Archive for the ‘About Content’ Category


Posted on: April 7th, 2016 by Steve Wilkison

President, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film


In becoming the 16th president in Watkins’ century-plus history, Joseph (J.) Kline, Ph.D., brings two decades of higher education administrative experience to the position, with expertise in student recruitment, interdisciplinary programming, fundraising and strategic partnerships. His career is noted for expertise in a variety of arts disciplines and includes distinguished work as a teacher, writer and performing artist.

Watkins J. Kline PhD president lakeside 8.2015 Wweb

President J. Kline

Dr. Kline came to Watkins from Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU), where was Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Professor of Theatre (2009-2015). In that role he guided the major programs in art, theatre, music, music education, digital filmmaking and communication, responsible for curriculum and assessment, budgets, artist activities, recruiting, galleries and capital projects. Among his accomplishments were oversight of a $7.5 million renovation of the art building (fine art, film and graphic design) and a $9 million renovation of the music building. He served on ENMU technology, strategic planning and reaccreditation committees and was host of a weekly show on the university’s NPR-affiliated radio station.

From 2005-2009, Dr. Kline was Professor and Chair, Performing Arts Department, and Producing Artistic Director, School of Performing Arts, at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), where he had oversight of curriculum, faculty and staff, budgets and artistic performance of the school of performing arts. He also served as Chair of the Departments of Production Design and of Dramatic Writing (the latter major was developed and launched under his guidance).

Highlights of his SCAD tenure were major program revisions to Performing Arts and Production Design (both BFA and MFA) and substantial increase in student recruitment and production activities (mainstage, studio, lab, singing ensembles). He also established a partnership with the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre as a component of performing arts graduate studies, for which he devised the curriculum.

Previously, he was Associate Professor and Chair, Performing and Fine Arts Department, at DeSales University (Center Valley, PA), with executive supervision of majors in TV/Film, theatre and dance and oversight of the university’s fine art and music offerings. While serving as chair, student enrollment in the department increased by more than 100%, making performing and fine arts the largest department in the university.

He was on the artistic staff, as associate/line producer and actor and director, at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, the official Shakespeare Festival of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

An effective classroom and studio educator, Dr. Kline’s teaching experience includes acting, directing, arts management, production, theatre history, dramatic literature, criticism, dramaturgy, playwriting and aesthetics.

A member of the Dramatists Guild, Actors’ Equity Association, and SAG-AFTRA, Dr. Kline has directed and/or performed at Pennsylvania Shakespeare, Barter Theatre, Maryland Shakespeare Festival, Folger Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, as well as appearing in feature films, network TV series and national commercials. A playwright with more than 10 premier productions to his credit, including original plays, adaptations and dance and multi-media works, he served as playwright-in-residence at the Barter Theatre (the State Theatre of Virginia, in Abingdon).

Dr. Kline holds a Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts (theatre) from Colorado State University, a Master of Fine Arts in Drama (acting) from the Catholic University of America, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Fine Arts (playwriting/arts management) from Texas Tech University.


Watkins Opens Spring BFA Thesis Exhibition Series: Michael Cribbs, Michael Hampton & Sarah McDonald

Posted on: March 4th, 2014 by Brendan Tapley

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents BFA Thesis Exhibitions 2014, a five-part series of work by 13 graduating students in the Departments of Fine Art and Photography. First up is a triple exhibition from Michael Taylor Cribbs, Michael Hampton and Sarah McDonald, opening Thursday, March 27, with a reception from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Their work will be on display in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus through April 6.

Ralphy and Vuppé 1 - Michael Cribbs“Ralphy and Vuppé” by Michael Cribbs

Cribbs, a candidate for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Fine Art, seeks to transport the audience to a different world through digital painting, music, and installation with his show Ralphy and Vuppé, depicting a story that explores the ideas of imagination, freedom and adventure.

Hampton, also a BFA in Fine Art degree candidate, focuses on graphite drawings, video work, performance and soft sculpture in his show Golden Disappointment. His work follows the playful yet thoughtful mode of jokes, applying cartoons and outlandish performances to darker subtleties of common life. The exhibition also includes two short films inspired by classic cartoons,

Michael Hampton film still

from Michael Hampton’s “dumbhounded”

“dumbhounded” (16 min.) and “Fraidy Cat” (16 min.), screening in a double feature in the Watkins Theater at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. “dumbhounded is a humorous appropriation and representation of Droopy Dog’s debut cartoon, with editing that heightens the underlying oddities within the narrative while making a new experience as a whole. Similarly, “Fraidy Cat” (from a Tom and Jerry episode) focuses on the bizarre shift of the typical cat-chases-mouse format. The episode poses a rather vulnerable Tom Cat, the usual antagonist, as victim to the haunting whims of Jerry Mouse. The amusing turns to grave as the footage is prolonged and extended, repeated and stuttered, playing with the original purposes of the episode while stretching the limits of the joke.

McDonald, a candidate for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography, presents Actual Instances, a series of photographs taken on short walks and long drives throughout her home state of Tennessee. The collection of giclée prints combines ambiguous scenarios and familiar typologies to investigate how still images often romanticize the subject.

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 or call 615.383.4848.

RalphyandVuppé 2 by Michael Cribbs

from “Ralphy and Vuppé”

Michael Taylor Cribbs, Franklin,
BFA in Fine Art
Show title: Ralphy and Vuppé (illustration, digital painting, installation)

Michael Taylor Cribbs is an illustrator specializing in children’s book illustrations and narrative based work through a digital medium. He explores these narrative fantasies by using historical ideas within different categories of art, which include romanticism, concepts of the sublime, aspects of cinematography, surrealism, installation, and the incorporation of music within art.

Michael Hampton, Nashville
BFA in Fine Art
Show title: Golden Disappointment (graphite on paper, video, polyester toy fabric, ink on balloons)

Michael Hampton is a fine artist focused on graphite drawings, video work, performance, and soft sculpture.

Michael Hampton  graphite drawing 2

Michael Hampton (graphite on paper)

He has exhibited in various shows throughout the city including Staying the Course (2014) and Abstractions Imaginative Fictions (2013) at WAG, Pink Lemonade (2013) at Ground Floor Gallery, and Projections (2013), at Platetone Print. He is also an active council member of the Co. H artist collective at Watkins and has performed stand-up comedy at Zanies, Mercy Lounge, the High Watt, East Room and Cult Fiction Underground.

Hampton’s work explores the tropes of jokes and humor and their malleability within a critical frame. He is interested in the darker subtleties and rich actualities that can be surfaced through humorous means. Cartoon imagery lends itself to the hands of thoughtful comedy and appropriated play, offering at once something simple while also speaking to something far more complex. In his thesis exhibition Golden Disappointment, Hampton pulls at these underlying narratives through processes of stacking, stuttering, isolating and amplifying. The works also bring into question the limit of a joke and champion an acceptable futility that teaches us how to lose.

Sarah McDonald, Nashville •
BFA in Photography
Show title: Actual Instances (medium format photography, giclée prints)


“Hermitage,” Sarah McDonald

Sarah McDonald is interested in everyday moments that make up a larger unknown narrative. Actual Instances presents a collection of images taken on short walks and long drives throughout her home state of Tennessee. McDonald combines ambiguous scenarios and familiar typologies to investigate how still images often romanticize the subject. She is thinking about repetition, desire, disillusionment and repetition.

McDonald won first place in the 2013 Currey Juried Student Show at Watkins and was a finalist in the Nashville Scene’s 2011 Photography Contest; her photography is currently on view in the annual Community Arts Program Student Exhibit in Cummins Station. Her work often focuses on travel, place and the passage of time. In addition to photography, her creative pursuits include bookbinding, sewing and collage.

Watkins BFA 3.27.14 Cribbs_Hampton_McDonald evite large

Click image for larger version

The Spring 2014 Watkins BFA Senior Thesis Exhibitions will continue in the Currey Gallery April 10–20 with Crystal Petrina and Alexine Rioux; April 24–May 4 with Christopher Creasy, Jordan Martin and Hannah Taylor; and May 8–18 with Amy Clutter, Samantha Carlson and Michelle Graham. Ray Palumbo and Chelsea Wright will present their show April 18 in an offsite space.

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.

Watkins closed Feb. 18

Posted on: March 3rd, 2014 by Brendan Tapley

Because of inclement weather, Watkins is again closed on Wednesday, February 18. Tonight’s screening of the documentary Corrections and Ashley Hunt’s visiting artist lecture scheduled for February 19 have been postponed; future dates TBD.


Posted on: February 18th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

October 2014: Watkins recently completed a 12-year survey of alumni employment (2003-2014). Although we were not able to track every alumnus/a who graduated since 2003, the following is a breakdown of current career status of those traced.

Film (BFA Degree):
Working in film or film-related career or currently in graduate school – 85%
Employed but not in film related position – 13%

Fine Art (BFA Degree):
Working as an artist or art-related career or currently in graduate school – 77%
Employed but not in an art-related position – 16%

Graphic Design (BFA Degree):
Working as a graphic designer or design-related career or currently in graduate school – 91%
Employed but not in a graphic design related field – 8%

Interior Design (BFA Degree):
Working as an interior designer or design-related career or currently in graduate school – 94%
Employed but not in a interior design related field – 5%

Photography (BFA):
Working as a photographer or in a photography-related or currently in graduate school – 91%
Employed but not in a photography-related field – 9%

What can you do with a degree in the visual arts? Below is a partial list of some of the positions currently held by our alumni.  For additional information on how visual arts graduates are generally succeeding in the workforce, check out the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), developed and distributed by Indiana University.


Creative Executive
Senior Editors
Digital Media Engineer
Production Co. Owner
TV Art Director
Multimedia Producer and Educator
Production Coordinator
Owner – Photography Studio
Film Equipment Manager
Museum Art Preparator
Production Assistant
Interactive Developer
Media Specialist
Director of Technology
Camera Operators
Sound Effects Editor
Exhibiting Video Artist
Sports Director
Special Effects Supervisor
Scenic Artist
Script Supervisor
Media Buyer
Production Assistant
Location Sound Specialist
Owner – film catering business
Assistant Director
Founder of WOFADMAP

Fine Art

Exhibiting Artists
Costume and Fantasy Art Designer
High School Art Teachers
College Art Teachers
Portrait Painter
Director of Design
Gallery Owners
Owner – Film Production Company
Senior Designer for Major Retailer
Visual Coordinator
Museum Curator
Exhibition Designer
Performance Artist
Display Designer
Jewelry Designer
Magazine founder
Non-Profit Director
Non-Profit Coordinator
Ceramics Instructor
Visual Merchandiser
Tee Shirt Designer
Floral Designer
Film Production Art Director

Graphic Design

Graphic Designers
Poster Designer
Web Developers
Senior Designers for Multi-media/Record Label
High School Art Teacher
Art Directors
Project Managers
Creative Directors
Magazine Creative Designer
User Interface Designers
Lead Designer for Apparel Design Company
Book Designers
Design Company Owners
UX/UI Developers
Marketing Communications Manager
Production Artist
MAC Pro Specialists
Interactive Designer
Communications Consultants
Instructional Designer
Principal Designer
Owner – Museum Display Company

Interior Design

Residential Designers
Commercial Designers
Directors of Design
Cakes Decorating Company Owner
Senior Clinical Consultant
Procedural Manager
Cabinet Design Representative
Paint Color Specialist
Non-Profit Director
Fung Shui Specialist
Kitchen & Bath Designers
Purchasing Specialist
Revit Designers
Construction Coordinator
Film Production Designer
Project Managers
CAD Designers
SketchUp Renderers
Museum Designer
Facilities Planning Specialist


Exhibiting Photographers
Commercial Photographer
Wedding Photography Company Owner
Studio Assistants
Creative Artist Agency Assistant
Director of Creative Services
Magazine Photographers
High School Art Teacher
College Photography Instructors
College Digital Art Instructor
Catalog Photographer
U.S. Department of Defense Photographer
Car Dealer In-House Photographer
Studio Owners
Non-Profit Project Coordinator
Book Bindery Studio Owner

About Map

Posted on: February 6th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

View Nashville by Watkins College of Art, Design & Film in a larger map

WAG (Watkins Arcade Gallery)

Posted on: February 2nd, 2014 by Steve Wilkison


The Watkins Arcade Gallery – WAG – is a public exhibition space of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film committed to serving the College community and the community at large through exhibitions and programs that enhance curriculum as well as engage a greater audience in the visual arts. WAG is dedicated to supporting the educational and cultural mission of the College by encouraging students to think independently and creatively about their art practice and role as critical thinkers within the cultural landscape.

Located in suite 77 of the historic downtown Arcade, in the 5th Avenue of the Arts district, WAG is open from 6 to 9 pm during the monthly First Saturday Art Crawl and by appointment.


Currey Gallery

Posted on: February 2nd, 2014 by Steve Wilkison


The Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery is the primary exhibiting space on the Watkins campus and presents two- and three-dimensional artwork, as well as multi-media installations including sound, video and performance. Students are provided an opportunity to exhibit every year in our annual juried student show, in departmental exhibitions, and at the conclusion of their degree program with a senior thesis exhibition. In addition, faculty and guest artists are invited to exhibit in the space.

brownley galleryGallery Hours:

Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday – 2 to 4 p.m.

Free admission, with ample, free parking in the campus lot.

Exhibition Schedule

JANUARY 8-22, 2016

19th Annual Interior Design Student Exhibit
a juried show featuring works by Bachelor of Fine Art in Interior Design degree candidates

Reception & awards presentation: Friday, January 22, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

FEBRUARY 4 through March 10, 2016

Currey Juried Student Show, featuring outstanding work in fine art, film, graphic design, interior design and photography, created since Fall 2015

Awards Reception: Thursday, February 4, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Presentations will begin at 6 p.m.

MARCH 24 through MAY 15, 2016
Spring 2015 series of BFA Senior Thesis Exhibitions in Fine Art and Photography

March 24 – April 3
Mackenzie Maroney, BFA in Photography: Today I Saw A Butterfly
Cassi Wright, BFA in Fine Art: The Hallowed Woods

Opening reception: Thursday, March 24, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

April 7
Joseph Newsome, BFA in Photography: Cope
(in the lighting studio)

One night only: 5:30 to 8 p.m.

April 7 – 17
David Anderson, BFA in Fine Art: What’s in My Soup?
Andrew Cox, BFA in Photography: Looking Glass
Christopher Strachan, BFA in Fine Art: Through Milk and Oil

Opening reception: Thursday, April 7, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

April 21 – May 1
Lily Adcock, BFA in Fine Art: Inhabit
Upreyl Mitchell, BFA in Photography: ‘cuz they ain’t make ‘em like you
Sophia Alana Stevenson, BFA in Fine Art: high-gloss

Opening reception: Thursday, Apri 21, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

May 5 – 15
Mali Hamilton, BFA in Fine Art: Domestic Oblivion
Aaron Harper, BFA in Fine Art: Garden Relay
Rebecca Lindley, BFA in Photography: Hiraeth

Opening reception: Thursday, May 5, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

MAY 26 through JULY 21, 2016

Summer student show from Co. H: Don’t Drink the Milk, featuring work by Stevie Bailey, Kevin Dietz, Holden Head, Tristan Higginbotham, Corrina Joyner, Kay Kennedy, Micah Mathewson, Carly Piccione and Rafer White

Closing reception: Thursday, July 21, 6 to 8 p.m.

JULY 29, 2016

One Night Only! Department of Community Education presents Pre-College Program Exhibition featuring work by Pre-College Program students, in drawing & painting, film and graphic design tracks

Reception: Friday, July 29, 5 to 7 p.m.

AUGUST 4 – 25, 2016

Hatch Show Print & Department of Graphic Design present posters from their summer workshop
Closing reception: Thursday, August 25, 5 to 7:30 p.m

SEPTEMBER 1 – 23, 2016

Faculty exhibition with work by
Brady Haston, assistant professor, Department of Fine Art
Angelique Rabus, visiting assistant professor, Department of Photography
Steve Wilkison, associate professor, Department of Graphic Design

SEPTEMBER 30 through OCTOBER 14, 2016

Exhibition in conjunction with sixth annual of Handmade & Bound book arts festival (October 1), presented by the Watkins Library and the Community Education department

Opening reception: Friday, September 30, 5 to 7 p.m.

OCTOBER 20 through NOVEMBER 3, 2016

Annual Graphic Design department juried show Split & Twisted
Student projects in Advertising, Books & Jackets, Identity, Illustration, Illustration Series, Package Design, Poster/Design, Publication Design, Multimedia, and Miscellaneous/Design

Opening reception: Thursday, October 20, 5:30 to 8 p.m.


Fall 2016 series of BFA Senior Thesis Exhibitions in Fine Art and Photography


Posted on: January 15th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Board of Trustees


Samuel E. Stumpf, Jr. (Chair)

Ken McDonald (Vice-Chair)

Taylor H. Henry (Secretary/Treasurer)


Watkins Commissioners_2014

Commissioners Walter Knestrick, Susan Basham and Brownlee O. Currey, Jr.

Susan A. Basham

Brownlee O. Currey, Jr.

Walter Knestrick


Beth Scott Clayton Amos

Emme Nelson Baxter

Lynn Bennett

David H. Berryman

James H. Clayton III

Stephanie Conner

Dee Doochin

Donna Glassford

Robert M. Hebert, Jr.

Reggie Hill

Anna Jaap

James R. Kelley

Carol L. McCoy

Eileen N. McGinn

Debbye W. Oliver

Cano A. Ozgener

Laurence M. (Larry) Papel

Samantha Saturn

Walter F. Schatz

Steve Sirls

John M. Steele

Tarun Surti

Pam Thomas

Laura Turner

William (Bill) Warfield

Waddell H. Wright

Trustees Emeriti

Ward DeWitt, Jr.

Ralph T. Glassford

Lee Ann Hawkins

Lucille Nabors

Paulette Whitworth

Ex Officio

J. Kline, Ph. D., President, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

Bill Haslam, Governor, State of Tennessee

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General, State of Tennessee


Commissioners’ photo by Jeremy Ryan


Visiting Artists Archive

Posted on: January 15th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Watkins hosts many artists, designers, and filmmakers to come and speak directly to the students and also to the public at large.  Below is a list of just some of these talented people who, in recent years,  have shared their time, their stories, and their advice.


Natalia Almada – Filmmaker

Gail Anderson – Creative Director of Design at SpotCo. NYC

Joel Anderson – Anderson Design Group


Ann Beatts – Screenwriter

David Bennett – CMT Lead Animator

Gina Binkley – Alter Ego Design, Illustration and Photography

John Henry Blatter – Media and Sound Artist

Wayne Brezinka – Design and Illustration

Shawn Brown – Photographer


David Carson – Author, Typographer, Designer

Keith Carter – Photographer

Barry Cook – Disney Animator

Aisha Cousins – Visual Artist


Jessica Davis – Interior Designer

Bob Delevante – Designer and Photographer

Mike Delevante – Owner, Delevante Creative

Dean Dixon – Photographer


Susan Eaddy –Children’s Author and Illustrator

Vern Evans – Photographer


Harrell Fletcher – Social Practice Artist

Phil Foster – Illustrator

Travis Foster – Illustrator


Marcelle Guilbeau – Interior Designer


Beth Haley – Interior Designer

Helen Hannah – Interior Designer

David Hilliard – Photographer

Rocky Horton – Visual Artist

-I, J-

Nancy Inman – Designer

Terri Jones – Visual Artist


Rainey Kirk – Illustrator

Miwon Kwon – Art Historian & Critic


Liz Magic Laser – Video and Performance Artist

Deborah Luster – Photographer


David Macauley – Author, Illustrator

Laray Mayfield – Film Casting Director

David McClister – Photographer/Director

Bryce McCloud – Illustrator and Designer

Kim Michaud – Interior Designer

Greg Miller – Photographer


Zach Provonchee – Architect

R. H. Quaytman – Painter


Dan Read – Hollywood Makeup Artist

Lucie Rice – Illustrator

Artemio Rodriguez – Printmaker & Illustrator

Bethany Rooney – Television Director

Bill Ross – Children’s Author and Illustrator

Rebecca Ruegger – Painter and Illustrator

Michael Rutherford – Photographer


Chris Sickels – Animator and Children’s Book Illustrator

Jeff Silva – Visual Artist

Julie Sola – Printmaker and Designer

T. L. Solein – Painter

Alec Soth – Photographer

Robert Stone – Film Producer

Jock Sturges – Photographer


Sheila Turner – Photographer


Wayne White – Painter and Sculpture

Elizabeth Williams – Art Director

Visiting Artists Spotlight

Posted on: January 15th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

2015-6 Visiting Artists Series

Christian Moeller

April 11, 2016
7:00 pm
Watkins Theater on campus
Supported by the Metro Arts Percent for Public Art program

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Steve Tobin

Feb. 18, 2016
6:30 pm
Watkins Theater on campus
Special thanks to Cheekwood, presenting Steve Tobin: Southern Roots Feb.20-Sept. 4

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Carolyn Drake

Nov. 11, 2015
6:30 pm
Watkins Theater on campus

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Click to enlarge evite

Award-winning documentary photographer Carolyn Drake (Taylor-Lange Documentary Prize, Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, World Press Photo, POYi), works globally on personal projects and assigned commissions that explore the effects of modernity on individual and cultural freedoms. Her photographs demonstrate the power of art in documenting the lives of people living under conditions of precariousness and political repression, and through this work, she allows them to speak with their own voices. Read more.

2015 Visiting Artists Series

All of the individuals in the 2015 Visiting Artists Series at Watkins explore the role of the artist as a critical intellectual. Not only have these artists shifted the perimeters of their fields by exploring new media and new forms, but they have also contributed to some of the most important debates of the contemporary era, including addressing the rights and responsibilities of artists in an era where creative people are becoming instruments of branding and gentrification.

ht_colorThe 2015 Watkins Visiting Artists Series is funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Jessica Hische

Jan. 22, 2015
6:30 pm
Watkins Theater on campus

Watkins VAS JessicaHische 1.22.15 evite Wweb

Letterer, illustrator and type designer Jessica Hische–at the age of 31, one of the most influential graphic designers in the world–launches the 2015 Watkins Visiting Artists Series. For more information, read the news story.






Ashley Hunt

Feb. 19, 2015
6:30 pm
Watkins Campus Theater

AshleyHunt headshot WwebAshley Hunt is a Los Angeles-based writer and artist best known for his activist projects in video, photography and graphic design which engage the ideas of social movements, modes of learning and public speech. His work is often concerned with questions of power and the ways that some people have more, others have less, and what can be done about that. Among his most celebrated works are his ongoing video series on the prison system, entitled The Corrections Documentary Project, and his Prison Maps. His work has been screened and exhibited at the P.S.1/MOMA, the Tate Modern, the Museum of Modern Art, the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Atlanta. He is Co-Director of the Program in Photography and Media at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Read the news story.


Martha Rosler
NEW DATE = Thursday, April 16
6:30 pm
Watkins Campus Theater

Martha-Rosler-cropped CUNY WwebMartha Rosler is a Brooklyn-based artist and writer. Her work includes video, installation and performance. She is best known for a series of photomontages entitled House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home (1967-1972) and for her early explorations of video as a medium, especially her famous Semiotics of the Kitchen (1975). Her photo-conceptualist project The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems (1975-1976) offered an important critical perspective on documentary photography in light of conceptual art. She is also a celebrated writer and critical voice, and has published over 15 books of her writings and art. Her collected essays, Decoys and Disruptions, was published by MIT Press in 2004. She has taught at Rutgers University and at Städelschule in Frankfurt, Germany.

Read more here


2013-14 VAS


Jonathan Katz

Renowned for his writings on postwar American art and queer art history, Katz curated the much-discussed 2010-11 exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. He is also a co-founder of Queer Nation in San Francisco, founder of the Harvey Milk Institute, and former director of the Larry Kramer Initiative for Gay and Lesbian Studies at Yale University. His writings have appeared in Art in America, Art & Text, Art History, Art Journal, and numerous other publications. He is co-author with Moira Roth of Difference/Indifference: Musings on Duchamp and Cage.

Katz is currently an associate professor and director of the Ph.D. program in Visual Studies at University of Buffalo. He has previously taught at Smith College, Stony Brook University, University of Amsterdam, and Yale University. At the City College of San Francisco, during the 1990s, he was the first full-time, tenured faculty member in gay and lesbian studies in the United States.

Watkins VASlecture_JonathanD.Katz_10.3.13evite_fKatz’s scholarly work addresses why the American avant-garde in the Cold War era came to be dominated and defined by queer artists who remained silent about their sexuality in what was perhaps the single most homophobic decade in this nation’s history. His research and writing has focused on composer John Cage and painters Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, although he also has written about poet Frank O’Hara, French theorist and radical feminist Monique Wittig, artists Agnes Martin, David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and others. Currently, he is co-curating “AIDS/Art/America,” a major 2014 international touring exhibition offering the first examination of the ways AIDS shifted post-modernist premises in the art world.


R.H. Quaytman

R. H. Quaytman

Painter R. H. Quaytman, whose work addresses the critical and institutional contexts of painting, will speak at Watkins on her first visit to Nashville. The lecture, second in the 2013-14 Visiting Artists Series, is free and open to the public.

In her recent work, the New York-based Quaytman has placed the language of painting into dialogue with the real world contexts of the museums or galleries where it appears. Her work aligns the aesthetics of painting with more austere and intellectual traditions of conceptual art and institutional critique.

About the artist

R. H. Quaytman was born in 1961 in Boston, and lives and works in New York. She received her B.A. in painting from Bard College (1983), and attended the post-graduate program in painting at the National College of Art & Design in Dublin (1984) and the Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques in Paris (1989). She was subsequently awarded a 2001 Rome Prize Fellowship. Quaytman was director of Orchard, a cooperative gallery in New York, open from 2005 to 2008, and is currently faculty of Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College.

Watkins VASlecture_RHQuaytman evite 1.29.2014 fQuaytman incorporates optical abstractions, silkscreened photographs, diamond dust layers, and hand-painted trompe l’oeil elements into her works. Using these diverse techniques, she weaves personal, art historical, and formal narratives to explore the many contexts in which painting can be seen and understood. Presented in groups she considers “chapters,” Quaytman’s works invite the viewer to look from one painting to another, considering individual works within the context of the group.

Solo exhibitions of her work have been mounted by Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris; The Renaissance Society, Chicago; Museum Abteiberg, Monchengladbach, Germany; Gladstone Gallery, Brussels; Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Freidrich Pretzel Gallery and Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York; Vilma Gold Gallery, London; Neuberger Museum, Purchase, New York; and Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, among others.

In the past decade she has participated in more than 60 group exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the world, including London, Paris, Vienna, Warsaw, Rome, Berlin, Venice, Brussels, Antwerp, Stockholm, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis and Ft. Worth. She was also included in the 2011 Venice Biennale and the 2010 Whitney Biennial.

Quaytman is the author of Allegorical Decoys (MER Press, 2008), inspired by her time as director of the Manhattan cooperative gallery Orchard, and Spine (Sternberg Press, 2011), which brings together all her paintings produced since 2001, the year she began conceiving and organizing her output in chapters (includes 20 chapters total).  She is also a contributor to Corrected Slogans: Reading and Writing Conceptualism (Triple Canopy, 2013), a collection of conversations with innovative artists and poets addressing conceptual practices in contemporary art and poetry.


RipZipRARLANd March 3 Watkins VAS evite WwebNick Briz
 and Jon Satrom
Monday, March 3, 2014
6 p.m.
Watkins Theater
reception for Visiting Artists Exhibition RipZipRARLANd to follow from 7 to 9 p.m.

Free parking in campus lot

Chicago-based new media artists Nick Briz and Jon Satrom will speak at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film on Monday, March 3, in the final installment of the Watkins Visiting Artists Series. Their remarks about the ethics of saving/sharing, experimentation, conscious copying, hacking and collaboration will begin at 6 p.m. in the Watkins Theater, followed immediately by a reception to celebrate the gallery show RipZipRARLANd, an exhibition of ripped work from artists working in a variety of genres including, glitch art, video, and dirty new media.

The theme of the exhibition is based on the infinitely copyable nature of new media, lossy and corrupt works, and the intentions involved in their preservation and distribution. The show will be on display in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus through March 20.

RipZipRARLANd (which takes its combination name from several new media terms) is a utopist local area network inspired by experimental new media art, and guests are invited to bring their digital files to copy to the RipZipRARLANd Local Area Network Archive installed at Watkins for the run of the show.

Recognized internationally as leaders in the counter new media art movement known as glitch, Briz and Satrom undermine interfaces, bend data and provoke glitches in the arena of digital media. Their practices have grown out of the infinite copy-ability of data and inevitable decay of digital media. They hack, reclaim, remix and share in an effort to promote and preserve a genre/medium/culture.

About RipZipRARLANd

As [users/artists] we consider ourselves [creators/producers], however, in the eyes of contemporary (networked) corporations, we are the product being sold for billions of dollars. These wide-spread software-as-service models don’t trade in their technology as much as they trade in humans. SoftwARE iz Humans.

Nick Briz is a new media artist, educator and organizer based in Chicago. He is an active participant in digital culture and experimental new media, specifically through his work/research/writing on glitch art, remix-culture and digital literacy, and he regularly organizes events related to these theories/practices as well as teaching at the Marwen Foundation and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is Instructor in Contemporary Practices. His work has been shown internationally at festivals and institutions such as the FILE Media Arts Festival (Rio de Janeiro), the Images Festival (Toronto), the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Museum of Moving Image (NYC), Furtherfield Gallery (London); Museo De Arte Contemporaneo de Caracas, and LEAP Berlin. Briz has been featured in on/off-line publications including,, the Creators Project, Creativity Online, PSFK, and Neural Magazine. He works collaboratively/commercially as Branger_Briz, a digital interactive agency, and is co-founder/co-organizer of the GLI.TC/H international conference/festival/ gathering. His work is distributed through Video Out Distribution (Vancouver) as well as openly and freely on the web. Briz holds a BFA from the University of Central Florida and an MFA from SAIC. See more at

Jon Satrom is a Chicago-based artist, educator and designer who performs realtime audio/video, makes kludgey work-flows, creates colorful glitch-ware, and enjoys working within collaborative projects and open systems. He spends his days fixing things and making things work, and spends his evenings breaking things and searching for the unique blips inherent to the systems he explores and exploits. By over-clocking everyday digital tools, Satrom kludges abandonware, funware, necroware, and artware into extended-dirty-glitchy-systems for performance, execution, and collaboration. His time-based works have been enjoyed on screens of all sizes; his Prepared Desktop has been performed in many localizations. Satrom organizes, develops, and performs with I ♥ PRESETSpoxparty, and GLI.TC/H, in addition to other initiatives with talented dirty new-media comrades. Currently Instructor in New Media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Satrom holds a BFA in Video/Sound/Art and Technology from SAIC. See more at and watch his TedxDePaulU talk, “Creative Problem Creating” •