Harold Boyd didn’t pursue art until college, as he attended a technical high school in his home state of Iowa. His first fine arts training came as a freshman at the University of Kansas, where he completed a bachelor’s and later an MFA in art. The opportunity to teach as a graduate student sealed his path as artist and educator.
In fall of 1965 Boyd arrived at ISU’s art department, which did not have a terminal graduate program in the fine art’s disciplines. He participated in creating courses and curriculum across the platforms of all fine art media in the early 1970s. Gaining state approval for the MFA degree was one highlight of his ISU career.
Boyd opened his own studio shortly after joining ISU, pursuing his interest in drawing and printmaking while teaching. Some of his best known work is a series of Adlai Stevenson images, including one of the former statesman speaking with Eleanor Roosevelt. One piece is displayed in the Capitol Building office of Senator and Assistant Minority Leader Dick Durbin in Washington, D.C.
Along with other media, Boyd does sculpture. Three bronze figures of children hanging on swings from the Central Illinois Regional Airport roof in Bloomington were installed in 2003. The project helped Boyd transition beyond teaching and administrative work following his retirement in 2000. He had served as associate director of the School of Art and the interim director, which gave him the opportunity to participate in selection of the next generation of faculty.
Still owning and working in his own studio, Boyd’s work is frequently exhibited in various regional institutions and galleries in Illinois and other venues across the country. He enjoys travel with his daughter and spending time with his granddaughter. He also maintains strong ties to the University and College of Fine Arts—his home for 35 years.
Boyd can be reached at 700 North Evans Street, Bloomington, IL 61701.