Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents “Watkins Alumni Exhibition Series No. 1,” featuring new work by 10 alumni in Film, Fine Art, Graphic Design and Photography and opening Thursday, November 20, with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus. The exhibition will run through December 12.
Participating artists in “Watkins Alumni Exhibition Series No. 1” are Jeremy Adams (Film, 2003), Alicia W. Binkley (Graphic Design, 2008), Chris Doubler (Fine Art, 2006), Patricia Earnhardt (Fine Art, 2008), Jennifer Georgescu (Photography, 2008), Derek Gibson (Fine Art, 2004), Pam Jolly Haile (Fine Art, 2013), Joshua Brent Montgomery (Film, 2008), Jaime Raybin (Fine Art, 2006) and Trent Thibodeaux (Graphic Design, 2006).
This inaugural show, organized by the newly formed Watkins Alumni Committee, is the first in an ongoing series that intends to demonstrate the diverse and continued explorations of art across departments among the alumni community.
The exhibition 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.
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. (Watkins will be closed Nov. 27-28 for Thanksgiving.) Admission is free.
About the Artists
Director and cinematographer Jeremy Adams (coroflot.com/jeradams) lives and works in Los Angeles. A 2003 graduate of the Film School at Watkins, he has worked in a variety of roles in film/video production, ranging from art department assistant on ABC’s “Pushing Daises” to storyboarding acclaimed music video director Joseph Kahn’s second feature film, “Detention.” Jeremy has directed and photographed documentaries, commercials, music videos, short films and a feature film. In 2012, he directed an award-winning spot for Marine Corps Special Operations Command/MARSOC and in 2013, shot and edited the webisode “You Ought To Know Nashville” for PBS Digital.
- Grid of 9 (3 across, 3 down), archival digital prints, iPhone photography (12″x20″)
Jeremy Adams, “Pacific Stranger”
“I have always viewed the ordinary world in cinematic widescreen. For the longest time I tried to develop a photographic style to reflect this, without any real success, but having an iPhone in my pocket at all times and taking pictures on a phone just for the hell of it has allowed themes of simplicity and space to emerge, one photo after another. My eye is now naturally drawn to unique, natural landscapes that sometimes feature inhabitants. Most times though, the landscapes themselves are characters in their own right that tell a story without ever saying a word. It’s this aspect that attracts me the most, especially in this modern and ever-complicating world where we are constantly bombarded with information.”
Alicia W. Binkley, “Him Her”
Alicia Waters Binkley (adubsyall.com) describes herself as a “designer and doer who loves to find creative ways to help others.” Running her own business since earning her BGA in Graphic Design Watkins in 2008, she currently co-runs MID, a print and design company, with her husband, Drew. On top of illustrating she has a great passion for UX and problem solving — worked with many clients around the world on UX/UI solutions for web and mobile — and enjoys serving as the Creative Director at AlienFast, LLC. Earlier this year she became a host of the Nashville chapter of the monthly global creative networking series CreativeMornings.
- “Him Her,” 2-color screen print with metallic gold ink printed on #110 Smart White French paper (12″ x 18″). Open editions.
“My work tugs at the heartstrings of sentiment and nostalgia. My illustrations often include pattern work with an update to traditional elements and icons.”
A Middle Tennessee native, Chris Doubler received his BFA in Fine Art from Watkins in 2006. Since that time he has applied his skills and education to become an exhibition designer, preparator, graphic designer and art handler at institutions including Cheekwood Museum & Botanical Gardens, The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
- Silkcreen print on paper (approx 16″x19″)
Jennifer Georgescu, “The Veil”
Jennifer Georgescu’s (jengeorgescu.com) work describes instinctual aspects of humanity correlating to and differing from societal structuring. With a background in painting and photographic arts, she utilizes medium format film photography, installation, and digital technology. Her projects analyze dualisms in language, relationships, mythologies and control. “I often search for the balance that exists in between these dichotomies. This is how I view humanity; always teetering on the line between fiction and reality, domination and submissiveness, self and other.”
After obtaining a BFA in Photography from Watkins College of Art, Design & Film in 2008, Georgescu was awarded a yearlong residency at Vanderbilt University’s “Gallery F.” She has received numerous honors from Artist Portfolio Magazine, the Camera Obscura Journal of Literature and Photography, and the Julia Margaret Cameron Award. Her works have recently been exhibited in the Masur Museum of Art, the Detroit Museum of New Art, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and PhotoCenter NW. She lives in San Francisco.
- “Star Gazers” (the veil) (20”x20,” 2014) and “Star Gazers” (night walks) (15”x15,” 2014)
I wish I could believe that something was out there waiting for me in the cosmos. I find the thought of forever incapacitating. Then I think of the alternative; of being nothing ever again. We all have a self-proclaimed importance that renders our being obsolete, impossible. This is part of what makes us human. We hold the idea of our importance despite our insignificance and mortality.
Jennifer Georgescu, “Night Walks”
I long for a time, somewhere in the past, when it was thought that all information was just out of reach and all we had to do was find it. I feel that in present time, the more information we know, the more we realize that we’ll never know it all. We now have a vastly expanding wealth of information at our fingertips, yet we are no closer to “knowing” the most important answers.
The most wonderful idea I can think of, the thing that truly comforts me, is the possibility of time being warped beyond our current perception. I find comfort in the idea of parallel universes; where little holes allow for one world to briefly experience the next. When you make a decision in one world, an alternate decision would be made in the next, and so on. This idea has always allowed me to think that when I am gone in one world, I may continue in the next.
“Star Gazers” addresses the things that are hard to think about (i.e. death, mortality, insignificance) through imagination and narrative easy to be confronted with. Fiction and awe weave together antique imagery, scientific imaging, and medium format film photography to tell a far-fetched tale that is factually possible. This is a story where worlds can communicate, where past and present can connect, and the cosmos contain meaning.
Patricia Earnhardt, film still from “Accepted”
Patricia Earnhardt (patriciaearnhardt.com) is a multimedia visual artist working primarily with video and installation art. Her work, which focuses on social and political issues as well as personal internal struggles, has been exhibited in Berlin, Germany and in numerous venues in Nashville. She graduated from Watkins in 2008 with a BFA in fine Art. She is also a filmmaker and, for the past 20 years, has run Earnhardt Films, LLC with her husband, David Earnhardt.
- Digital video, “Accepted” (2:36, looping)
“In the video, ‘Accepted,’ soft, ripe fruit falls onto the back of a woman reclining peacefully in a field. The fruit splays as it hits the quiet and unflinching body — flesh meeting flesh. The image depicts an acceptance of nature and its effects on the body over time, showing the beauty in aging — something that is often considered grotesque.”
A Murfreesboro native, Derek Gibson (derekgibson.see.me) has exhibited locally, regionally and nationally in a variety of group and juried shows in Fort Collins (CO), Cincinnati, Atlanta and New York City since graduating from Watkins with a BFA in Fine Art in 2004. His work has included sculpture, photography, installation and video installation. He stays involved in the local art community, volunteering as a studio teaching assistant and exhibit preparator in two local non-profit organizations and maintaining his own artistic practice while keeping a day job.
- Mixed media sculpture of various domestic and exotic hardwoods (approx. 6-8’ tall, 4-5’ in length and width)
“My work is informed by the idea of place. This could be a physical place where I have been or where I shared an event with a significant other. It could also be a spiritual place I have been as part of my meditation practice and continuing journey of personal development.
Pam Haile, “Her Mark 1”
Pam Jolly Haile processes ideas of space and place using a variety of visual languages, including painting, sculpture, installation and photography. Her focus on nature’s benevolence and the experiences it provides is the thread she follows, weaving abstract ideas and theory into her art practice. She earned her BFA in Fine Art from Watkins in 2013 and currently lives and works in Nashville.
- Archival UV direct print on dibond substrate (20″x15″)
“There is a seamless rapport between my everyday life and art making. The work I create is a recording of my ordinary experiences. I aim to engage the audience with sensory and poetic qualities in works that question what it means to consciously observe, and therefore wholly experience being human.”
Joshua Brent Montgomery, “Shine”
Joshua Brent Montgomery (joshuabrentmontgomery.com) is an artist from Goodlettsville, TN. A 2008 graduate of the Film School at Watkins, he works as a casting associate in the entertainment industry and spends his free time writing and drawing.
- Three acrylic on canvas: “Boy in Snow” (24”x36”), “Scared Boy in Field” (18”x24”), “Shine” (36″x36″)
“My work is culled from a wide variety of personal interests and curiosities, none of which share a locus worth mentioning.”
Alethea Norene holds a BFA in Photography in 2008 from Watkins and MFA in 2010 from Maine College of Art in Portland. She has exhibited her work nationally in solo and group exhibitions and alternative venues such as clothing boutiques. Co-founder of SOUP, a community based micro-grant program for artists in Portland, Alethea is currently expanding her creative practice and is in school in Nashville to become a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, hoping to utilize her creative experiences to positively empower women.
- Archival pigment print from digital scan of film (30×30″)
“My work celebrates friendship, co-dependence, magic, healing, faith, and mistake making. My images and drawings memorialize moments of togetherness and independent voyages.”
Jaime Raybin, “For Owen”
Jaime Raybin (jaimeraybin.com) earned a BFA in Fine Art in 2006 from Watkins, where she currently works as an admissions recruiter. Her exhibition history includes Northwestern University, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts (Nashville), Swanson-Reed Contemporary (Louisville, KY), the Foundry Art Centre (Saint Charles, MO), Athens Institute for Contemporary Art (Athens, GA), the Renaissance Center (Dickson, TN) and the University of the South (Sewanee, TN).
- Acrylic on canvas “Bathroom” (28″x37″) and “Can Phone” (17″x42″); digital micrography collage “For Owen” and “For Kalina” (each approx. 18”x24″)
“My paintings deal with themes of social isolation and escapism. They are set in the workplace and in shared living spaces. This work is figurative and personal, often featuring myself as a character in narrative metaphorical vignettes.”
Originally from Louisiana, Trent Thibodeaux (thedesign13.com) has been a resident of Nashville for the past 14 years, since coming to Watkins to study graphic design; he earned his BFA in 2006. He has worked in many facets of the design world and currently is lead designer at Third Man Records.
- Graphite and wall paper on paper (10×20); color photo (8×10), wall pasted illustration in corner (3’x4’)
“My work deals with the transformation from the familiar to the unfamiliar. Using drawings, textures, & found images that evoke nostalgia, i create new images that tell an unintended story. At first glance these new images look familiar and deliver a sense of comfort. Through further exploration, the comparison of unfamiliar and unexpected elements creates sense of uneasiness. The conflict created by the unexpected change in narrative, caused by the combination of disparate elements challenges the viewer to rethink the idea of normalcy and expectation.”
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About the Watkins Alumni Committee
The Watkins Alumni Committee preserves the spirit of the Watkins community for alumni, locally and nationally, beyond graduation by cultivating opportunities for professional growth and support as well as social connectivity. As artists and makers, we promote the value of the arts beyond the walls of Watkins through collaborations with community organizations and local businesses, advocating for arts access and art education, and developing a culture of philanthropy in the arts. For more information, contact committee chair Abby Whisenant at email@example.com