Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents Amour fo’ Phallus, a riotous and ridiculous show of drawings and animation by Watkins alumni Ross Denton and Emily Sue Laird, at its downtown gallery WAG during the June 6 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl.
With a goal of celebrating the absurd aspects of life in an innocent and fun format, Denton and Laird will fill the gallery from floor to ceiling with chalk images drawn directly on the walls and architectural fixtures of the space. The show will also feature their chalk animation of a budding, blossoming and decaying Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanium), one of the largest and most rare flowering plants on earth. (It’s also known as the corpse flower for an odor reminiscent of the smell of a decomposing mammal.)
“Emily Sue Laird and Ross Denton are kindred spirits with a shared passion for wandering, drawing inspiration from serendipitous discoveries and the unlooked for,” said Dan Brawner, chair of the Department of Graphic Design. “Amour fo’ Phallus is the catalyst for a creative collaboration and offers a unique insight into the productive minds of two lovers of life.”
About the artists:
- Emily Sue Laird – artistnashville.com
Emily Sue Laird is a Nashville-based visual artist, production designer and installation artist who earned a BFA in Fine Art from Watkins College of Art, Design & Film in 2011. In the past few years, Emily Sue has designed custom work for brands such as West Elm, Janet’s Planet, My Gnome on the Roam, Holiday Inn Suites and Bongo Java, and custom art for multiple music festivals including Marathon Music Works’ Block Party and Nashville Scene’s 25th Birthday Bash. Since 2014 she has been owner and lead designer at Artist Nashville, providing a variety of creative services: mural projects, graphic design, illustration, chalk art and set design for film and television, fashion shows, music videos, tours and in-store retail displays. Her sculptures, textile art and paintings, which frequently incorporate reuse materials, have been shown in several downtown arcade and Wedgewood-Houston galleries and she has been featured by the Nashville Scene, Native Magazine, Lightning 100 and Nashville Arts Magazine. She’s currently working on the second edition of Replication, Nashville’s only juried 3D printing show, in September.
- Ross Denton – rossdenton.com
Ross Denton is a 2015 graduate of Watkins, earning a BFA in Graphic Design with a concentration in illustration. He grew up on the South Harpeth River outside of Nashville, surrounded by forests and hills, where he never had to wear any shoes. Legend has it that Ross started to draw when he first held a pencil at the age of two and he never stopped. He has won local, district and national Student American Advertising Federation (Addy) awards for illustration, and his work has been published in the international design journal Graphis.
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.