Former architecture dean expresses in sculpture

Positively Tennessee

He swiftly and expertly takes a lump of clay – and like many a talented artist – makes it look easy.

“I really enjoy sculpture because it’s three-dimensional like architecture is, it’s engaged with people and it’s sort of interactive in that way,” says John McCrae, Professor Emeritus. 

McCrae served as Dean of UT’s College of Architecture and Design from 2005 to 2011. He’s credited with helping put the program in the nation’s top 20.

Art may be his passion, but McCrae still has a foot in the world of academia.

“Having retired last summer ‘officially’ from the faculty in the University, I’m now professor emeritus , I teach one class each term but spending more time in these other areas,” he says.

He creates colorful cardinals, curious creatures, ships ready to sail, among other works. 

His wife Sharon, his inspiration for 40 years, passed away a year and a half ago. McCrae has dedicated some pieces to Knoxville nonprofit Breast Connect, to help women struggling with cancer.

“I would say the grief is something that moves forward with you in whatever you are doing I mean right? It’s there,” McCrae said. “I don’t do the things I do just to stay busy- I do them because I feel like I need to do them, I want to do them.”

Thank you, John McCrae, for sharing your gifts with us.

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