Gordon Thorne (April 1941 – June 2018) was a visual artist based in Northampton, MA. Thorne began pursuing a career in the arts after graduating from Yale University, initially finding a spot where he painted on Main Street in New Haven.
He was the Director of Available Potential Enterprises (A.P.E.), which he founded in 1977 and was used to promote both Thorne’s own work and that of other artists and performers at hundreds of events, and Director of the Open Field Foundation (OFF), established in 1996 to create a land-based education site and to protect and sustain agricultural ecologies. A.P.E. and OFF have at their core the shared mission of providing accessible and affordable space in the center of community for the imagination to create the images and the dreams which will become our sustainable future.
Thorne envisioned a “community arts trust” based on the community land trust model. He established the Northampton Community Arts Trust , which today carries on Thorne’s legacy work of protecting and ensuring the long-term vitality of the Northampton community through the acquisition and preservation of affordable and accessible space for creative work.