Gary R Haynes

May 21, 1945January 26, 2021

HAYNES, GARY ROBERT—Gary R. Haynes, noted Nashville advertising executive and longtime leader in the fine arts community, died peacefully on January 26 of complications from Covid-19 at the age of 75. Born in Newport News, Virginia to the late Elsie and Conley Haynes on May 21, 1945 after his father’s return from World War II, Gary grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee before moving to Nashville to pursue a career as a commercial artist. He attended the University of Tennessee and Harris School of Advertising Art, and then found a lifelong mentor in Eric Ericson. As his career progressed, Gary became more involved in the business side of advertising and put down his own brushes. After Eric’s passing, Gary eventually owned and operated Ericson Marketing Communications as one of the South’s top advertising agencies.

During his 30 years in the ad business, his love of fine art never diminished. He quietly bought, sold, and collected art by American Realists of the 19th and 20th centuries, such as the Wyeth family whom he had admired since high school art class. He sold the agency in 1999, converting its headquarters at the historic Fall School building in Nashville into executive suites. After a twenty-five-year hiatus, he started painting again and holding art classes there, while another section of the sprawling building served as a gallery for rotating exhibits of his favorite works. In 2008, he sold the building. Now with a substantial collection of art spanning three centuries, he had unintentionally become retired. The concept for Haynes Galleries began to coalesce.

Launched in 2010 and specializing in American Realism and a resource center for collectors, Haynes Galleries offered world-class collections from locations in midcoast Maine, midtown Nashville and Franklin, Tennessee. While there is a decided emphasis on the Wyeths—N. C., Andrew, Jamie, Carolyn, and Henriette— other icons such as Norman Rockwell, John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer and the stars of today’s Realist movement are equally well represented.

Throughout his life, Gary set an example of passion, determination, and talent in leveraging his love of all things creative into a highly successful career that touched countless lives. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, JoAnne Haynes of Nashville; son Gary Robert Haynes Jr. (Dana); step-sons Jeremy Sheridan (Jessica) and Timothy Bourriague (Ayaan); grandchildren Hunter Haynes (Brittany), Riley Sheridan and Reagan Sheridan, and Caaliyah Bourriague (Anisah Bourriague predeceased); great-grandson Roman Haynes; and his late brother Conley’s widow Marcia and children Matthew Haynes (Helen) and Suzanne Haynes.

The family will hold a private graveside service at Mt. Olivet Cemetery on February 5 in Nashville, and a Celebration of Life with friends at their home on the Hill when it is safe to do so. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Everett Raymond Kinstler Mentoring Fellowship through the Portrait Society of America.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Gary R Haynes

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Steven Bennett

February 10, 2021

Gary was one of the first gallerists with whom I did business. Open, honest and easygoing, working with Gary was always a pleasure. He was a delight to deal with and a friend no matter what happened. As a painter himself, he understood painters and painting. And, he had a personal relationship with angels and loved sharing that relationship with others. I came to look forward to his angels at Christmas and am only certain that he and his angel friends are now standing next to their easels together.
Goodbye, Gary. KEEP PAINTING!

Steven Alan Bennett

Cindy House

February 6, 2021

Gary was such a gracious gentleman and one of the finest gallery owners I had the pleasure to work with for almost a decade. It was such an incredible honor to have my pastels included on the walls of his beautiful galleries. I will always be grateful for his support and his belief in my work. The art world has lost a great man, to say nothing of the loss to his family and friends. My deepest condolences to his dear wife, JoAnne, and his family and to his gallery staff.

Elaine Mcneilly

February 4, 2021

I met Mr. Haynes after he opened his gallery in Thomaston, ME. It was a pleasure and an honor to frame some work for him. I enjoyed the Christmas cards he sent. I am so sorry for your loss, it is great. My condolences to the entire family. Elaine mcneilly/ Primrose Framing.

Sandra Worthington

February 4, 2021

Gary, Lloyd Watkins and myself shared the love of art. Gary and Lloyd made a successful career if their talents for others to enjoy their talents. Lots of mem oil ries of Mrs. LaNieve's art classes with Gary.

Lloyd Watkins

February 4, 2021

Gary and I were good friends in high school. We played football together and if memory serves me right we both made the All Stars football team our senior year. I lost track of Gary after high school but I’m very proud of him for the success he had and the man he became.

Cheryl Baird

February 3, 2021

Dear, Dear JoAnne,
The loss of Gary is overwhelming to so many but none more than you. He was (hard to say “was”) a true gentleman with a great sense of humor and a kind heart. My deepest condolences to you and the family. Love to you, Cheryl Baird

Mike Borum

February 2, 2021

The feeling of loss is simply… huge. Gary joined Eric Ericson & Assoc., hired from Lavinge in Knoxville, a couple of years after I began photographing for many of their projects. He and I had soooo many adventures together, so many laughs and totally worn-out days. I'll always remember him very, very fondly.

Burton Silverman

February 1, 2021

t is with immense sadness that I take note of the death of a dear friend and my art representative, Gary Haynes. He was such a decent guy, a warm and caring man whose sense of humor and wisdom helped him cope with an often mindlessly cruel irrational world. His loyalties to the artists he represented, myself, in particular, were uniquely special in the often cutthroat business practices of the art world. The memories here add testament to that almost spiritual devotion he had in supporting the many talented younger artists who he represented. His visits to New York often included a stopover at my studio where we spent hours in conversation about the world of painting which we both shared. He enjoyed seeing my work in progress and I suspect it was the artist in him that feasted again on the process of painting. His death at 75 is another cruel marker of all the deaths from COVID that should have been prevented. His loving family of wife, JoAnne, kids, and grandkids will miss him grievously. To them, I send my heartfejt condolences. To Gary, goodbye, dear friend.

Susan Edwards

February 1, 2021

On behalf of myself and the Frist Art Museum, I send heartfelt condolences. Gary was a gentleman and beloved member of the Nashville Art community. He was committed to Art and artists, a champion for both throughout his life. His keen eye was matched by an integrity of the first order. He will be missed. RIP

Lin Howard Andrews

January 31, 2021

I first met Gary in 1969 when we were both working at an ad agency in Knoxville , he as an artist and I as a fledgling copywriter. He was so thoughtful and kind as a young man, as he was throughout his life. When I was working on a particularly frustrating account, he took the time to give me a pen and ink sketch which he entitled "The Copywriter". He had drawn a caricature of me at my desk with a sea of crumpled papers all over the floor. Gary took the time to individually make and glue on those crumpled papers. He cheered me up and gave me the encouragement to keep going until I got it right. Years later, when I was living in Nashville, it was very happy news that his career had been so successful and that he had married JoAnne, who I knew through her great design work. He got the best, which was so well deserved. Two nicer people have never been on this earth.

My heart breaks for you, JoAnne. Deepest condolences to you and your family. With much love, Lin Howard Andrews