Upstate artist Darell Koons dies at 91

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Renowned Upstate artist Darell Koons, whose paintings of landscapes and barns were often compared to the works of realist painter Andrew Wyeth, died Tuesday at age 91.

Born in Albion, Mich., in 1924, Koons graduated from Bob Jones University in 1951 with a bachelor’s degree in art. In 1955, he received his Master of Arts degree in art education from Western Michigan University. Koons taught at Bob Jones University for more than 40 years before retiring in 2000.

“His tenure at Bob Jones inspired hundreds, if not thousands, of students now located throughout the world. He was absolutely committed to being sure that young artists had a place at the table,” said Alan Ethridge, executive director of Greenville’s Metropolitan Arts Council. “He will be greatly missed, but his influence will be palpable for many years to come.”

Throughout an illustrious career, Koons’ works were showcased at more than 45 solo exhibitions and dozens of group exhibitions, mainly across the Southeast. He had a significant presence in the Carolinas, with his works appearing in several Upstate venues, including the Greenville County Museum of Art, the Hampton III Gallery in Taylors, Bob Jones University, North Greenville University and Wofford College.

Koons once stated of his works, “An artist must know something about his subject, or he will surely have difficulty painting it. I believe my experience as a child and youth living in rural Michigan has given me knowledge of my subjects, thus the opportunity to record this passing history of Americana.”

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