making him an excellent and prolific artist. His “mountain man” years in Maine — where he lived a pretty rough existence in a cabin of his own making — left a lasting impression on him and helped to express his love of nature as shown in the painting “Cathedral Ledge,” which he did early on in his career. At one point Mahoney was seventh finalist in the nation in the U.S. Postal Service Duck Stamp competition, and he was the recipient of many honors and accolades.

It was also in Maine where his physical traumas began. In both Maine and Roswell Mahoney was involved in horrific car accidents, both of which took place while he was sitting in traffic when he was plowed into by people who were driving illegally. The first resulted in a broken neck and the second in severely re-injuring his neck.

Mahoney had a number of mini careers along the way. He worked in a prominent frame shop in Boston as a jack of all trades. His own accidents led him to work in head injury rehabilitation and counseling.  He also was briefly a prescription drug rep for a pharmaceutical company. He spent time in Iowa and Nebraska and — needing milder winters because of his chronic pain — he eventually moved to the Hondo Valley where he worked for many years for fellow artist John Meigs, which included a magical trip to Ireland together.

After Meigs’ death, Mahoney relocated in 2005 near Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, where he felt right at home with the birds, bunnies and snakes. Here he had a large studio where he painted and continued doing fine art restoration until the nerve damage, due to his accidents, made it too difficult for him to keep a steady hand. He also acquired the beautiful old Walt Wiggins gallery on First Street, hoping he would be able to hold art exhibitions there but unfortunately, his injuries made it impossible for him to carry out his plans. The accumulative effects of head and neck injuries started taking their toll.

My husband, Steve, and I met David through our frame shop when he was new to town and we became fast friends. He was an enigma, a sprite, a delightful impressionist, full of humor and mischief as well as compassionate and kind to a fault. He was a great buddy and above all, he was just so much fun.

He was brave, proud and stalwart and always “David” right to the end and as a friend said upon hearing of his death, “He did all he could to hang in there.”