July 30, 2020 Diane Fox Retires, Leaves Legacy of Dedication and Artistry

Profile Picture of Diane Fox

Congratulations to our faculty member and colleague Diane Fox on her retirement in July 2020 from the College of Architecture and Design.

Diane Fox is more than a teacher. She is a designer, an artist and our friend. During her 22 years of service to the college, as a lecturer and distinguished lecturer in the School of Architecture and director of exhibits for six years, Diane impacted hundreds of students through design and photography.

Diane graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1986 with a bachelor of fine arts degree. After working as a graphic designer for 10 years, she completed a master of fine arts degree at the University of Tennessee to pursue her love of teaching at the university level.

With her extensive knowledge of graphic design, Diane taught students in Architecture, Interior Architecture and Landscape Architecture the importance of type and image in a two-dimensional space. She assisted students with stationary system and portfolio design and taught them how to present their work on a visual scale to capture and convey their design abilities to potential clients and employers. Her attention to detail and presentation created a platform for students to communicate through design.

Outside of the classroom, Diane continued to impact students’ futures by helping them prepare portfolios for the college’s Career Day and for job interviews.

In short, Diane Fox helped students use creativity, design and artistry as communications tools to express their passions and taught them how to hone their design capabilities to a professional level.

Diane’s own design abilities combined with her strength as a visual storyteller elevated the college’s exhibits. For six years, she directed dozens of exhibits in the college’s Gallery 103 and Downtown Window Gallery, which reached a level of professionalism and engagement unseen before in the college. Because of Diane’s keen sense of design and communication, exhibits enveloped the visitor, told poignant stories and showed people young and old that design transforms the world. And all along the journey, she engaged students to work alongside her to learn about the power of the exhibit.

When Diane was not teaching design and photography or serving as the director of exhibits for the college, she continued her professional practice as a fine art photographer. “UnNatural History,” one of her most notable, awarded and published photographic bodies of work, captivates the dissolving connection between humanity and the natural world through images she takes in natural history museums around the world.

Photo of manatee in a museum
Suspended, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver, Colorado


Solo exhibitions of her work have been shown at the Erie Art Museum in Erie, Pennsylvania; Greyfriars Art Space in Norfolk, England; Santa Reparata Gallery in Florence, Italy; Museum of Modern Art, Tbilisi, Georgia; Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Los Angeles, Californina; and numerous other locations. In 2017, her work was displayed internationally at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, France, and the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfort, Germany, as part of the museums’ “Dioramas” exhibition that illustrated the history of dioramas through historical artifacts and recreations, as well as its use as inspiration through the eyes of contemporary artists.

Beyond the products of her passions, Diane Fox is known for her authenticity, her generosity, her kindness and her dry wit. She and husband Beauvais Lyons are proud parents and grandparents. Never one to draw attention to herself, Diane let the depth of her work and the compassion of her teaching speak for her, and the story they told is one of dedication, artistry and true humanity.

While Diane is a highly awarded artist and accomplished lecturer, the overwhelming success of her students demonstrates teaching is one of her greatest talents. We salute Diane for her dedication to her students and the college. While she will be greatly missed, we wish her all the best in her next journey.


See more of Diane Fox’s work.