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Volume 26, Number 4 — April 2019

In Memoriam: Artist, Art Professor Tedd Blevins

A detail from a self-portrait by Tedd Blevins.
A detail from a self-portrait by Tedd Blevins.
Additional photos below »

January 28, 2008

Tedd Blevins, 70, passed away on Jan. 4, 2008. He held the position of Associate Professor of Art at Virginia Intermont College for 42 years. He was beloved by both colleagues and students for his talent, wisdom and wit. As a teacher of art and art history, he blended high culture with his own brand of humor and grit, influencing a generation of art students along the way.

Blevins was the witty, idiosyncratic, irreverent personality manifested in his figure paintings and drawings of the late '80s and '90s. He loved to playfully satirize works of other artists. His self-portraits are testament to his unique, artistic persona.

He was raised in Glade Spring, Va., where his father created what might now be termed "outsider art." Father and son hiked in the hills and hollows, admiring the beauty of wildflowers and casting lines into mountain streams and ponds to catch trout or bass. His mother gave him a Bible, while his father presented him with Darwin's The Origin of Species. These gifts reveal the early influences — both sacred and worldly — on young Tedd.

With little other exposure to fine art, Blevins went to Richmond to enroll in the art program at Virginia Commonwealth University. In the late 1950s, art schools were dominated by Abstract Expressionism — Hans Hofmann, Jackson Pollack, etc. Blevins consumed books about art, igniting his love affair with art history.

He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Richmond Professional Institute, and earned his Master's Degree in Art from East Tennessee State University.

Donations may be made in Tedd's name to Virginia Intermont College, 1013 Moore Street, Bristol, Va. 24201.

THERE'S MORE about Tedd Blevins.

Topics: Art, In Memoriam

Tedd Blevins with wife Carole