A Night at the Museum with Beauvais Lyons

Beauvais Lyons with a lithographic stone.

As the self-appointed Director of the Hokes Archives, for more than 40 years Beauvais Lyons has been fabricating and documenting imaginary archaeology, medical archives, folk art, zoology and most recently, a fictitious circus from Jacksboro, Tennessee. You can see some of Lyons’ work in his exhibition Ornithological Quadrupeds, a portfolio of four-legged birds currently on view at the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture in the UT campus through January 28, 2022.

At first, many viewers to his exhibitions have been taken in by his faithful use of historical methods and the plausibility of his fictive worlds. As his art may be understood as a form of parody, Lyons uses various ironic signals to call attention to the work as fiction, including the name of the Hokes (as in “hoax’) Archives itself. He often accompanies his exhibitions playing the role of curator, preacher, or ringmaster. The mock-documentary aspects of his projects raise a variety of issues about role of art as a form of both fiction and truth-telling.

“Plate 321,” a lithograph from the exhibition “Reconstruction of an Aazudian Temple” which toured North America in the mid-1990s.

For his Art House presentation, Lyons will bring a selection of works from his archives to the KMA and will give a presentation about not only his work, but other artists who create mock-documentary exhibitions. His presentation will reference Antoinette LaFarge’s new book Sting in the Tale: Art Hoax, and Provocation in which LaFarge advocates for a form of mock-documentation she calls fictive art, referencing Lyons’ projects and others, including the “Centaur Excavations of Volos,” in the Hodges Library on the UT Knoxville campus.

“Plate 321,” a lithograph from the exhibition “Reconstruction of an Aazudian Temple” which toured North America in the mid-1990s.

Beauvais Lyons is a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he has taught printmaking since 1985 and heads the nationally ranked printmaking program. 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 for information on his various projects. Lyons’ one-person exhibitions have been presented at over 80 museums and galleries in the United States and abroad. His prints are in several notable 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. 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.

To register, please visit the link in your text/email invitation

An Evening Under the Stars

Under the Stars was a memorable evening at the KMA for ArtHouse members. Attendees gathered for after dinner drinks and small bites to hear from Local Artist Richard Jolley. Jolley, who is arguably one of the most accomplished glass blowers of our time, has called Knoxville his home since establishing his studio here in 1975. His work is on exhibition in over 64 galleries and museums across the nation as well as internationally. 

Members of ArtHouse were able to met both Richard and his wife Tommie, and hear about the inspiration, production and installation of the Cycle of Life. Cycle of life is the largest glass installation of the world and is a permanent feature in the Bailey Hall at the KMA. The 7 stage exhibit took 6 years to create and over 3 months to install. 

Members were also able to hear form a Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (KSO) representative. The KSO has created a symphony inspired by this piece that will be performed this April. ArtHouse members are welcome to a 20% off ticket price and invited to a champagne toast opening night. Be sure to mark your calendars for this event! 

Art Collecting at the home of Jeannie Bennett

Our first home tour of the season was graciously granted by Bennett Galleries founder, Jeannie Bennett.

Guests were treated to a self-guided tour of her curated collection, which she described as pieces that bring her joy. Most of her pieces represent longstanding relationships with artists, of various styles and media, that have developed over decades of prominence in the art world.

One of the artists represented, Scott Duce, attended the event as he is in town for the opening of his work at Bennett showcased with Marga McBride.

Bennett’s motto is Life is an Art…and her home exemplifies the statement perfectly.

Thank you for joining us and we look forward to seeing you at our next event.

Member Appreciation Party: September 30

Art House is finally back! Thank you for joining us for an evening of celebration, local bites and specialty cocktails in the June & Rob Heller North Garden at the KMA. We were so pleased to have great turnout to show our appreciation for your support throughout the years and especially during the last year.

As we finally have opportunity to be together again, our season’s calendar has been set and we hope to see you again soon at one of our upcoming events. Look for details and invitations as dates approach.

Artists Give Back: Jolley

During these unprecedented times, artists are doing what they always do – creating.  But the purpose behind their artistic efforts is changing during the pandemic.

Art House is catching up with some of the artists, near and dear to our hearts, to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic is shaping their work, and in some cases, creating a new series of art entirely.

Local artist Richard Jolley – who is responsible for the KMA’s Circle of Life installation in the Ann and Steve Bailey Hall – was missing his usual traditions, and one in particular. Each Easter, Richard and and his wife, Tommie, exchange Godiva Chocolate bunnies.  But with stores closed, and a “shelter in place” mandate in the state of Tennessee, Richard and Tommie had to forgo this annual swap.

This got them thinking of all the things people may be missing – more essential things, like fresh food and non-perishables to eat.

Richard and Tommie’s thoughts raced – how could they take this special tradition and turn it into a way to help those in need?  As an internationally recognized glass sculptor, Richard created stunning cobalt blue bunnies adorned with masks; the “blue sky bunnies,” as he named them, are inspired by the Godiva Chocolate bunnies.


The bunnies are available for purchase from art galleries through out the United States.  For every bunny sold the vast majority of the proceeds will go to the gallery’s food bank of choice.

Each bunny is uniquely made and while the size averages at roughly just 8 inches the impact is far greater.

Knoxville is fortunate to call Richard and Tommie local artists, and therefore have the privilege of seeing the bunnies on display and for purchase at Bennett Gallery. Bennett has chosen Second Harvest food as the local food bank to support.

Art House appreciates Richard sharing this video message with us!



What is DIY Anywhere? It’s the brain-child of Ryan-Ashley Anderson, founder of Smart + Becker, who wanted to create a new way for people to DIY together, anywhere.

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Art House members are invited to a private #diyanywhere macramé workshop on Thursday, September 19 at Knoxville Graphic House. Learn how to make a beautiful hanging planter that you can create over and over again for your home, office, friends and family (or just for fun!).

Sips and snacks will be provided. A $25 material fee includes:

  • Rope for two planters
  • 2 wooden rings
  • 2 terra cotta pots
  • Acrylic paint
  • 2 succulents from Stanley’s Greenhouse

Workshop begins at 6:30pm and will be led by Ryan-Ashley who has more than 15 years of experience as a DIY crafts instructor and a passion for designing workshops that are fun, cool, and most importantly easy.

Members will walk away with a completed planter.

Register at https://bit.ly/2TNnDNS.

The Art of Healing: August 14

Art can inspire.

Art can make you wonder.

Art can make you feel.

And coming up in August, we will see how art can heal…

Inside the walls of East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, while families focus on the health of their children and doctors face seemingly insurmountable odds to heal their patients, special attention has been paid to the surroundings. In 2016, the hospital began a campaign to build an collection of unique art in efforts to calm, renew and restore patients, parents and staff alike.

The hospital is granting special access to Art House members to experience the collection of therapeutic art on Wednesday, August 14 at 5:30pm. The evening will begin with a guided tour of the building’s many installations and works, including many by familiar local artists like Richard Jolley, Marga Hayes McBride, Carl Gombert, Andrew Saftel, and Christine Patterson.

With materials ranging from crayons and zippers to floating castles and other magical pieces, each work is built with a specific purpose and passion—be prepared to be inspired.

Following this enlightening tour join several local artists featured in the collection at Fieldhouse Social for drinks and conversation. Reply to arthouse@knoxart.org.