Olen Bryant is one of Tennessee’s most revered artists having won the Distinguished Artists Award during the 2007 Governor’s Awards for the Arts. In the same year a major tribute to his work was realized with a retrospective exhibit at Customs House Museum & Cultural Center in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Olen Bryant graduated from Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky in 1950 and the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield, Michigan in 1954. He also studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Institute in the Visual Arts in American Culture at the University of Delaware and the Winterthur Museum in 1967.
Bryant taught art from 1958 – 1991 spending twenty-seven years as Professor of Art and Chair of the Sculpture and Ceramics Department at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, having tremendous affect on numerous students, many of whom would agree that Olen’s shadow was cast well beyond the formal confines of the classroom.
Olen Bryant has twenty-two solo exhibitions to his credit and numerous pieces in public collections including Austin Peay State University Campus, the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee and the Tennessee State Museum of Art and Cheekwood Museum of Art, both in Nashville, Tennessee.