By Sharron Eckert
The month of May will feature master artist Eric Buechel in an exhibit at the Shanks Center for the Arts in Crossville, which demonstrates Buechel’s wide variety of artistic accomplishments.
Buechel began at an early age learning to draw and paint from his father who is an artist and model-maker born in Koblenz, Germany. At the young age of 16, Buechel purchased a 19th century engraving, which later grew into a substantial collection and began his interest in art conservation. During his high school years, he won several art scholarships and attended DuCret School of Art in Plainfield, NJ, and worked under Dr. Furman Finck, an official presidential portrait artist in his New York City studio.
Continuing to enter professional competitions, Buechel graduated from Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and was quickly hired as an illustrator for FLM Graphics in Fairfield, NJ, and continued to freelance with Sikorsky Aircraft, Curtis Wright Corporation, NASA, Strategic Medical Communications and several pharmaceutical and advertising companies in New Jersey, Manhattan and Connecticut.
Buechel opened a design and advertising company called Tec-Art and in 1990 formed a new environmental company, Pioneers e-Waste, which was the first to recycle cathode ray tubes. His company Advanced Recovery was the featured story on the front page of the New York Times, followed by National Geographic, the Newark Star-Ledger, Chicago Tribune, Popular Science and other media worldwide for the development and marketing of the process of recycling computer and electronic materials and components. Other development processes continued, and in 2001, he was contracted to clean up 6,000 pallets full of technology equipment after the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center. After that project, Buechel sold the company and moved to Tennessee.
In 2006, Buechel opened The Artist Corner and Gallery on Main St. in Crossville, but had to close it after three years when he was diagnosed with stage four non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In 2011, following treatment and recovery, Buechel began teaching adults and youth painting and art history classes at the Shanks Center of the Arts. The Buechel exhibit, opening May 2 with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. and running through Saturday, June 1, will showcase a wide variety of styles and mediums.
The Shanks Center is open four days a week, Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The center also has three rooms of original fine art, books and CDs of local and regional artists, authors and musicians. It is at 140 North Main St., across from the Depot in Crossville. Parking is available behind the building at Taylor and Thurman Avenues. Call 787-1936 for more information.