Ellen McClung Berry Professorships at the School of Art
Established in 1993 The Ellen McClung Berry Professorship was name in honor of Ellen Lawson McClung Berry, who had a life-long love of the arts. This fund provides for Professorships in the School of Art to support and enhance faculty research and creative activity.
Congratulations to the following faculty for being nominated and awarded the Ellen McClung Berry Professorship for 2023-2025:
Mary Laube received an MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Iowa.
Mary Laube’s work represents the instability of identity and culture within the context of transnational narratives. How can art disrupt reductive and colonial perspectives of culture? How can abstraction propose new worlds and futures? Her paintings engage these questions through the representation and abstraction of museum artifacts from her birthplace. Objects such as Korean wrapping cloths, ink stones, Buddhist statues, and folk paintings surface in the work as synthesized forms that appear flattened, off-kilter, and often unnamable. She uses abstraction as a device for re-shaping seemingly embalmed fragments of history into mutable ideas. Through re-imagining historical objects, her paintings become artifacts of displacement, reunion, decolonization, memorial, and myth.
Recent exhibitions include Tennessee Triennial: Re-PAIR, a major statewide contemporary art event organized by Tri-Star Arts, VCU Qatar, Trestle Gallery (NYC), Monaco (St Louis), Troppus Projects (Kent), the Spring Break Art Show (NYC), Tiger Strikes Asteroid (NYC), California State University (Stanislaus), and Coop Gallery (Nashville). Her work has been supported by several artist residencies including Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Stiwdeo Maelor (Wales), and the Fanoon Center for Print media Research in Doha, Qatar. Publications featuring her work include Art Maze Mag and New American Paintings. She is a recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award and an AHL Foundation Visual Art Award.
Mary is also a co-founder of the Warp Whistle Project, a collaborative duo with composer Paul Schuette. Together, they make work that merges kinetic stage sets with music performance. Their latest work was performed with the Network for New Music in Philadelphia.
View some of her work at: https://www.marylaube.com/new-paintings
Beauvais Lyons is a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he has taught printmaking since 1985. Lyons received his MFA degree from Arizona State University in 1983 and his BFA degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980. See his web site (web.utk.edu/~blyons) for information on his mock-academic projects through the Hokes Archives. Lyons’ one-person exhibitions have been presented at over 80 museums and galleries in the United States and abroad.
His prints are in numerous public collections including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia. PA. He has published articles on his work in Archaeology, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Contemporary Impressions, Graphion, im:print, The New Art Examiner and Leonardo. 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). Lyons recently published an article through The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/50-years-ago-an-artist-convincingly-exhibited-a-fake-iron-age-civilization-with-invented-maps-music-and-artifacts-189026 . He was featured on “The Academic Minute” at https://academicminute.org/2022/11/beauvais-lyons-university-of-tennessee-lessons-from-llhuros/
In March 2023, the Arts & Culture Alliance presented an exhibition of the work of Beauvais Lyons at the Emporium Center, Upper Gallery, in downtown Knoxville. The exhibition was titled Circus Orbis – See to Believe.
In 2002 he received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach at the Fine Arts Academy in Poznañ, Poland. In 2014 he received the Santo Foundation Artist Award, and in 2017 he received the SECAC Excellence in Teaching Award. The received an award for excellence in teaching in 2017 from the Southeastern College Art Association (SECAC).
Jered Sprecher received his MFA from the University of Iowa.
Sprecher has had solo exhibitions at Jeff Bailey Gallery in New York, Wendy Cooper Gallery in Chicago, Steven Zevitas Gallery in Boston, Kinkead Contemporary in Los Angeles, and Gallery 16 in San Francisco. His work has been included in exhibitions at The Drawing Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Irish Museum of Modern Art, The Chinati Foundation, Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castelló, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Hunter Museum, and the Knoxville Museum of Art . Jered Sprecher currently has a solo exhibition at Whitespace Gallery in Atlanta, GA, titled Wonder & Dread. The exhibit opened April 22 and continues through June 3, 2023.
Sprecher has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and The Chinati Foundation, and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program in New York. In 2009, he was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.
Of his work, Sprecher states, “As an artist I make paintings that exist in the sliver of space between abstraction and representation. I look to the lived daily experience of the present coupled with the artifacts of the past. My work compresses time into the surface of painting, that old technology. Increasingly flora, fauna, and natural phenomena hold my attention, as I wrestle with this imagery that we daily experience through our technology. Birds, plants, flowers, stones, and fires dissolve into the light of the screen, the digital lens, and the glowing tablet. There is something elegant and tragic about the evanescent light of the screen pressing the image of a delicate flower into one’s memory. Light, flower, and technology are here and also fade away.”