Daryl Thetford is an artist working in photography-based digital media and collage. His work has been described as graphic, modern, pop, and contemporary, although what to actually call the process has been a larger source of debate; it has been called photo collage, digital art, and digital mixed media.
Thetford grew up on a hundred-acre farm in Bradford, Tennessee, a small town in the rural northwest corner of the state. His father was a forklift operator who worked in a warehouse, and his mother was a beautician. While they encouraged their son to pursue so-called “practical” avenues of work, they also recognized an early artistic bent, and enrolled him in oil painting lessons–which he loved–at age nine. Although he went on to obtain a graduate degree in counseling from Murray State University, and spent 15 years working as a vocational program director, mental health center manager, and a therapist, his creative juices never dried up. In 2001, when Thetford left mental health to return to his first love, art, he discovered that the psychology of behavior and emotion–everything he’d been studying and practicing for years–flowed neatly into his artistic process. The result is a compelling body of photo collage work that is informed by the richness of the psyche.
Thetford’s work has been featured in exhibitions throughout the United States including SOFA Contemporary; ART Chicago; Art Dallas; artMRKT Contemporary and Modern Art Fair in San Francisco; the Alexandria Museum of Art (Louisiana); the Knoxville Museum of Art (Tennessee); the Mobile Museum of Art (Alabama); College of St Elizabeth in New Jersey; and Open Concept Gallery for the SMart Multimedia Festival (Grand Rapids, Michigan).
In addition to exhibits, Thetford has had numerous corporate placements including commissioned works for a luxury hotel (Hotel at The University of Maryland in College Park); works for ESA Architectural in Nashville, Tennessee’s new national headquarters; and 4 pieces for Pinnacle Financial Partners. Arrow Electronics, an international corporation headquartered in Denver, Colorado and DMACC in Des Moines, Iowa also commissioned pieces for 2015. Thetford has also had numerous residential placements.
His favorite composition to create is a cityscape particularly during weather activity such as rain or snow, which allows for more dramatic imagery through reflections and light. Wilson describes his rediscovery to be his foundation on how to create, “My journey has taught me an important lesson. Follow your heart. Follow your passion. Do the things that are meaningful to you; not to anyone else. This is how I approach my art.”