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1950 - 2021

Jerry Kalback was a professor emeritus at Kent State University, School of Visual Communication Design.

Jerry was born in Wilkinsburg, PA; moving to Orchard Park, NY during high school. He went on to study at SUNY Buffalo State College, obtaining both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Art Education. This was followed by two years of studying under the most acclaimed American Illustrators as part of the Illustrators Workshop in New York City. After teaching in childhood art education in Orchard Park; Jerry and the family moved on to teach at Alberta College of Art in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He found his eventual home and lasting career at Kent State University from 1983-2013, a dedicated 30 years in Visual Communication Design. He was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2001, followed by the highly acclaimed title of Professor Emeritus upon retirement in 2013. Throughout Jerry's tenure at KSU, he both taught and advised thousands of students as if they were his own children. His passion for nurturing creativity in others will live on in the lives of so many. Jerry had the good fortune of considering his fellow colleagues as dear friends, who he continued to meet up with for coffee regularly. 

From his home studio, Jerry's commissioned work included clients such as American Greetings, Bird Watcher's Digest, Cleveland Indians, Eddie Bauer, National Public Radio, Oberlin College, Ohio Watercolor Society, Reba McEntire, The Wall Street Journal, and many more. His memberships included the Honorary Member Golden Key National Honor Society and the Society of Illustrators. 

Jerry and Jane met as instructors at Kissing Bridge in Western NY, when Jerry was Assistant Director of the ski school. His love for the sport continued throughout his life, turning his children and grandchildren into avid skiers also. Endless memories with friends and family were made on the dock in Muskoka, Ontario; a place he held so dear in the Summer, given Jane’s Canadian heritage. 

Jerry is surely sitting with his beloved Border Collie “Ivy” and checking the latest conditions for his first day of skiing. In this spirit, the family asks that donations be made in his honor to Best Friends Animal Society at

From KSU School of Visual Communication Design Director, Professor AnnMarie LeBlanc:

"As a celebrated illustrator and artist, Professor Kalback's work has been included in noteworthy national and international exhibitions including: the American Watercolor Society, the Audubon Artists Annual Exhibition, the Midwest Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society, and the Society of Illustrators International Exhibition. 

He is a longtime member of the prestigious Society of Illustrators whose selective membership is bestowed on the most prominent of illustration professionals.

 Jerry Kalback's list of clients is long and impressive. In addition to the many private collections that include his work, he has provided art and illustrations for: American Greetings Corporation, Becketts Publications, Bird Watchers Digest, Cleveland Indians Baseball, Eddie Bauer, DownEast Concepts, Oberlin College, Reba McEntire Incorporated and The Wall Street Journal to name a select few. 

He was also selected as 1 of 12 well-known American Illustrators to create an original work for the National Public Radio annual calendar." 

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