Byron McKeeby’s Legacy: Prints by his Students
A Printmaking Showcase Exhibition begins on November 1, 2022 and continues through January 31, 2023. It is titled, “Byron McKeeby’s Legacy: Prints by his Student.” Sydney Juhl, Art History Major, is the curator of this exhibition.
The Printmaking Showcase Gallery is located in the UTK Art and Architecture Building, in the second floor hallway outside of the Printmaking Lab (Room 241).
Byron McKeeby (1936-1984) was an American printmaker known for his lithographs. Aside from being a widely acknowledged and exhibited artist, McKeeby taught printmaking at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville from the fall of 1965 until 1984. He laid the foundations for the printmaking program at the university and his legacy lives on today.
For the majority of his tenure at the University of Tennessee, McKeeby taught in an old house on Melrose Avenue. He transformed this house and all of its rooms into a working print lab where students could exercise their creativity. During the construction of the Art and Architecture building McKeeby worked closely with the architect to create an open space to promote a beehive of ideas. Past students Nancy Laemlein, Deborahmae Broad, and Gregory Graham note McKeeby that treated his students, both undergraduates and graduate students, in a way that fostered their creativity. These students all described McKeeby as an artist dedicated to his craft, always working alongside the students to create his own artwork, but also as a dedicated mentor who taught them that life and art coincide. Gregory Graham said that the most important lesson McKeeby taught him was not a technical skill, but that art is inspired by life, an artist needs exposure to the world in order to create meaningful work. McKeeby encouraged his students to try new techniques and explore their joy through their art.
The prints in this show are by past students of Byron McKeeby and they reflect the students’ interests, but also the qualities that McKeeby inspired. Students were free to create art that was satirical, beautiful, jarring, and representative of their personal styles. Many of McKeeby’s students continued on to become exhibiting artists and teachers, led by his example of dedication and joy. Nancy Laemlein, Deborahmae Broad, and Gregory Graham are proud and honored to be featured in this show, but even more, are delighted to be honoring McKeeby’s legacy.
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McKeeby Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byron_McKeeby
History of UTK Printmaking: https://art.utk.edu/printmaking/history/