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Peg McAulay Byrd
Madison, NJ
Painting, Printmaking

Artwork Details
Gatekeeper VI
22" x 30"

Peg McAulay Byrd was born and educated in New York City, before ultimately residing in New Jersey.  She has been an adjunct professor with the Drew University Art Department and previously taught at the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, The Newark Museum, and The Printmaking Council of New Jersey. Byrd's paintings and prints offer very personal insights about her response to striking and unusual subjects. Combining formal elements of wide-open silhouettes with serene expressionism, Byrd creates lyrical abstractions of ancient terrain.  Byrd followed her Celtic origins to Avebury, Carnac, Stonehenge and the Isle of Skye. There the artist derived inspiration from landscapes that are home to prehistoric spirituality and mystery of ancient megaliths, dolmens and standing stones.

In 1991, Byrd was awarded a three-month residency in Pont-Aven, Brittany, France, a city in close proximity to Carnac and its ancient stone fields. Returning from Pont-Aven, Byrd brought back a body of paintings and poems that are vibrant, decorative, and powerful. “Nature and memory are at the heart of my image making”, states the artist. “I work from sketches and photographs done on location, reabsorbing the ideas of the chosen icons as they are posted around the studio.” Byrd venerates the poetry found in nature.

Over the past thirty years, Byrd has been part of many exhibitions including in Belgium, Canada, France, Japan, and extensively in the United States.  Her work has been included in several museums, corporate, and private collections. Exhibitions include the New Jersey Fine Arts Annual at the New Jersey State Museum, Contemporary Color - Works on Paper at the Monmouth Museum, Art works at the Newark Museum, and Atelier Artists: Works on Paper at the Musee de Pont-Aven in France.  In 1987 she received the Master Teachers Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts through the Vermont Studio Center. In addition to her experience in Pont-Aven, her Artist-in-Residences include the Contemporary Artist Center in North Adams, MA, the Printmaking Council of NJ in North Branch, NJ, and the Frans Masereel Grafiek Center in Flanders, Belgium.