Betsy Wurl McKean

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Vero Beach, Florida, USA

May 7, 2013


      Award Winning Vero Beach Artist Betsy McKean makes the cut and is juried into the 62nd All Florida Juried Competition and Exhibition.  This is an impressive honor for Betsy McKean to be chosen as one of Florida's best emerging artists.

The exhibition can be viewed from May 8 to July 14, 2013 at the Boca Museum of Art.  Ms McKean’s work can be seen locally at Darby Fine Art, 1902 14th Ave, Vero Beach.

The distinguished All Florida Juried Competition and Exhibition is presented to highlight the breadth and creative talent of Florida’s independent artists.  Betsy has two of her award winning fine-art photographs which will be on display in the Museum’s central galleries.  Betsy uses camera, scanner and computer to create her visual puzzles.

The state’s oldest statewide annual juried competition in its 62nd year received submissions from nearly 550 artists from across Florida.      This year’s juror, Mark Scala, Chief Curator at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee, selected 149 works for the exhibition by 122 Florida artists. The 62nd All Florida exhibition will offer a provocative glimpse of the state-of-the-art today through mediums which include paintings, graphics, drawings, sculptures, installations, photographs, computer-generated images, and videos.   “The artists in this exhibition were selected not just because they were the best to have submitted work or because they seemed particularly reflective of place, but because their art could be shown in a museum or gallery anywhere in the world without there being a question of its aesthetic merit,” said Scala.

The All Florida exhibition aims to increase the visibility of emerging, under-recognized, and mid-career Florida artists, as well as encourage a stronger community of local talent.

Artist Statement

    This new series was inspired by a Chinese take-out container.  The Brevard Museum of Art, now the Foosaner Art Museum, challenged local artists to create awork of art from such a container and mailed us one to get us started.  I prefer to create my images instead of just taking them so this was a challenge I accepted.  When my photograph “Converging Containers” was accepted for the 60th Annual All Florida Juried Competition and Exhibition, Boca Raton Museum of Art, and also won an award at the recent Indian River Photo Club’s show at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, I was inspired to create more images from containers of various sorts.

    My aim was to create a poetic visual puzzle, playing representation versus abstraction, implying spatial illusions, inventing intriguing patterns and values, transforming physical realities into abstract images.  Interested in the challenge of creating art from everyday containers, I was inspired to create this recent series made from cardboard boxes, envelopes, CD’s, etc.”  I wanted to do more than capture just what was in front of me.  I wished to be the maker of my work not just the taker.  The computer and Photoshop were the powerful answer.  Using it I could change reality.  Working with camera, scanner, and computer I use objects relationally rather than symbolically.  Now concepts of optical illusion, paradox, dimensionality, closure and duality can be explored.


Award winning artist, educator, and fine art photographer, Betsy Wurl McKean loves to create her images, much as a stage manager does by assembling objects, paying particular attention to mood and composition, and especially the quality of light. Originally trained as a painter with a MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, Betsy McKean's work is in museum collections, as well as corporate and private ones. Her work has been shown in numerous exhibitions throughout the United States including the Virginia Museum of Fine Art and Smithsonian American Art Museum, Headley-Whitney Museum, Lexington, Kentucky, Virginia Intermont College Art Gallery, Delaware Art Museum, Vero Beach Museum of Art, Mariner’s Museum, Newport News, VA Milwaukee Art Museum, Hermitage Foundation Museum, Norfolk, Virginia and more.

Born in Milwaukee, WI, she served as Chairwoman of the Art Department of Richard Bland College of the College of William and Mary and also taught for the University of Kentucky, the University of Virginia, the Virginia Museum of Fine Art and the Vero Beach Museum of Art. The cover design for the Indian River Symphonic Association 2008-2009 was designed by Betsy. Her most recent show is at the Darby Fine Art gallery, Vero Beach, March 2012 and prior to that the 61st Annual All Juried Competition and Exhibition, Boca Raton Museum of Art, 2011.

View Art WorkMcKean_Photos.html