Born in Oneonta, New York in 1929, Byam spent a large part of his life assisting his
parents in the daily operations of the family-owned trailer court. In the late 1940s Byam
went to work for the Delaware and Hudson Railway, then served two years with the
U.S. military stationed in Japan during the Korean War. In 1952 he returned home to
his parents and took several jobs, including one as a part-time gravedigger for a local
cemetery. Working from memory, John Byam created dozens of boats, airplanes,
helicopters, figures, architectural elements, and other carved subjects during his lifetime.
About John Byam
John Byam’s artistic output is the result of lifelong passions for drawing, sign making, and carpentry. His works are all based on imagery taken from the artist’s personal life, travels, and dreams; frequent subjects include his family members, local landmarks, houses, planes, and the cultural and political icons of his childhood. Byam’s drawings are made using combinations of pencils, crayons, and markers, and frequently include written commentary. His wooden sculpture is related to the traditions of American woodcarving and craftsmanship; these works emphasize form over color, and are usually unpainted or painted minimally. Though Byam has been actively making objects throughout his life, it was only in 2012 that his works were first exhibited publically.
American, b. 1929, Oneonta, New York, based in New York, New York