Education: Arizona State University – MFA
Video: Creative License on Beauvais Lyons and the Hokes Archives on YouTube
For the past three decades I have created academic parody in a variety of mediums. For much of this time I fabricated and documented imaginary cultures. More recently I have been interested in biography, folk art, medicine, zoology and circuses. My lithographs are influenced by plates from old encyclopedias, the novellas of Jorge Luis Borges, 18th-century science, 19th-century printing, natural history museums, mirrors and lenses, anthrospheres, wunderkammers, and various forms of neglected scholarship. I prize the vernacular history of art. I prefer the facsimile to the original, and the imaginary to the real. I believe history is a work of fiction.
Beauvais Lyons is the self-appointed Director of the Hokes Archives and has taught at UT since 1985. In 2014 he received the Santo Foundation Artist Award, and in 2011 he was awarded the title of Chancellor’s Professor at the University of Tennessee. His one-person exhibitions have been presented at over 80 galleries and museums across the United States. He has published articles on his work in Archaeology, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Contemporary Impressions, The New Art Examiner, Leonardo and Burnaway. His work is cited by Linda Hutcheon in Irony’s Edge: A Theory and Politics of Irony (1994) and by Lawrence Weschler in Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder (1995). He also has works in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others. He was awarded the Southeastern College Art Conference Award for Creative Achievement (1994), a Southern Art Federation/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1988) and a Fulbright Fellowship to teach at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznañ, Poland (2002). Lyons served as the President of the Southern Graphics Council International (1994-96), the has helped to organize four of their conferences, most recently in Knoxville in 2015. In 2014 he received the Santo Artist Award. In 2003-2004 he served as President of the UT Knoxville Faculty Senate (2003-2004) and was recently re-elected to serve in 2017-2018.