Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents fine art and photography from Luisiana Mera (Añoranza), Weng Tze Yang (Idle Light) and Zack Rafuls (Props for a Film), opening Thursday, May 7, with a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The final of four installments in the Spring 2015 BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition series, the triple show will be on display in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery through May 18.
Luisiana Mera works with charcoal to create delicately rendered drawings that are tactile, velvety and dreamlike. The medium and the slow process support the intent of the drawing: building and erasing with charcoal mimic the idea of building a complex, intimate image. Her artistic practice is centered on a critical investigation of the body and human psychological moments. She reflects on social and cultural conventions, paying close attention to portraying the fragile, particular details that distinguish each person, objects and places. These details such as moles, scars, wrinkles and textures highlight the history and subjective reading of the individual. Extended and concentrated looking, versus merely seeing, encourages more complex meditations on the human condition and its environment.
Born and reared in Panama City, Panama, Mera moved to the U.S. as a teen, and was graduated from Nashville School of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited extensively on campus and at Cheekwood, Cummins Station and WAG (Watkins Arcade Gallery). She has won multiple awards including the Robb Swaney Prize for Excellence in Visual Expression and first place at the Currey Juried Student Exhibition; this past fall her work was selected for inclusion in INDA 9 (9th International Drawing Annual), a competitive publication of works of contemporary drawing.
Weng Tze Yang, Ipoh City, Perak, Malaysia – wengtzeyang.com
BFA in Photography
Show title: Idle Light (photographs with mixed media, photo installations)
A photographer who works with abstract photographs and installations, Weng Tze Yang seeks to bring in the act of contemplation into the viewing experience for her audience. Her photographs are abstract with elements of familiarities; the subtle shades of colors, the play of shadows and light creates a poem that resembles her view of spaces. She also emphasizes on the physicality of the materials she uses for her work as they affect how she display them in the gallery. By creating installations using her photographs, she expresses her own reality through her work, hoping that her viewers will be able to do so, engaging their own perceptions and thoughts with her images.
Yang, who also has an interest in art history, has exhibited off-campus at WAG (Watkins Arcade Gallery), COOP, Fort Houston, Nostos Gallery and at the University of the South’s Carlos Gallery, and served as an exhibition intern at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.
Zack Rafuls, Chattanooga, TN – zackrafuls.com
BFA in Fine Art
Show title: Props for a Film (soft sculpture, screen-printing, tropical plant, conceptual sound, bisque-fired ceramic, large-scale drawing
Zack Rafuls is a maker of art objects with an interdisciplinary practice that incorporates a wide-range of media and modes of making. A native of Miami, Florida, he moved to Tennessee in his early teens and to Nashville in 2011. His work – primarily sculpture, installation, painting, printmaking and video – has been exhibited at Ground Floor Gallery, the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery at Watkins, Track One, Cummins Station, and in solo and group shows at WAG (Watkins Arcade Gallery); he is currently co-curator at the Packing Plant. Chair of the art collective Co. H, Zack has interned at Zeitgeist Gallery and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Props for a Film presents a series of eclectic objects that function as components to a fragmented, semi-autobiographical narrative. At the heart of the work is a preoccupation with the appropriation of image as a means to construct a counter-cultural identity.
The exhibitions and reception are free and the public is invited. Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in MetroCenter; free parking is available in the campus lot.
The Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery is located in the main academic building on the Watkins campus. Regular Currey Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.