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Wade Guyton, the first UT alumnus to have work featured in the prestigious Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, received an Accomplished Alumni award yesterday evening.

The 1995 graduate of the College Scholars Program, who focused his last two years of study in the School of Art, was presented with an Accomplished Alumni award in New York on December 12. The Accomplished Alumni program recognizes notable alumni for their success and distinction within their field.

Guyton, who grew up in Lake City, Tennessee, lives and works in New York. The Whitney Museum of American Art is currently featuring a mid-career survey of Guyton’s work. The exhibition opened on October 4 and will continue until January 13, 2013.

“Wade is an unassuming person whose energy for making art is an inspiration to his colleagues, to his viewers, to our faculty, and to our students,” said Dottie Habel, director of the School of Art. “His work and his process contribute to the dialogue about contemporary art in important ways that have garnered attention here in the States as well as in the global arena.”

Entitled Wade Guyton: OS, which employs the common acronym for a computer’s operating system, the exhibition at the Whitney explores our changing relationships to images and artworks through the use of common digital technologies. The work purposefully misuses these technologies to create beautifully misprinted photos and blurred images that relate to our daily lives. The exhibition confronts viewers with a dramatic, non-chronological design of staggered rows of parallel walls resembling layered pages of a book. His work includes paintings, drawings, photography, and sculpture.

A recent New York Times article reviewing the exhibit called Guyton’s work a “cause for optimism,” saying, “Yes, interesting art is being made here and now.” To read the article, visit The New York Times.

Guyton has maintained strong ties with the School of Art at UT. He has recommended artists to participate in its highly competitive Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program and in exhibitions at the Ewing Gallery and the UT Downtown Gallery. Most recently, he and fellow alumni Meredyth Sparks (’94) and Josh Smith (’98), also respected artists based in New York, have launched an initiative to curate and produce a series of three limited edition art boxes of artwork by selected UT alumni and former AIRs to help the school’s fundraising effort to endow the AIR program, currently celebrating its thirty year anniversary.

“I would not be an artist if it were not for my UT experience,” Guyton said.

The award was presented by Habel and Theresa Lee, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences during a UT alumni reception.

Guyton joins a variety of outstanding alumni who have been featured through the Accomplished Alumni program, including CEOs of major corporations, Olympians, authors, lawyers, musicians, U.S. ambassadors and civic leaders.

To view other Accomplished Alumni, visit VolsConnect.

C O N T A C T :

Whitney Heins (865-974-5460, wheins@utk.edu)

Haylee Marshall (865-974-0810, hmarshall@utfi.org)