Sculptor John Byrd to present March 31 artist’s talk

Ceramic and mixed media sculptor John Byrd is coming to the campus of Western Carolina University on Monday and Tuesday, March 31-April 1, as a visiting artist for the WCU School of Art and Design.

Byrd will give an artist’s talk at 5 p.m. March 31 in Room 130 of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public. He will give presentations for WCU art students the following day.

Byrd’s work is known for its edgy combination of artistic mediums that explores complex relationships between form, process, material and content. “On some level, my work is generally designed to be both beautiful and disturbing,” he said. Animals often are represented in his sculptural pieces and appear in combination with other elements to frame or build a story. His work concentrates on dogs, rabbits and foxes, which “have a greater perceived relationship with people,” he said.

“In regards to my use of animals, while often more of a formal decision, I feel that absolutely all people, in one way or another, act to both honor and consume animals. My own direct use forces me to more readily acknowledge my own conflicted consumptive role,” Byrd said.

A native of Hendersonville, Byrd is an associate professor of ceramics and sculpture at the University of South Florida. He received his bachelor of fine arts from Louisiana State University and his master of fine arts from the University of Washington.

The winner of many awards and honors, he has lectured and held workshops around the country and has been published internationally. His work has been exhibited in 15 states and in Korea.

Byrd’s visit is funded by the Randall and Susan Parrott Ward Endowed Fund for Ceramics at WCU.

For more information, contact Joan Byrd, WCU professor of ceramics, at jbyrd@wcu.edu or 828-227-3595.

This sculptural work by John Byrd is included in an exhibit on display through Friday, May 9, at WCU’s Fine Art Museum. Byrd will present an artist’s talk when he visits campus Monday and Tuesday, March 31 and April 1.

This sculptural work by John Byrd, “Dog Head,”  is included in the Joan Byrd/George Rector ceramics exhibit on display through Friday, May 9, at WCU’s Fine Art Museum. Byrd will present an artist’s talk when he visits campus Monday and Tuesday, March 31 and April 1.