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Art Management Alumni

Image of alum and their work

The Art Cellar Gallery's owners Michael and Pamela McKay (standing) and Liz Brown, Gallery Director (seated)


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Pam McKay
1988 BS in Art Marketing and Production (now Art Management), 1998

Pam McKay grew up in Boone and when it came time to choose a college, she wanted to venture out. After being accepted to most schools within the state, she attended East Carolina University to study art. After three years she knew that a studio art degree was not the best option for her.

Appalachian offered an art marketing and production degree (now Art Management) back in her home turf. "So after a long, fun college experience on the east coast, I returned to the mountains and ASU," she says. "My entire life I have appreciated, collected and been attracted to the arts. I always knew I would be involved in art, but I did not possess the talent to be the one creating it."

With her core classes behind her, she jumped right into her art management classes at ASU. Still interested in making art, her favorite studio classes in textiles and metals kept her very involved. She received a Moberg scholarship to create a large scale woven textile for the Broyhill Continuing Education Center.

After graduation, Pam worked at a few art-related jobs within the state. In 1993, she opened The Art Cellar Gallery in Banner Elk, with her husband, Michael McKay (an Appalachian Alum with a business degree). Pam describes The Art Cellar Gallery as "the area's largest gallery and features the most comprehensive collection of local and regional artists, many of which are Appalachian grads."

"The caliber of student artwork produced from ASU is tremendous. I continue to watch the talent that comes from there. It is fabulous to see art students involved in the art world exhibiting, selling and getting curatorial experience at TCVA and the Catherine Smith galleries."

Pam returned to ASU as a graduate student in 2001 to pursue a second career in interior design. After taking graduate classes in commercial and residential design, she received certification from the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam and has been a practicing interior designer with the local design firm, Dianne Davant and Associates for ten years. Pam is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers and she travels widely to work on homes in the southeast. She is on the advisory committee for Appalachian's Interior Design program and the Board of Directors for the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts.

Currently, Pam is working on a schedule for her gallery's 2012 season and is completing the design of homes in Asheville, Winter Park, FL, and Myrtle Beach, SC. A rustic home she designed within the Linville Ridge Country Club will be feature in the upcoming Fall/Winter issue of Western Art and Architecture.

September 2011

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