Jeff Petrich (1943-2014)

Jeff Petrich in Jyväskylä, Finland in late 2013, before his last international show.

Jeff Petrich in Jyväskylä, Finland in late 2013, before his last international show.

 
 

Jeff Petrich disappeared into thin art.

Uncle Hoodlum is an enduring nickname from the decades Jeff spent on Minneapolis’ West Bank. Jeff’s family and friends are using it to promote and preserve Jeff’s surviving artwork.

Jeffrey Earl Petrich (1943-2014)

Jeff Petrich was an American painter and collage professor from Minnesota.

Born in Duluth in 1943 to a Slovenian immigrant father from Ljubljana and Norwegian-American mother from northern Minnesota, he grew up in South St. Paul, which he despised.

Jeff was classically trained as a painter at the University of Minnesota Art School in the early 1960s. He lived the majority of his life in Minneapolis, with a young year in New York City, and several old ones in the Sonoran Desert in the 1990s.

Jeff’s center was the West Bank of Minneapolis, where along with Ray Muxter, Zero, Marie Ridley, Dick Brewer, Grant Hart, Will Lahti, and countless other friends and co-conspirators, he vivified and discomfited Minnesota and the uptight midwest.

Jeff instructed and mentored Minneapolis artists on the West Bank in the 90s at the Petrich Art School on Cedar Avenue near the old 400 Bar. His students affectionately dubbed him Uncle Hoodlum.

Jeff lived with Marie Ridley in the 1980s and in 1988, they married and had a son, William Croix. Jeff’s second son Robert, with Kate Buchen, was born to in the early 90s.

Jeff was preceded by his parents Frank and Edith and survived by his sister, his sons, their mothers Marie and Kate, and his godson Grant Hart.

Jeff exhibited in the Netherlands with Dick Brewer in 1991 and intermittently in the United States, primarily Minneapolis, across the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. His handcut calendars, first for Tom & Jerry’s Grocery near the University of Minnesota, and later for the denizens of the West Bank, were a Minneapolis standard in the 70s and 80s.

His most productive period as an artist was his twilight, the last few years of his life, in Minneapolis in the early 2010s. Most of his surviving work, including what’s on this website, is post-2000.

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Jeff’s last show in Finland in 2013 came in his 70th year, his personal and creative apotheosis. It was a sight to behold, and now there’s the art.

For more information, see Jeff’s obituary from 2014 and his eulogy, delivered by his son, in 2015.

Use the contact form on this site to reach Jeff’s family. We would be thrilled to know about any Jeff Petrich art you have, and would love to add it to the site if you sent photos. Thank you!

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You can follow Jeff’s art under Uncle Hoodlum on Instagram, though Jeff himself never used a computer.

He always said his art career could really get going once he got out of the way!