Kayla Saito, still from “Waiting to Show”

Watkins Kicks Off BFA Thesis Exhibition Series March 26

March 11, 2015

First of four group shows features Elizabeth Courtney, Cassey Honeycutt, Kayla Saito and Luke Weir


Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents BFA Thesis Exhibitions 2015, a four-part series from 12 graduating students in the Departments of Fine Art and Photography. First up is work from four students–Elizabeth Courtney, Cassey Honeycutt, Kayla Saito and Luke Weir–who have titled their group effort Absence. Opening Thursday, March 26, with a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m., Absence will be on display in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery through April 6.

Elizabeth Courtney, Cunningham, TN • idealmomentsphotography.com
BFA in Photography
Individual show title: Families Keeping the Past Alive (digital photographs and a book)

Families Keeping the Past Alive is an autobiography of Elizabeth’s life as a Civil War Reenactor and why she continues to reenact 20 years after starting with her family. Throughout her years reenacting, Elizabeth as gained a second family; her reenacting group has seen her grow up, graduate high school, navigate the world and will soon watch her graduate college. This body of work is a depiction of those connections and how her “family” keeps the past alive.
Note: Elizabeth will also present an off-site show, March 27-28, at the Masonic Lodge (corner of 7th and Broadway); opening night reception is 6-8 pm.
Cassey Honeycutt, "Bedroom"

Cassey Honeycutt, “Bedroom”

Cassey Honeycutt, Knoxville, TN • casseyhoneycuttphotography.net
BFA in Photography
Individual show title: Distance (medium-format photography and book)

Cassey Honeycutt is a photographer who focuses on portraiture with a photojournalistic approach. The work in her show Distance focuses on her relationship with her fiancé, Josh Golden, as he decides to join the U.S. Navy. The images follow time passing as Josh prepares to join the Navy, leaves and graduates Boot Camp and trains for an IT job in Pensacola, Florida, while Cassey remains in Nashville.

Kayla Saito, Nashville kaylasaito.com
BFA in Fine Art
Found objects, carpet, audio and video surveillance, monitors, photography

Kayla Saito, still from "Aquarium"

Kayla Saito, still from “Aquarium”

Kayla Saito is a sculptor and printmaker who focuses on installation work. The theme of her senior thesis show is documenting and re-representing intimate behaviors within public spaces, and she incorporates manipulated surveillance-type documentation with manipulated found materials to create a falsified home environment within the gallery. Saito juxtaposes voyeuristic images she’s captured in public with images mined from social media profiles in order to evaluate representation of individual identity within very opposed public spaces.

Luke Weir, Mt. Carmel, ILlukeweir.tumblr.com
BFA in Fine Art
Show title: No Nothing (book, thoughts, and what would be regarded as empty space)

Luke Weir tumblr_ WwebStatement: “We as individuals are fundamentally inseparable from the totality of Existence. The nature of art parallels the interdependence of Existence in that the viewer is as crucial to art’s existence as the artist. One cannot be a viewer without being an artist, for the act of viewing—and the thoughts it evokes—becomes a distinct and creative expression whether or not one chooses to verbalize it or not. In this way, we all have an inherent creative capacity within us, but many of us have long been under the illusion that the artist is a sort of cultural mystic; this perceived cultural role becomes a polarizing structure that often suppresses an individual’s awareness of their own creative capacity. Due to the relatively large number of graduating seniors, I am declining to show any of my work, by doing so I wish to draw attention to the community component of art and the interconnectedness of the creative experience.”

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. For more information, visit Watkins.edu or call 615.383.4848.

Updates to programming will be posted to Watkins.edu.

The Spring 2015 Watkins BFA Senior Thesis Exhibitions will continue in the Currey Gallery April 9–20 with Sharyn Bachleda and Sharon Stewart; April 23–May 4 with Heather Barrie, Jill Schumann and Robin Sinnett; and May 7–18 with Zack Rafuls, Luisiana Mera, Weng Tze Yang.

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. Admission and parking are free.

Cassey Honeycutt, "Processing"

Cassey Honeycutt, “Processing”


Cassey Honeycutt, "Ceremony"

Cassey Honeycutt, “Ceremony”



Click to enlarge evite

Click to enlarge evite