Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents Without ‘Isms, an exhibition of painting by Watkins alumna Mildred Jarrett, at its downtown gallery WAG during the June 4 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Jarrett’s work is firmly anchored in non-objective expressionism, with experimental searches following spontaneous intuitions without the distraction of subject matter or narrative; often the surfaces of the large acrylic canvasses are sanded, glazed, or scraped to further the transformation process.
A native of Oklahoma, Jarrett began formal art instruction at age 15 with private lessons at the Nashville Museum of Art, and, at 17, enrolled for additional instruction at Watkins Institute. She was considered too young for figure class, and so was directed to traditional painting.
Later, as a young wife and mother, she began to sell encyclopedias in order to buy paint and canvas. Selling door-to-door was an introduction to a 37-year career in corporate sales management that allowed her to travel the world as an international trainer and motivational speaker. As time permitted, she also continued her studies, taking courses at the University of Tennessee-Nashville, Vermont School of Art and Design, MTSU, and Volunteer State Community College.
After retiring in 1992, Jarrett returned to Watkins to earn her long-awaited art degree in 2001 (the Associate of Fine Arts degree). Her paintings have been exhibited extensively in solo and juried shows throughout Tennessee as well as in Alabama, North Carolina and Oklahoma, and are prized in numerous private collections (including the Washington, D.C. office of Senator Bob Corker).
“As an artist, I am willing to make self-revealing discoveries steered by intuition,” says Jarrett. “Facing a blank canvas in awesome fear that the first stroke is a revealing personal emotion, either conscious or subconscious, takes courage! The many experiences of the corporate world have given me the sureness needed to make powerful statements more moving than imitating nature. The way I see it, if I can travel over the jungles of Africa in an old DC-3, board a British submarine in Nova Scotia, be questioned by the police in China, slide around a mountain in New Zealand, drive in New York City without directions and all the other personal accumulations, I can attack this canvas!”
For more information, visit her website: MildredJarrett.com
WAG–an acronym for Watkins Arcade Gallery–is located in suite 77 upstairs in the historic Arcade and is open the first Saturday evening of the month during each Art Crawl (from 6-9 p.m.), and by appointment.
WAG joins approximately 20 participating Art Crawl galleries along Fifth Avenue of the Arts and upstairs in the Historic Arcade. Admission is free, and the Nashville Downtown Partnership provides two free shuttles traveling among the venues. For more information on the First Saturday Art Crawl, visit nashvilledowntown.com/play/first-saturday-art-crawl.
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. The venue will present shows year-round featuring work by Watkins students, alumni and other professional artists. For inquiries, contact WAG@watkins.edu. WAG is the second Watkins-run gallery space, joining the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery, the primary exhibiting space on the College’s campus in Metro Center.