Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Alumnus Matt Christy Returns September 5 to WAG

Posted on: September 3rd, 2015 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will welcome alumnus Matt Christy back to Nashville by presenting an exhibition of paintings from his series Always Never Now during the September 5 show in its downtown gallery WAG.

Untitled (collage and mixed media on paper, 42" x60", 2015)

Untitled (collage and mixed media on paper, 42″ x60″, 2015)

Christy earned his BFA in Fine Art from Watkins and was recently awarded an MFA from the University of Oregon (Eugene), where he was Associated Faculty at CoreSTUDIO, the Department of Art’s Foundation Program. His Nashville homecoming show will also provide an opportunity to meet Watkins’ new President, J. Kline, Ph.D., whose tenure as the school’s 16th leader began mid-July.

Always Never Now is a series of works that have taken different forms: drawings, animation, performance, and even music. Christy likens his large collage paintings to stills from perverse, goofy, existential Saturday morning cartoons. Their intense colors against chalky black backgrounds create an uneasy feeling of blaring brass sounds. In the center collage two horn players garishly announce a car wreck, as if celebrating this moment of self-destruction. Furniture rolls, signals skip off heads, and symbols bounce around in a blank night. They have banners with perverse and truncated messages. According to Christy, “The phrase ‘Always Never Now’ is a self-contradicting phrase about constantly deferred hopes and revolutions that never arrive. It is about how time never fulfills its promises, but it’s also a constantly becoming liberation that comes through daily destruction.”

About the artist

Matt Christy is a figment, a water dog, a speck. He’s been in several failed relationships. He graduated with a BFA in Fine Art from Watkins in 2007. Then he built a goat shed out of mud. Earlier this year he got a stamp of approval from ole’ Degreeville University. [Editor’s note: It was the University of Oregon.] And now that he’s a master he spends his time honing his abilities to levitate.  •

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.

firstsaturdayartcrawl-bordered WwebWAG 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

Lights, Camera, Auditions! Film School’s Casting Call is September 12

Posted on: August 30th, 2015 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will hold a general casting call for Fall 2015 student film projects on Saturday, September 12, at the Watkins campus in Metro Center.

Casting call sign in 0010Directors of approximately 16 productions from the BFA film program at Watkins will be looking for actors of all ages; union and non-union welcome (because student films are being made under the SAG/AFTRA student film agreement, current union members are allowed to participate). All actors are asked to bring headshots and résumés; for those without a headshot, a photo may be taken at the call.

Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script (with on-camera readings at the discretion of each director). Casting breakdowns and proposed shoot dates (usually over a 3-day/Friday–Sunday period) will be posted to this page as they become available and distributed on site.

Audition slots will be divided according to gender and age throughout the day (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Please note: Individual appointments are not available.

  • 10 to 11 a.m. – Leading men, age range 19-40
  • 11 a.m. to noon – Leading and character men, age range 40 and up
  • Noon to 1 p.m. – Leading women, age range 19-40
  • 1 to 2 p.m. – Leading and character women, age range 40 and up
  • 3 to 4 p.m. – Children and youth, age range 8-18

Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in Metro Center (across from the Looby). Free parking is available in the campus lot.

All cast members will be invited to a screening of projects at the end of the semester and will have access to an online copy of the film and a quick-time file (without music) to cut into a reel.

About The Film School at Watkins

WatkinsFIlm_NickRau setOffering one of the College’s oldest degree programs, The Film School at Watkins offers a demanding and immersive curriculum that explores the artistic, technical and business aspects of filmmaking to provide a truly hands-on experience for aspiring professionals. Students may pursue the four-year BFA degree or, for those who have already earned a bachelor’s degree, a Certificate in Film.

While rooted in dramatic narrative, the program encourages documentaries, commercials, music videos, experimental films, and television/web programs as students develop their technical skills and sharpen the focus on their unique artistic vision. Through deep study of the primary roles of writing, producing, directing, imaging, and editing; access to the latest—and next—technologies; a portfolio reel of increasingly complex projects, and opportunities to connect with the professional creative community, graduates are prepared for a variety of careers in film, video, news and entertainment.

Production Breakdowns


colorful, quirky drama
Director: Micah Atkinson / / 615-556-6237

Production Type: Student Production II With Dialogue
Project Length: 15 pages, 10-15 minutes
Shooting Locations: Nashville and Murfreesboro
Shooting Dates: October 16-18
Compensation: DVD Copy, Digital File, Meals, no pay

Synopsis: A melancholy young man lives with his older brother and his best friend, broadcasting a culinary web-show from a converted closet space. Through his broadcast, he meets a beautiful food blogger, who much to his surprise, seems to take interest in him.

•  COLEY (Lead/Male/Early-Mid 20s): An introspective, melancholy young man, burdened by a rocky childhood. Though awkward and seemingly distant, he somehow maintains a sort of mysterious charm.

•  ELLE (Co-Lead/Female/Early-Mid 20s): Elle is a little geeky and a tad bit awkward, but irresistibly charming when she shows interest in a subject. She is bright, and always in thought.

•  MAFYA (Co-Lead/Male/Late Teen to Early-Mid 20s): Mafya is thoughtful and sensitive towards Coley, but still energetic and easily distracted. He is Coley’s confidant, and while supportive, wants Coley to branch out of his safe bubble.

•  EON (Co-Lead/Male/Late 20s to Early 30s): Coley’s older brother. In the absence of their parents, Eon has taken over the provider and protector roles of Coley, but still struggles to relate to him emotionally. Eon often ends up frustrated by his younger brother, but loves him and wants the best for him.

•  YOUNG COLEY (Supporting/No Dialogue/Age 8-11)

•  YOUNG MAFYA (Supporting/No Dialogue/Age 8-11)

Young Coley and Young Mafya make an appearance in a flashback sequence.


Director: S.T. Davis / / 901-451-0781

SAG-AFTRA Signatory
Production Type: Student (Production III)
Project length: Short Film (Approx. 17 minutes)
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: October 3-4
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment. DVD copy, digital file and meals.

Synopsis: Twelve hours in the life of two close friends, Momo and Key, set the stage for a gritty urban drama involving the delicate and ever relevant subjects of race, sex and class in one of the most feared boroughs in the city, the Heights.

•  MOMO (Lead, Late Teens – Early 20’s, Pref. African American Male): Exposed to more than just the confines of the Heights. Eager to prove himself but uncertain of which road to take. Scrutinized for his intelligence and torn between the world he’s always known and leaving for better things. Childhood friends with Key and doubtful of the life Key is paving for himself, but understanding since they grew up in the same environment. (Must be comfortable using racial slurs)

• KEY (Lead, Early 20’s, Pref. African American Male): A product of his environment. Grew up in a dangerous area where guns, jewelry and money are glorified. Slightly disillusioned about the appeal of hood culture. Often manipulative. A misinformed gangster. Childhood friends and poor influence on Momo with a hint of jealousy towards Momo’s potential success. (Must be comfortable using racial slurs)

•  MIKE WILLIS (Lead, 30’s – 50+ Pref. Caucasian Male):  Closet racist and diner owner. Believes racism doesn’t exist, and remains incredibly politically incorrect. In public, is a bit more tolerant and devious, but straddles a thin line keeping his feelings in check, all for the benefit of his diner. Seems as “they” have too much power. Narrow-minded with little willingness to open up. Most actions are premeditated and carefully acted on, though outwardly seems impulsive. (Must be comfortable using racial slurs)

•  OLD ENGLISH (Supporting,  30’s – 50+, Pref. African American; role open to females and males): Master of many faces. To Mike Willis, an Uncle Tom-like character who pacifies him because of the era s/he grew up in. To Momo and Key, a scrutinizing character who’d rather see them live another day than die trying to make changes. Not formally educated, but street smart and intuitive. Means well though sometimes difficult to tell. (Must be comfortable using racial slurs)

•  RACHEL (Supporting, 20’s, Pref. Caucasian Female): Very pretty and knows it. Promiscuous and controls men through through her sexuality, using it to empower her. Has grown up similarly to Momo and Key. Depreciated due to Hip-Hop culture. Very street smart, and couples that with her sexual prowess to collect men as trophies, prizes to be won. (Must be comfortable using racial slurs and implied sexual act; can smoke is a plus)

•  KEISHA (Extra, 20’s Female): Friend of Rachel

•  PATRON (Extra, 20’s-30’s): Friend/Caretaker of Old English

•  MAN (Extra, 20’s): Local neighborhood thug


Director: Hayley Montague = = 865-679-2723

SAG-AFTRA Signatory (open for non-union)
Production type: Student Production III with dialogue
Project length: 20 minutes
Shooting locations: Nashville & Hermitage
Shoot dates: October 9-11
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA: deferred payment, DVD copy, digital files and meals or Non-Union: DVD copy, digital file and meals.

Synopsis: After being forced to attend Alcoholics Anonymous because of a DUI, Tessa finds the strength to face her real problem through another AA member, Jane. As their relationship grows, Jane is haunted by a disturbing memory. When Tessa finds out about Jane’s past, she struggles to stay sober and find forgiveness.

•  TESSA (Lead, mid 20’s): A newly recovering alcoholic. She is broken by her past, but she puts up a hard front to make up for it. She is reluctant to Jane’s help at first, but she eventually opens up to reveal her softer side.

•  JANE (Lead, late 30’s-early 40’s): A recovering alcoholic, sober for 5 years. She is good at staying strong and providing support for Tessa who still yearns to drink, but even she has weak moments at times.

•  BONNIE (Supporting, late 40’s-early 50’s): A simple and kind woman who is the chairperson of the AA meetings.


Director: Derek Newell Estes = = 270-933-7819

SAG-AFTRA Signatory project (open to non-union)
Project Type: Student Production III with dialogue
Project Length: 15 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shooting Dates: October 16-18
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA: deferred payment plus DVD copy, digital files and meals. Non-Union: DVD copy, digital file and meals; no pay.

Synopsis: Derek doesn’t have a script for class. It’s up to his Conscience and the rest of his personality to come up with a script, and quickly!

•  CONSCIENCE (Lead Male, 20’s/30’s): A hardworking, easily stressed employee who wants to get Derek a script. However, his motivations are a little more selfish.

•  RIGHT BRAIN (Supporting Male/Female, 20’s/30’s): In charge of Derek’s creative processes. Talented in his/her job, willing to help Conscience in any way, but doesn’t work well under pressure.

•  LEFT BRAIN (Supporting Female, 20’s/30’s): Sister to Right Brain and in charge of Derek’s logical thinking. Intelligent, fast-talking, but extremely irritable!

•  HUMOR (Supporting Male, 30’s/40’s): Childish, awkward and unoriginal. He is extremely optimistic, despite being the black sheep in the group.

•  EGO (Supporting Male, 20’s/30’s): The kilt-wearing, conceited Scot who doesn’t really do anything other than sit around the office.


Director: Emma Nitz =

Non-Union (Independent)
Production Type: Student (Production IV)
Project Length: Short Film (45 minutes)
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: September 25-27, October 3-4
Compensation: DVD, Digital Copy, Free meals on set

Synopsis: When Kacey runs away from a troubled home, she finds herself on Opal’s doorstep. When Opal invites Kacey to stay with her and work at the small bakery she runs out of her home, Kacey finds herself with a real family for the first time in her life. But will her past catch up to her?

•  KACEY (LEAD, Female, Late Teens/Early 20’s): Kacey has grown tired living with her older sister and her sister’s boyfriend, and runs away after an ugly fight. She has trouble opening up to people and avoids being the center of attention as much as possible. Once she begins life anew, her greatest fear is opening up to her new family and telling them about her past life. She quickly learns that secrets aren’t easy to keep hidden forever.

•  OPAL (LEAD, Female, 60’s): Opal is a remarkably generous and free spirited woman. She owns Hope Bakery and runs it out of her home. When she meets Kacey, she cannot help but offer her a job and a place to stay. It is not in her nature to turn away the less fortunate. She also enjoys a good Cuba Libre on Saturday afternoons.

•  QUINN (LEAD, Males, 20’s): Quinn is Opal’s brooding young nephew. When he first meets Kacey, he suspects that she is a danger to his family, but warms up to her over time. One could say things get downright toasty between them.

•  DWIGHT (LEAD, Male, 30’s): Dwight is the white trash boyfriend of Kacey’s older sister, Becca. When he attempts to seduce Kacey one night, she fights him off and badly injures him. After he returns from the hospital and learns that she has run away, Dwight is hell bent on catching her and inflicting the same amount of pain on her as she caused him.

•  VICKIE (SUPPORTING, Female, Late 50’s): Vickie is a stern, no-nonsense woman working at Hope Bakery. She is suspicious that Kacey is up to no good.

•  KAT (SUPPORTING, Male or Transgender, Late 20’s/early 30’s): Kat is a vivacious transgender woman working at Hope Bakery. She is strong willed and a little stubborn, but has a heart of gold. She is quick to befriend Kacey when she first comes to town.

•  REDNECK 1 (SUPPORTING, Male Any age over 21): A drunken fiend at a local bar who harasses Kat for being transgender.

•  REDNECK 2 (SUPPORTING, Male, Any age over 21): A drunken fiend at a local bar who harasses Kat for being transgender.

Director: Roxanne Nawrot =

Union/Non-Union: Either
Production Type: Student Production II with dialogue
Project Length: Under 15 minutes
Shooting Location: Davidson County
Shoot Dates: October 10- 11
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment. DVD copy, digital file, and meals. Non-union: DVD copy, digital file and meals; no pay.

Synopsis: Based on the myth that birthmarks represent how one died in a past life, the story follows Desmond Reid, a young man who was born with a large port wine birthmark on the back of his neck. He comes into contact with important people in his past life, and every time he makes physical contact with someone from his past, he flashes and remembers parts of his old life. He gains a collection of old memories as to who he was in the past, finds out who killed him, and gets revenge for the life that was once taken from him.

•  DESMOND (Lead, Age 18-23): A young man who is intuitive and wise for his age. He was born with a large port wine birthmark on the back of his neck. He falls in love and has an affair with Nora, who is currently married to Malcolm, the same man who murdered him in his past life.

•  ADAM (Supporting, Age 18-30): Desmond’s past self. He and Nora were both in love before he mysteriously went missing.

•  MALCOLM (Supporting, Age 25-35): A manipulative and troubled man with good intentions but bad ways of executing them. He tries to appear to be someone he is not. Malcolm is the one who murdered Adam out of jealousy and spite for stealing the woman he loved, Nora.

•  NORA (Supporting, Age 25-35): A beautiful woman with a warm heart. She is married to Malcolm but was only ever in love with Adam.  When Desmond comes into her life, that changes everything.

•  YOUNG BOY (Cameo, Age 5-10): The young son of Desmond and Nora. He has a birthmark similar to his father’s. He also just so happens to be Malcolm reincarnated.


Director: Jason Harper =

Union/Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory
Production Type: Student Production III
Project length: Short Film (Approx. 15 minutes)
Shooting Location: Hermitage, Mt. Juliet
Shoot Dates: October 17-19
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment. DVD copy, digital file and meals.

Synopsis: A comedy about loneliness, loss, and human connections. Arthur is an old widower, and Marie a young college student. They live on opposite ends of the country, but form an unlikely friendship when he calls her phone sex hotline.

•  MARIE (LEAD, Early 20’s): An awkward, average-looking girl putting herself through college as a phone sex operator. She is timid in public, but over the phone she is every man’s greatest desire. Whatever that may be.

•  ARTHUR (LEAD, 60’s-70’s): An unassuming and kindly man doing whatever he can to curb the crushing loneliness that has consumed his life since the loss of his wife, three months previous.

•  JAMES (SUPPORTING, 30’s-40’s): Arthur’s son, though the two are not particularly close.  An unmarried and childless businessman, he’s dealing with the loss of his mother the best way he knows: working endlessly.

•  CRAIG (SUPPORTING, 20’s):  A meek young man stumbling his way through social interactions at his job in a café, but catching Marie’s eye while doing so.

•  CHRISTINE (SUPPORTING, Early 20’s): Marie’s more attractive friend who excels at talking about herself and making jokes at Marie’s expense.


Director: Emileigh Potter = = 210-273-2322

Union/Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory (open to non-union)
Production Type: Production III with dialogue
Project Length: Short Film (15 min.)
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: October 2-4
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment, DVD copy, digital files, meals, travel and lodging. Non-Union: No pay, DVD copy, digital files, meals and travel.

Synopsis: A woman struggling with settling down strikes up an affair with a significantly younger man belonging to a family of hotel magnates.

•  CLAIRE BARTLET (Female, Mid 30’s): Pretty but unglamorous, fleeting youth, inherently unhappy.  Her debilitating relationship with her fiancé, Alan, and affair with Collin only make her more miserable.

• COLLIN MIDDLETON (Male, 22): Fresh-faced, handsome, incredibly naïve. Though he’s about to inherit a million-dollar hotel business, he doesn’t flaunt it, except in his attempts to express his love for Claire.

•  ALAN TOWNSHEND (Male, Mid 30’s): Hard working, tolerant and caring; Claire’s fiancé. Though experienced in Claire’s joylessness, he loves her with all his heart and has done everything in his power to build a good life for the two of them.


romantic drama
Director: Alison Goedde =

Union/Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student (Production III) With Dialogue
Project length: Approx. 10-15 minutes
Shooting Location: Gibson County, Indiana
Shoot Dates: September 17-21
Compensation: Deferred payment, no worker’s compensation, DVD copy, digital file, housing, and meals.

NOTICE: This short film will contain violence and language.

Synopsis: Rainey has nearly lost all hopes for her future when she finds out the truth behind why her mother left.  She constantly struggles, tries to mine her own happiness, and entertains the idea of leaving Gibson, Indiana.  She meets a love interest who shares in her dreams to escape these struggles in this small-town romantic drama.

•  RAINEY (LEAD, Female): A thin, wide-eyed child, 18, who struggles with being stuck in a small town with her father and no motherly figure.

•  HOLLAND (LEAD, Male): Of average build, a plain-faced boy, the new kid in town and a love interest for Rainey.  Almost 18, he can’t wait to break out of Gibson.

•  BISHOP (SUPPORTING, Male): Rainey’s father, in his 50s, who drags himself through a life of mining coal; drug and alcohol addict.  Though he looks intimidating, he is a scrub at his finest.

•  JULILAH (SUPPORTING, Female):  Mother to Little Jeb; a haggard-looking 30, as an alcoholic and a chain smoker. Has a temper.

•  LITTLE JEB (SUPPORTING, Male):  Ten-year-old son of Julilah. A skimpy but tough boy who loves his father and deals with the pain of the bruises from his abusive mother.


THE END OF INNOCENCE [working title]
social drama, slice-of-life
Director: Natalia Nové =

Union/Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non-Union
Production Type: Student (Production III)
Project length: Short Film (15-20 minutes)
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: October 16-18/October 23-25 (potential shooting weekend dates)
Compensation: DVD Copy, Digital File, Gas Compensation, Daily Meals, No Pay (Deferred SAG).

NOTE: Contains Profanity, Racial Slurs, Drug Content and Graphic Violence.

Synopsis: Malcolm Clemons, a black teenager who has been dealing with depression for quite some time, attempts to commit suicide on his school’s rooftop. He is interrupted by another teen named Caden St. Patrick, who rolls joints and skips classes and who is also hurting inside.

•  MALCOLM CLEMONS (Lead, Early-Late Teens, Pref. Black American Male): Reserved in nature; suppresses his thoughts and feelings. He comes from a well-off family that cannot cope with a recent tragedy. As the film progresses we see that he is angry at the world, afraid of its realities and, above all, hates himself for being who he is: black. (Must be comfortable with using profanity, racial slurs and simulating using drug-related substances.)

• CADEN ST. PATRICK (Lead, Late Teens, Pref. White American Male): Cynical and blunt, but lonely and bored at heart. He unintentionally saves Malcolm from jumping off the ledge. Through the majority of the film, he masks his pain with a nonchalant sarcasm. But when his intentions for being on the rooftop are revealed, Caden appears to be another hurting youth like Malcolm. (Must be comfortable with using profanity, racial slurs and simulating using drug-related substances.)



Director: Angel Brewer = = 615-210-0132

Production type: Production III
Project length: Under 20 minutes
Shooting location: Watkins’ sound stage and Midtown Nashville
Shoot dates: October 25-26, Pick-ups November 1
Compensation: Digital copy, professional catering, no pay

Synopsis: A very “sweet” family that belongs to a unique religious sect learns of their daughter’s decision to begin her required mission work early

•  POLLY/EUNICE/PA (Lead, played by Male, any age): Polly, 18-years-old, is full of pluck and gumption.  Eunice, in her late 30’s-mid 40’s and Polly’s mother, is physically and mentally affected from an accident. Pa, Polly’s father, 40-ish, is meek. Female impersonation experience will be given preference for this triple role.

•  GLADIOLA (Co-Lead, Female, any age): She is the 17-year-old daughter of Wanda and Pa, and she idolizes her sister Polly. African American actress preferred or matched to Wanda.

•  WANDA (Supporting, Female, 40+):  A strong woman who takes the audience to church every time she speaks. African American actress preferred or matched to Gladiola.

•  DARION (Supporting, Male, 18-30): Darion is an underwear model. Nudity/implied nudity.

•  SISTER JAMAHLIA (Non-speaking supporting, Female, 20-40): Sister Jamahlia was a star in a time that black women were not appreciated. Undergarment/nudity required for role and modeling experience given preference.

•  CHARLENE (Non-speaking supporting, Female, 20-40): She is a clumsy hairdresser. Mild stunt.

•  CUSTOMER (Non-speaking atmosphere, Female, any age): Mild stunt.

Director: Alex Mattingly =

Union/Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory
Production Type: Student Production IV
Project length: Short Film (25 minutes)
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: October 9-11 & November 6-8
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment. DVD copy, digital file and meals.

Synopsis: Based on a true story, “Moscow Station” recounts the actions of Russian engineer, Adolf Tolkachev, who worked in cooperation with the CIA, from 1977-1985, as a spy against his own country. Delivering invaluable intelligence on Soviet technology until his eventual capture by the KGB, Tolkachev became one of the most valuable agents in CIA history, saving them billions of dollars in information and gaining the US a significant advantage during the Cold War.

•  JOHN GUILSHER (LEAD, Male, Mid 50’s [May be considered for younger actor]: Tolkachev’s case agent at the CIA, and only confidante during his time of service. Through the years, Guilsher develops a strong bond with his agent, and does everything he can to see ensure he makes it out alive.

•  GUS HATHAWAY (SUPPORTING, Male, Mid 50’s): Head of the Moscow Station, and superior to Guilsher during Tolkachev’s service.

•  OLEG TOLKACHEV (SUPPORTING, Male, 10-15): Son of Adolf Tolkachev, Oleg is a bright, spirited child with a passion for art and Western music. ***MUST BE ABLE TO DO RUSSIAN ACCENT***

•  CIA BOARD MEMBERS #1, #2 and #3 (SUPPORTING, Male or Female, 30’s-50’s): Three members of CIA board who meet at Moscow Station to negotiate Tolkachev’s requests for money and suicide tablet.


Director: Carter Luckfield = = 201-953-3711

Union/Non-union: Open to both SAG-AFTRA Signatory and non-union
Production type: Student (Production III)
Project length: Short Film (Approx. 10-15 min.)
Shooting location: Nashville
Shoot dates: October 9-11
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA: deferred payment plus DVD copy, digital files, and meals. Non-union: DVD copy, digital files, and meals. No pay.

Synopsis: Jan Itor pays the bills as a custodian by night as he struggles to pursue his passion for painting. When a beautiful curator suggests his work lacks personality, he turns to a consumer crutch in search of redemption.

•  JAN ITOR (Lead, 20’s-30’s+, Male): A loner who goes against the grain of society. Embraces his off-the-beaten-path lifestyle, but janitorial duties pay the bills. Lives to paint.

•  CINDY (Lead, 20’s-30’s, Female): Upbeat curator at a small local gallery. Curious and on the cusp of every trend, but jaded by her immersion in the art world.

•  SUPERMARKET CLERK (Supporting, 20’s-30’s, Female): Sassy and full of attitude, this supermarket clerk couldn’t care less.

•  HARRY (Supporting, 40’s-50’s+,  Male): Macho ex-war veteran; aging tough guy type. Moustache preferred.

•  YOUNG JAN ITOR (Supporting, 15-20, Male, no dialogue): Jan’s younger self, full of youth and innocence.

•  SALLY (Supporting, 15-20, Female, no dialogue): Young Jan’s girl of interest, also youthful and innocent.


Nashville Japanese Film Festival Returns to Watkins Aug. 28-30 with 7-Film Lineup

Posted on: August 25th, 2015 by Caroline Davis No Comments

From horror to anime to documentaries, Japanese film is known for its inventive storylines and beautiful cinematography, and the second annual Nashville Japanese Film Festival (NJaFF), running August 28-30 at Watkins, will indeed showcase a wide range of Japanese storytelling. The seven offerings (all with English subtitles) range from a documentary on the legendary director Hayao Miyazaki to a historical drama about a “kitchen samurai.”

Nv-Japanese-Film-Festival-logo-sq-WwebFour of the films are being shown free of charge through the support of the Japan Foundation and the Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville. For the remaining, general admission is $10 per film and tickets are available online or at the door.

The mission of NJaFF is to celebrate all aspects of Japanese culture, as experienced through the medium of film and the expression of Japanese film makers. For tickets and further information, including opening night reception details and links to film trailers, visit

NJaFF 2015  Schedule:
NJaFF kingdom of dreams WwebFriday, August 28
6:00 PM — Reception (ticketed reservations required)
7:30 PM — The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness  * $10
A documentary film which follows legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki over a year as Studio Ghibli prepares two releases

Saturday, August 29
11:00 AM — Ramen Samurai * Free *
A Tokyo designer returns to his tiny hometown to take over his father’s dream of running a ramen shop amid memories of his tumultuous childhood
1:30 PM — Mourning Recipe * Free *
A unique woman leaves behind a recipe book for life to lead her husband and stepdaughter through their grief after her death, with help from a few of her unusual friends
NJaFF uzumasa Wweb4:00 PM — A Tale of Samurai Cooking * Free *
This Edo-period drama tells the true story of a ‘kitchen samurai’ who reluctantly married a legendary cook to move his career forward in the midst of revolution
6:30 PM — Uzumasa Limelight * $10
An aged actor whose specialty is dying in martial arts movies struggles to get by in a changing world before taking on a young woman as a sword-fighting apprentice.

Sunday, August 30
1:00 PM — The God of Ramen * Free
A documentary film on the so-called ‘God of Ramen,’ whose new style of ramen inspired two-hour lines at his tiny restaurant.
3:00 PM — Kasamayaki * $10
In this documentary, a woman shaken by the 2011 disaster returns to her hometown to reconnect with her family and heritage through pottery
5:00 PM — Shady  * $10
A bullied high school girl becomes friends with a popular classmate, but the situation may be too good to be true as she sees her friend’s pleasant demeanor transforming before her eyes

NJaFF kasamayaki Wweb

Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. in Metro Center. The Watkins Theater is in the main academic building; free parking is available in the campus lot.


Watkins Graphic Design and Hatch Show Print Count to ‘130’

Posted on: August 24th, 2015 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will host a closing night reception for 130, an exhibit celebrating Watkins 130th anniversary through posters designed by Watkins Graphic Design students and produced at Hatch Show Print, on Thursday, August 27, from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

130, which opens August 7 in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus, is the result of a spirited summer collaboration between the Department of Graphic Design at Watkins (est. 1885), and Hatch Show Print (est. 1879), one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America.

Watkins students and faculty carved original linoleum blocks and hand set wooden type in recognition of Watkins’ 130 years of education and the arts. The exhibition includes hand printed posters — irreverent, thoughtful and naughty– process materials, photographs, and carved blocks.

Watkins Graphic Design faculty Dan Brawner and Judith Sweeney O’Bryan organized the July 19 workshop, which was led by Hatch Master Printer Jim Sherraden and shop manager Celene Aubry. Participating students were Chris Davidson, Lydia Jarvi, Jessi Knight, Sara Schork, Heidi Sprouse, Samantha Woolson. Previous Watkins-Hatch summer workshop themes included the ethos of influential Modern designer Massimo Vignelli, the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones and the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

Hatch logo black Wweb“It is always a privilege to spend the day at Hatch with Celene and Jim as our guides, having a rare opportunity to embrace letterpress and its inky physicality. We measured in picas, got ink on our hands, and listened to Sherraden’s sage advice about printing and life.” He also mentioned a connection through their long histories: Mai Cook Fulton, who was the bookkeeper for Will T. Hatch from the mid-1930s to early the ‘50s, also taught accounting at Watkins, which at the time was only a few blocks away from Hatch, on Sixth Avenue between Commerce and Church.

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 pm.  Admission is free.

Established in 1879 in downtown Nashville, Hatch Show Print is a division of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. For more information, visit or check out this Hatch_Education Resource.

Watkins Graphic Design students and alumni are consistently among the most honored in the country through their submissions to regional, national and international advertising design competitions, particularly in the student and professional categories of the ADDY Awards (hosted by the American Advertising Federation). At the 2015 Nashville Student ADDYs, Watkins won more top-level awards than any other school competing (for the fourth consecutive year), and claimed multiple Regional and National ADDYs as well.

Watkins students continue to blanket Nashville and the region with their intelligence, visual wit and creativity through unique opportunities with several beloved Nashville community events. In the past few years, their talents have been chosen to promote signature happenings such as the American Artisan Festival, the Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival, Music City Hot Chicken Festival, Nashville Sister Cities Program, Nashville Symphony and Nashville Opera performances, and Murfreesboro’s JazzFest, as well as the Nashville Scene’s “Best of Nashville” cover art.

Click to enlarge evite

Click to enlarge evite

Make A Note for Fifth Annual Handmade & Bound on Oct. 2-3

Posted on: August 7th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Deadline for exhibition & zine entries and vendor registration is Sept. 22

The fifth annual edition of Handmade & Bound Nashville (H&BN), a two-day celebration of print, paper and book, will unfold Friday, October 2, and Saturday, October 3, at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. The free, family-friendly event–focused on unique and handcrafted book creations with elements of art fair and literary gathering–is presented by the Watkins Library and the Community Education department and features a gallery exhibition, zine collection, marketplace with dozens of vendors, plus demos and hands-on activities.

HBN2014 9218 gallery viewers WwebOn Friday, October 2, the festival’s exhibition, Bound Together, will open in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m.

Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Bound Together will showcase handmade books of poetry and collage work inspired by the many definitions of family. The exhibition is the culmination of a series of summer community workshops, led by local book artists, writers and Watkins Community Education, with the Looby Community Center, Casa Azafran, FiftyForward Bordeaux, Oasis Center and Catholic Charities Elder Refugees. Participants will follow writing prompts to help them develop their own explanation of family and create artwork for their bound volumes.

CALL FOR ARTISTS: Additionally, local book artists, writers, and other artists are invited to submit their own individual pieces, artists’ books or artwork based on family for inclusion in Bound Together, which will be on view in the Currey Gallery through October 16.

NEA-color logo WwebThe work’s title/description, artist’s name, address, phone, email and occupation should be included with each piece and sent to Watkins Community Education, 2298 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN 37228, Attn: Anna McKeown. Submissions deadline is September 22.

HBN2014 9443 Amaranthus pic WwebOn Saturday, October 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Watkins’  main academic building, dozens of local and regional artists, indie publishers and distributors, and book aficionados will come together to sell, trade and buy handmade and affordable publications, printed matter and book-themed creations at the book arts marketplace. Vendors and artists will also lead demonstrations and hands-on art- and craft-making activities for children and adults.

Additionally, Karla’s Catering will be set up to serve authentic Mexican foods; the first 100 empanadas will be free to H&BN attendees (limit one per guest).

VENDOR SIGN-UP: Vendor registration is open via, Handmade & Bound Nashville on Facebook, or by contacting the Watkins Library at 615.277.7427. Reservation deadline is September 22.

illustration: Ross Denton '15

illustration by Ross Denton ’15

Marketplace tables are available to creators of artists’ books or other printed media; independent publishers of zines, mini-comics, chapbooks, etc.; small distributors of zines, graphic novels and other printed media; and producers of book arts, handmade journals, one-of-a-kind book objects, paper and book-themed jewelry, gifts and accessories, and sellers of book, art and printmaking materials.

Click here for HBN Vendors as of 8.28.15

HBN2014 9394 zine readers WwebConcurrently in the Watkins Library, H&BN will host Zine-Stravaganza, a display of community-submitted zines in all formats and on all subjects. H&BN’s 2012 Zine-O-Rama introduced the world of zines to the broader Nashville community, and Watkins holds a substantial collection of personal zines, cookzines, fanzines, artzines, cut and paste, comics, minis, and mental health zines.

ZINE ENTRIES:  Zine submissions (work may be stapled or tied, screen printed or Xeroxed) plus optional artist statement/bio should be sent by September 22 to the Watkins Library, 2298 Rosa L. Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37228, Attn: Lisa Williams.

Artober logo

The Handmade & Bound Nashville festival is an official, registered event of Artober, a broadly collaborative promotional initiative designed to highlight, inform and inspire the community’s participation in the wide range of arts activities offered in the Nashville area during the month of October.

Community Fdtn logoHandmade & Bound Nashville, 5th Edition is hosted by Watkins Community Education and the Watkins Library and is funded in part through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Bound Together is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Additional festival sponsors include the Nashville Scene, Jerry’s Artarama and Plaza Artist Materials.

Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in Metro Center; free parking is available in the campus lot. MTA’s Metro Center/Route 9 stops directly in front of Watkins (across from the Looby Center).

HBN2015_nashville_arts_leaderboard Wweb

H&BN design by Sara Strese ’13


HBN2014 suitcase display 9439 WwebWhat’s in the marketplace? Dozens of vendors with artists’ books, small press items like comics, mini-comics, graphic novels and zines, blank books, limited-edition prints, handmade paper, art supplies, literary journals, book flair, jewelry, ephemera packs, paper cut and letterpress cards and postcards – plus demos on bookbinding, paperfolding, printmaking, paper cuts and art-making activities for children. Vendors will be posted to as they become available.

HBN2014 artist book cut out cover WwebWhat’s an artist’s book? An artist’s book is a work of art realized in a book-like format. They are usually one-of-a-kind creations or published in small editions, and can employ a form other than bound printed sheet. What truly makes an artist’s book is the artist’s intent, and artists have used the book as inspiration in a myriad of ways and techniques, from traditional to the experimental, to handwritten or handmade booklets, to magazine-like publications

What’s a zine? A zine (pronounced “zeen,” as in “magazine”) is a self-published, small circulation, non-commercial booklet or magazine, usually produced by one person or a few individuals. Zines range from small photocopied booklets, to handwritten or handmade booklets, to magazine-like publications.

2014 photos: Sam Angel ’12

Katie Gonzalez, linenlaidfelt

John Porcellino, King-Cat

John Porcellino, King-Cat

Gallery show “Poetry and Prints”


Egyptian Group Show ‘Beyond Classification’ Opens September 3 in Currey Gallery

Posted on: July 31st, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film is pleased to bring to Nashville the group exhibition Beyond Classification, featuring contemporary photography and video by women artists from Egypt, September 3-24 in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus. Curated by Dr. Nagla Samir of the American University in Cairo, in collaboration with Greg Pond, professor of Art and Art History at the University of the South, the show was first presented at Sewanee’s University Art Galley earlier this year (Jan. 13-April 12).

Beyond Classification, which offers diverse strategies for communicating about current political and social conditions in Egypt, will conclude with a curator’s talk by Greg Pond, on Thursday, September 24, at 6 p.m., and a walk through the exhibition. Admission to the Currey Gallery and the talk is free and open to the public.

The nine young artists represented in Beyond Classification developed their work in the past few years, as the power of electronic and social media to generate political change became apparent with the revolution that unseated President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The photographic and video work of these artists embraces that power, even as it responds to the continued social and political upheaval faced by the country. Through multiple perspectives, the exhibition deliberately aims to counter any simplistic picture, and to provide points of view often lost in representations of Egyptian experience in popular media.

Sara Bayoumi, "Identity 5" (2013)

Sara Bayoumi, “Identity” (2013Watkins College of Art, Design & Film is pleased to bring to Nashville the group exhibition Beyond Classification, featuring contemporary photography and video by women artists from Egypt, September 3-24 in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus. Curated by Dr. Nagla Samir of the American University in Cairo, in collaboration with Greg Pond, professor of Art and Art History at the University of the South, the show was first presented at Sewanee’s University Art Galley earlier this year (Jan. 13-April 12)..

Many of the artists included in the exhibition address questions about identity and religion. What is it to be a Muslim woman? What does it mean to be a woman artist in Egypt today? How do non-Muslims perceive Muslims? While some of the artists in the exhibition explicitly address feminist concerns in their work, others would resist the label, preferring to cast their work as addressing universal human concerns. The artists included in the exhibition use art as a tool for confronting constraints, deflating stereotypes, representing experience, and forging connections.

Marwa Adel, "The Journey" (2012)

Marwa Adel, “The Journey” (2012)

“I worked with Dr. Samir in 2008 on an exhibition in Cairo, and one of the artists in our current exhibition, Marwa Adel, was involved in a previous exhibition,” said Professor Pond. “So much has changed in Egypt since that time. These artists all developed their artistic practice through the series of political revolutions that began in 2011. I wanted to provide perspectives on the changes occurring in Egypt that were not conveyed via international news media. It was also important that this exhibition be made by women, who have little opportunity to reach audiences in Egypt or abroad. I contacted Nagla and asked her to curate this exhibition with me. These artists hold a variety of perspectives on the events that have transpired around them and changed their lives. Some promote radical and progressive social change and others represent conservative religious viewpoints. Our goal was to challenge notions of Egyptian culture and what it is to be a woman in Egypt with this compendium of voices.”

Cairo-based Nagla Samir is a contemporary Egyptian media artist and culture operator. Her artwork combines multiple media (photography, digital images, video and installation) and explores both social norms and spiritual experiences. Samir has had several solo exhibitions and has participated in national and international group exhibitions. Her curatorial projects include IMAFY (International Media Art Forum for Youth), A Survival Guide and Liberation: A Process Review. She founded and directed Passage 35 contemporary art center, and worked as Director of the Sharjah Art Gallery. Samir holds a Ph.D. in Visual Communication and M.S. in Graphic Design, and teaches in the Visual Culture Program, Department of the Arts at The American University in Cairo.

Asmaa and Hend Elkolaly are media artists based in Cairo. Identical twins, they received the same art education and work closely with one another. They have been active in the art scene for the past ten years, and their often-controversial work has been a part of several group exhibitions for young and rising artists.

Mai Al Shazly is an Egyptian photographer and artist born in Cairo. Her abstract and conceptual photography has been exhibited in the 22nd Salon at the Cairo Opera House, at the Egyptian Culture Center in Rome, and in the Emirates Photography Exhibition in Abu Dhabi. She was named an honorary member of the Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique in 2011.

Marwa Adel’s photography and graphic design, and particularly her depictions of the female figure, confront controversial issues for contemporary Egyptian society related to gender and identity. Adel has exhibited in solo shows in Cairo, Alexandria and Dubai, and in group shows in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, Senegal, London, Sweden, and Germany.

Marwa Benhalim, a Libyan Egyptian Art student, was graduated from the Camberwell College of Arts, London in 2009, and is pursuing her studies in Visual Arts and Film at the American University in Cairo. She has participated in group shows in the Cairo Atelier and the Cairo Opera House.

Nouran Sherif graduated from the Faculty of Applied Arts in 2012. Her multimedia work includes sound, video, paintings, installations, performance, and photography.

London-based photographer Sara Bayoumi holds an MA Photography at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. Bayoumi has participated in exhibitions in Cairo and London, and is represented in the online exhibition Muslima: Muslim Women’s Art & Voices, hosted by the International Museum of Women.

Filmmaker and visual artist Yousria Ghorab lives and works in Giza, Egypt. She studied at Helwan University from 2000 to 2004, and completed a diploma in multimedia from ITI, Information Technology Institute, in 2006. Her first film, Similarity (2003) received an award for independent cinema from the Goethe Institut in Cairo. She has participated in multiple group exhibitions in Cairo.

Currey Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.

Watkins Board Welcomes Six New Trustees

Posted on: July 22nd, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film has added six members to its Board of Trustees, it was announced by chair Samuel E. Stumpf, Jr.

Joining the board of the private, independent baccalaureate visual arts college are Emme Nelson Baxter, Donna Glassford, Robert M. Hebert, Jr. Anna Jaap,  Samantha Saturn and Pamela Thomas. Each will serve a three-year term.

Emme Nelson Baxter headshot WwebEmme Nelson Baxter is president of Nelson Baxter Communications LLC, which offers strategic planning, media relations and marketing services for corporate, non-profit and individual clients. Her 25-plus-year career includes a wealth of experience in public relations, journalism and nonprofits. She has served as Director of Corporate Communications for Hospital Corporation of America; was co-founder of Boulevard Communications; has been a journalist for USA Today and The Tennessean, the latter as business editor. An artist in her own right, Emme has exhibited her paintings in multiple galleries and her works are in corporate collections in the Southeast.

Donna Glasssford headdshot WwebDonna Glassford is president of Donna Glassford Arts Consulting, a consultancy that develops and coordinates artistic programming to health care environs. She has served on the Metro Arts Commission and reviewed grants and produced arts in healthcare conferences in collaboration with MoMA, Sotheby’s, and the Society for the Arts in Healthcare. For 14 years, Donna served as Executive Director of Cultural Enrichment at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. An international speaker on the topic of art and health, she is the daughter of Trustee Emeritus Ralph Glassford and the parent of a current student.

Robert Hebert headshot WwebRobert M. Hebert, Jr. is client advisor at SunTrust Private Wealth Management, providing individualized financial solutions for personal, professional and business clients. He recently relocated from Baton Rouge, where he was Wealth Advisor with Regions Financial Corporation. Rob holds an Master of Business Administration in the Flores MBA Program of Louisiana State University.

Anna Jaap headshot WwebAnna Jaap is a noted artist whose work has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the U.S. and is included in collections worldwide (including Tiffany & Co., The National Aquarium, and Ralph Lauren). For 25 years, she has maintained a continuously working studio—establishing herself first as a printmaker before shifting her focus to painting and drawing. Today, Anna combines these disciplines in mixed media pieces informed by scientific texts, historical decorative arts, literature and her personal botanical photography.

Samantha Saturn w AE WwebAn experienced marketing executive who recently returned to Nashville after 20 years in New York City, Samantha Saturn is president of Saturn Advisory, a marketing consulting firm specializing in growth campaigns for ecommerce, media and entertainment clients. Saturn is also the director of the American Artisan Festival, an annual contemporary craft fair and Nashville institution, which was founded by her late mother, Nancy Saturn. Samantha was previously CMO of, one of the leading online marketplaces for contemporary art, and of ComiXology, the leading distributor of digital comics (recently bought by

Pamela ThomasA 30-year employee of Piedmont Natural Gas, Pamela (Pam) Thomas is Residential Energy Specialist for the natural gas distributor that serves one million residential and industrial customers in Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. Her extensive community involvement includes leadership positions with Northwest YMCA, J.U.M.P. (Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership), Leadership Middle Tennessee, Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, and the Nashville and Donelson/Hermitage Chambers of Commerce.

Board members continuing in their terms are Beth Scott Clayton Amos, Lynn Bennett, David H. Berryman, William H. Braddy III, James H. Clayton III, Stephanie Conner, Dee Doochin, Taylor H. Henry (secretary/treasurer), Reggie Hill, James R. Kelley, Carol L. McCoy, Ken McDonald (vice chair), Eileen N. McGinn, Debbye Oliver, Cano Ozgener, Walter F. Schatz, Steve Sirls, John M. Steele, Samuel E. Stumpf, Jr. (chair), Tarun Surti, Laura Turner, and Waddell H. Wright.

Continuing as Commissioners are Susan A. Basham, Brownlee O. Currey, Jr., and Walter Knestrick. Watkins President Dr. Joseph Kline, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Attorney General Herbert Slatery III serve as ex officio trustees.


Top image from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Photography Alumnae Fill WAG’s August 1 Show with ‘The Spaces We Leave Empty’

Posted on: July 7th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents The Spaces We Leave Empty, an exhibition of photography, video and mixed media by Watkins Photography alumnae Sam Angel, Lisa Deal, Jennifer Georgescu, C. A. Greenlee, Jenna Maurice and Abby Whisenant, at its downtown gallery WAG during the August 1 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl.

Since graduation, the six artists have pursued photography and fine art in Nashville and other cities throughout the country; their show title refers to the photograph’s connection with reality and ultimately with an irretrievable past. It also alludes to the lives as students that they have left behind.

“Each of these women contributed in so many positive ways to the life of the school,” says Watkins Professor and Chair of Photography Robin Paris. “The work in this show demonstrates their commitment to a life of creativity and artistic accomplishment.”

About the artists:

• Sam Angel (Nashville) –

Sam Angel

Sam Angel

With a background in photography and sculpture, Sam Angel (Watkins ’12) often finds the two intermingling, resulting in opportunities to create objects that explore how space affects us. Her images and constructed realities examine the spatial relationships within our environments and our selves. 

Lisa Deal

Lisa Deal, “Not Withstanding” (mixed media)

• Lisa Deal (Nashville)

Lisa Deal (Watkins ‘09) is a fine art photographer, mixed media artist, co-founder of Platetone Printmaking press, and an art teacher at Pope John Paul II High School. Her investigation in the design of engaging arts classes has included participation in the Harvard Graduate School of Educations’ program The Arts & Passion-Driven Learning. Her work observes reflexive resistance to impermanence. She examines the tension between the persuasiveness of stasis and submission to continuous transmutation. Rudimentary constructions and permeable figures teeter in the landscapes of her photographic and mixed media configurations, describing the effect that contingencies and proximities bear on behaviors and degrees of comfort as incubated within the body.

• Jennifer Georgescu (San Francisco) –

Jennifer Georgescu, "Blood Roots"

Jennifer Georgescu, “Blood Roots” from The White Series

Jennifer Georgescu’s 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 from Watkins in 2008, Georgescu was awarded a yearlong residency at Vanderbilt University’s Gallery F. She has received numerous awards, from Artist Portfolio Magazine, Camera Obscura Journal of Literature and Photography, and the Julia Margaret Cameron Trust. Her works have recently been exhibited in the Masur Museum of Art (Monroe, LA), the Detroit Museum of New Art, and PhotoCenter NW (Seattle).

• CA. Greenlee (Oakland, CA) –

C. A. Greenlee, "Beelining Pinhole Camera on the Field”

C. A. Greenlee, “Beelining Pinhole Camera on the Field”

C. A. Greenlee’s art practice is interdisciplinary, immersive, and research-based. Rooted in the practices and philosophies of photography, she also makes use of other mediums such as performance, drawing, video, sculpture, bookmaking and, most recently, reenactment. A native of Hunstville, Alabama, Greenlee received her MFA from California College of Art after her BFA studies at Watkins (‘12). She works in San Francisco, teaching digital photography at the youth mentoring program First Exposures, science at Camp Galileo, and 4D design at Southern Exposure art gallery.

Statement: “My art practice shifted when I learned how to line honeybees. Beelining is a practice that uses ancient techniques to find a wild hive. In immersive and investigative ways, the process of beelining is similar to the process of art-making. I search and listen. I follow tradition with a critical lens. I honor spontaneity. One small idea strikes a cord, contracts, and expands. I research my own heritage, and study military and historic ephemera. Presently, I am feeling the tension created by making inauthenticity visible while expressing real experiences and referencing actual artifacts.”

• Jenna Maurice (Denver) –

Interdisciplinary artist Jenna Maurice earned an MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder after her BFA studies at Watkins (‘06). Relationships, relational dynamics, communication and problems with language are the things she questions, ponders and experiments with in her work. She is interested in the human experience of empathetic response, as well as the subtleties of the body as a tool for non-verbal communication. Maurice’s current studio practice centers around dabbling in whatever makes sense for solving the problems she wants to address. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows, including at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Boulder, Deluge Contemporary in Victoria, Canada, and the Contemporary LivingGallery in Lecce, Italy. She is presently interim director of admissions at Watkins.

• Abby Whisenant (Nashville)

An artist, storyteller and community-builder, Abby Whisenant graduated from Watkins in 2008. She has taught photography workshops to children, teens and adults over the last ten years and is currently the Program Coordinator for the Underground Art Studio at Oasis Center in Nashville, a program she founded in 2013. As a creative professional in the youth development field, she

Abby Whisenant, image for Klexos series

Abby Whisenant, image for Klexos series

offers teens an opportunity to use creativity as a pathway for self-exploration, healing, community service, and transformative justice. Whisenant recently initiated an interactive mural series with Nashville artists and youth involved in the Davidson County Juvenile Court, which received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. One of her public art designs was also selected for the upcoming round of Bike Racks by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and is scheduled for installation at Edgehill Public Library in Spring 2016.

Statement: “Klexos is a playful investigation of impermanence and experience. While visiting my hometown of Yazoo City, Mississippi, I explore places steeped in seemingly banal memories that have followed me for years like a restless ghost. Using raw imagery void of little to no physical connection to the memory itself, I create a space to honor the ordinary places and moments in my life and project onto it a series of changing layers.”

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.

firstsaturdayartcrawl-bordered WwebWAG 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

About WAG
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 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.

Also opening August 1, nearby in the Arcade at 40AU Gallery (space 69), alumna Jaime Raybin (’06) will present Composite Internet Boyfriend.

JaimeRaybin Aug1_2015show evite morecreepy WwebThe show is an autobiographical narrative, exploring the nature of loneliness and a longing for connection: after an 11-year relationship ended, Raybin downloaded a dating app. The work includes personal writing (handwritten directly on the gallery walls) that jumps between the real world and speculation about the person on the other end of the conversation, and watercolor illustrations, as well as extended interactions with fake profiles of celebrities. A zine version of the show will be available for sale at the opening.

Raybin’s exhibition history includes Northwestern University, the University of the South, Athens Institute for Contemporary Art, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and threesquared gallery.  In 2014 she was awarded a fellowship to attend a month-long residency program at CAC Woodside in Troy, NY. She also recently completed residencies at Grin City Collective and Tiny Circus, both in Grinnell, IA, and in New Orleans. For more information, contact


Click to enlarge evite

Click to enlarge evite

Watkins Artists Find A Show ‘Place’ at Global Mall

Posted on: June 29th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

In Place, a group exhibition organized and curated by Watkins Fine Art senior Mika Agari and Fine Art alumnae Alexine Rioux ( ‘14) and Kayla Saito (‘15), has found an unusual location for its July 10-12 showing: Storefront #122 of The Global Mall (formerly Hickory Hollow Mall) in Antioch, Tennessee.

Featuring work from 26 artists from across the U.S., In Place opens Friday, July 10, from 3:30 to 8:30 pm, and continues Saturday, July 11, 8 am to 8 pm, and Sunday, July 12, noon to 6 pm.

Chelsea Velaga

Chelsea Velagast, “sandast, baela (resist, repress),” sand installation and drawings

The objective of In Place is to open up a dialogue on contemporary art and contemporary consumer culture. Staging the exhibition in an entropic consumer space allows the work — which includes installation, drawings, video, animation, screen prints, mixed media, photography and sound recordings — to function outside of a traditional gallery context and lends to a discussion of art existing within a consumer society.

The Global Mall (5252 Hickory Hollow Parkway) was once a thriving consumer space formerly known Hickory Hollow Mall. Many of the previously occupied stores in the Global Mall are currently empty.  Storefront #122 is a former clothing store with over 3,000 feet of space.

In Place artists

From Nashville:

  • Chelsea Velaga

    Aaron Harper

    Aaron Harper, “Totem Piece,” oil on linen

  • Blake Holland (Watkins alumnus)
  • David Anderson (Watkins student)
  • Mati Hays (Watkins student)
  • Kayla Saito (Watkins alumna/curator)
  • Aaron Harper (Watkins student)
  • David Hellams (Watkins staff)
  • Zack Rafuls (Watkins alumnus)
  • David King (Watkins student)
  • Ariel Lavery (Watkins faculty)
  • Sophia Stevenson (Watkins student)
  • Marlos E’van (Watkins student)
  • Morgan Higby-Flowers (Watkins faculty)
  • Mika Agari (Watkins student/curator)
  • Alexine Rioux (Watkins alumna/curator)

    David Hellams

    David Hellams, photo from “Crappy Magic”

  • Courtney Asztalos, Los Angeles, CA
  • Michael Benevenia, Baltimore, MD
  • Alice Gadzinski, Baltimore MD
  • Matthew Gualco, Brooklyn, NY
  • Lauren Jo, Beaver Falls, PA
  • Angelo Kozonis
  • Maria Lux, Champaign IL
  • Simone Schiffmacher, San Antonio, TX
  • Kate Shannon, Mansfield, Ohio
  • Cyane Tornatzky, Fort Collins, CO
  • Christina Yglesias, Oakland, CA

    InPlace Ariel Lavery, Bits-and-bellows1 Wweb

    Ariel Lavery, “Bits and Bellows,” installation



Click to enlarge evite

Click to enlarge evite

Watkins Welcomes Dr. Jay Kline as President on July 15

Posted on: June 16th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

The Board of Trustees of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film has announced the appointment of Joseph (Jay) Kline to the position of president, effective July 15, 2015.

Currently Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) in Portales, Dr. Kline brings nearly 20 years of higher education administrative experience to his new role at Watkins, with expertise in student recruitment, interdisciplinary programming, curriculum assessment, fundraising and strategic partnerships. He holds a Ph.D. in Fine Arts and his career has also included distinguished work as a teacher, writer and performing artist.

In making the announcement, board chair Samuel E. Stumpf, Jr. said, “Jay brings a wealth of arts education experience to Watkins. We believe that he is uniquely qualified to build upon Watkins’ many past accomplishments and to lead Watkins to an even stronger future.”

Dr. Kline becomes the 16th president in Watkins’ 130-year history, succeeding Ellen L. Meyer, who is retiring after seven years in office.

“I am honored to be joining Watkins at this point in its most distinguished history,” said Dr. Kline. “The college is a cultural and social institution of Nashville and has grown to become a regional leader in arts education. From its dynamic and engaged board of trustees, to its acclaimed faculty and staff, to, most importantly, a student body of great accomplishment and enormous potential, there is not one element of the institution that is anything but of the highest caliber. I am  impressed in every way and fully committed to lead the college to even greater levels of achievement.”

Prior to ENMU, 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. He also served as Chair of the Departments of Production Design and of Dramatic Writing. 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 at DeSales, he was a member of Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s artistic staff.

Dr. Kline will assume leadership as Watkins bolsters its position as one of the nation’s leading colleges of art and design through increasing recognition of work by its accomplished students, alumni and faculty. In addition to expanded BFA degree programs in Film, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Interior Design and Photography, a BA program in Art, and Certificate programs in Film and Interior Design, recent Watkins milestones include reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the opening of a downtown exhibition space, WAG (Watkins Arcade Gallery), and increased Community Education and Pre-College Program enrollment.

The presidential appointment follows a five-month national search conducted by a committee of Watkins trustees, staff and faculty representatives, chaired by board member Larry Papel.

“Jay’s demonstrated leadership skills, understanding of the Watkins mission and curriculum, and past success in administration and the classroom distinguished him as the leading candidate among dozens of applications,” said Mr. Papel. “The committee is confident that Jay’s presidency will not only enhance Watkins but greatly benefit the Nashville community as well.”

Dr. Kline holds a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado State University, a Master of Fine Arts from the Catholic University of America, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Fine Arts from Texas Tech University.