Trevor Southey Biography

Trevor Southey




Painter, printmaker, and sculptor Trevor Southey was born in 1940 in the Republic of Zimbabwe, known then as Rhodesia, to parents of colonialist Dutch descent. At age fifteen he emigrated to the United States, before relocating to England to study briefly at Brighton College of Art in Sussex. He returned to the States and enrolled at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where he earned his BA (1967) and MFA (1969). He then took a position as an art teacher at Brigham Young, where he remained until 1977 before focusing on his own art career. 

Part of Southey's reason for settling in Provo, Utah, was because of his exposure, in Africa, to the Mormon faith. He eventually converted to Mormonism and decided to move with his family to Provo. Here, he added sculpture to his oeuvre and established a following of collectors as well as students for the workshops he held at his studio.

In the 1980s Southey came out as gay. Among his Mormon friends he struggled to find acceptance; however, this experience became a major source of inspiration to the artist, and evenutally made him a local icon among the LGBTQ communities of Utah. Following his divorce in 1985 he relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area; his children eventually joined him there. His artistic career continued to grow and he accepted commissions throughout the U.S. and in Britain. He became known for his figurative paintings and scupltures.

In 2013, after a decade-long battle with prostate cancer and a recent diagnosis with Parkinson's disease, Southey returned to Utah to be cared for by friends and relatives. Once again, his children followed. He died on October 20, 2015.