Perry Kohn, an artist and human rights activist, passed away unexpectedly at his Las Cruces-area home on Oct. 19. He was 51.
In addition to producing paintings and monoprints, Kohn served as a guardian ad litem for the Third Judicial District and was the district's interim domestic violence commissioner. In his own practice, he handled guardianships, divorces and commercial disputes. He was regarded as a compassionate advocate for the underprivileged and marginalized, especially children.
Kohn grew up in Pennsylvania and pursued a passion for art before heading off to the UNM School of Law, where he earned his J.D. in 1999. He earned a B.A. in fine arts at George Washington University in 1980, after which he studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1986, he moved to New Mexico, and in 1993 he earned a M.A. and MFA with a focus on painting and printmaking from the University of New Mexico.
"Perry was truly extraordinary, with a sense of humor, gentle nature and was always there for me when I needed a nonjudgmental ear," said his friend, Wendy Rodkey.
He remained a serious artist, showing his work across New Mexico. He was in the process of planning a show in Mesilla at the time of his death. Kohn enjoyed hiking with friends, baking pies and listening to opera.