Archive for the ‘News’ Category

WAG Catches David Anderson’s ‘Desire Trap/pings’ for November Art Crawl

Posted on: October 16th, 2014 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents Desire Trap/pings, a multiple media installation by Fine Art junior David Anderson at its downtown gallery WAG during the November 1 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl.

Desire Trap/pings will feature oil paintings, sculptures, found objects, and modified found objects, and each piece is considered as a different scene or trap that suspends a desire, one that could be transformed into something new.

David Anderson Loose Gate

“Loose Gate,” 2014 (57″x65″ oil on canvas)

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

Hybrid forms and processes locate desire between the cool, fetishized ironies of glam culture and sincere ritual; between consumer aesthetic and human touch; between cereal box and retablo (altarpiece). Desire Trap/pings combines hyper color, invented graphic forms, and grungy, tactile, shimmering surfaces to suggest a space analogous to a near future church of Philip K. Dick’s (and David Anderson’s) imagination.

"Bleeding," 2014 (oil, silk screen, appropriation)

“Bleeding,” 2014

Anderson, a Nashville native, has previously exhibited at WAG in Abstraction’s Imaginative Fictions (November 2013), the printmaking show Staying the Course (February 2014), and Co. H collective’s Play (May 2014). He was also part of the summer group shows Bruised Anvil (at the Packing Plant) and Co. H’s Mystic Truths (Watkins’ Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery), named by the Nashville Scene “Best Student Show” in their recent Best of Nashville issue.

To see more of his David Anderson’s work, 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 [email protected]. 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.

Performance Photographer Pushpamala N Speaks on “Pseudo-Archive” October 27

Posted on: October 13th, 2014 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Bangalore-based Pushpamala N, a photo- and video-performance artist who uses elements of popular culture to explore place, gender and   history, will speak at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film on Monday, October 27. Her lecture, entitled “The Pseudo-Archive,” will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Watkins Theater, and is free and open to the public.

In her first visit to Nashville, Pushpamala will present her recent work, talking about using different sources and materials, mixing up genres and archives, and questioning classifications. Christine Rogers, assistant professor of photography at Watkins, will introduce her and facilitate Q&A in the Watkins Theater.

Pushpamala N image WwebThey first met in 2013 in Bangalore, when Rogers was on a Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship completing research for her project, Photographing Imagined Landscapes: The Switzerland of India. “I was immediately interested in the theatricality of Pushpamala’s work as well as her mining of various photographic histories as a way of understanding the construction of the self and, perhaps more broadly, a construction of national identity,” said Rogers. “She is a charismatic presence on both sides of the lens, and Watkins is very pleased to welcome such an innovative and challenging artist.”

Pushpamala will be in the United States for the opening of Prospect New Orleans, the largest biennial of international contemporary art in the country (Oct. 25-Jan. 25, 2015), where she and collaborator Clare Arni will present work from their project Native Women of South India: Manners & Customs (2000-2004).

As the principal character in all her work, Pushpamala adopts various popular personas and ironic roles in theatrical compositions, leading her work to be described as performance photography. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, receiving acclaim for “The Ethnographic Series” (part of Native Women of South India), which explores photography as a tool of ethnographic documentation and humorously challenges the authenticity of the photographic image.

Other projects have mined the genres of cinema, popular culture, mythology and historical references, often using humor and irony as a method of exposing cultural and gender stereotyping while exploring the complex terrain of contemporary urban life in India.

Born in Bangalore and formally trained as a sculptor (BFA and MFA from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India), Pushpamala eventually shifted to photography to explore her interest in narrative figuration. Since 1983, her work has been seen in nearly 100 exhibitions, with solo shows in Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi, New York, Milan, Paris, Salzburg and Gyor, Hungary, and – in the pastfew years alone – group shows in Amsterdam, Vienna, Beirut, San Jose, Lisbon, Melbourne, Berlin, Hong Kong, Santiago, Copenhagen, Singapore, Chicago, Helsinki, San Francisco and London as well as throughout India.

She is the recipient of many honours, including the National Award (1984); Gold medal at the Sixth Triennale, India (1986); Charles Wallace Trust (India) Fellowship (1992–93); Senior Fellowship, Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development (1995–97), Arts Collaboration Grant, India Foundation for the Arts (2000), Rockefeller Foundation artist residency at Bellagio (Italy) Study Centre (2006) residency; and Centre Pompidou (Paris) artist residency (2009).

Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in MetroCenter; free parking is available in the campus lot.

More about Pushpamala N

From Prospect New OrleansProspect.3: Notes for Now:

on set of "The Ethnographic Series"

on set of “The Ethnographic Series” from Native Women project

Pushpamala N has subverted dominant media paradigms throughout her career as a photographer, video artist, sculpture, writer, curator, and theorist. In the collaborative series Native Women of South India: Manners and Customs (2000–2004), she and English-born photographer Clare Arni perform for the still camera, embodying ideals projected by representations in the spiritual canon, documentary photography, and popular culture. Tracing the connections between archetypes, Native Women makes visible the lines of flight between the colonial gaze and the patriarchal one, which have designed oppressive ideals of femininity that enjoy continued traction in the epoch of globalized neoliberalism. Pushpamala N casts herself in each role; the reclamation of the source material becomes an act of self-possession over her image and body

Read more about “The Ethnographic Series” at the Saatchi Gallery website.

Filmmaker Prashant Bhargava to Visit Watkins

Posted on: October 13th, 2014 by Caroline Davis No Comments

The Film School at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film and OZ Arts Nashville will present a special screening and presentation by Prashant Bhargava, an award-winning filmmaker and designer known for his intricately layered and lush visuals, November 7 & 8 in the Watkins Theater.

Patang_MoviePosterOn Friday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m., Watkins will screen Bhargava’s 2012 feature debut Patang (The Kite, 95 minutes). Weaving the stories of six people during India’s largest kite festival, Patang, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, earned a four-star review from Roger Ebert and was named a New York Times Critics Pick.

On Saturday, November 8 at 11 a.m., Bhargava will speak about his career, which includes pioneering work as a commercial director and motion designer as well as a filmmaker with narrative, documentary and experimental credits. Richard Gershman, chair of the Film School at Watkins, will introduce him and facilitate the Q&A session.

The screening and lecture are free, but reservations are encouraged: [email protected].

Bhargava’s visit to Watkins is in conjunction with OZ Arts Nashville’s presentation of Vijay Iyer: Music of Transformation, within which a new film by Bhargava is included. In collaboration with composer/pianist Iyer (a 2013 MacArthur Fellow), Bhargava’s film Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, will be screened simultaneously to Iyer’s orchestral music, performed live by the International Contemporary Ensemble and conducted by David Fulmer. Based on Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Radhe Radhe is a journey of desire and devotion during the colorful and chaotic celebrations of Holi in Mathura, India.

Oz_LogoFinal_6.30.14Music of Transformation plays two performances at OZ: November 8 at 8 p.m. and November 9 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased via


Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in MetroCenter; free parking is available in the campus lot.

About Prashant Bhargava

Described by producer Anthony Bregman as “visionary and soulful” and “masterful” by Roger Ebert, Prashant Bhargava is a director and designer whose work is recognized worldwide for its original storytelling and honest craft. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Bhargava is one of the first South Asians to emerge from the hip-hop movement as a graffiti artist. His filmmaking (his first film, the short Sangam, debuted at Sundance) builds from his pioneering work as a commercial director and motion designer.

Prashant Bhargava smWwebKnown for his intricately layered and lush visuals, Bhargava spearheaded over 100 campaigns for HBO (including The Wire, Def Poetry Jam, Rome and OZ) and films such as Born into Brothels, John Frankenhiemer’s Path to War, Mira Nair’s Hysterical Blindness, Raoul Peck’s Lumumba, and Denzel Washington’s Antwone Fisher. Bhargava designed effects sequences for Alex Rivera’s feature Sleep Dealer and directed music videos and promos for musical acts Cornershop, Talib Kweli and Missy Elliot. Notable clients include Accenture, NBC, Woolrich, PBS, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Volvo and OMango and collaborations include design and production studios such as R/GA, Click 3x and Edgeworx.

Following Sangam – which received awards at the Clermont Ferrand Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival and Short Shorts Asia – he directed Ammaji, a documentary portrait of his grandmother, Backwaters, an experimental Super 8 short, and Kashmir, a film and live music performance with electronic band Dawn of Midi.

Bhargava’s feature length directorial debut, Patang (The Kite) received rave reviews, including four stars from Roger Ebert who named it one of 2012’s best. An anthem to the old city of Ahmedabad, it weaves the stories of six people during India’s largest kit festival. Patang, Nawazuddin-Siddiqui03 Wwebwhich premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and ran in the main competition at the Tribeca Film Festival, won Best Feature Narrative at the Hawaii Film Festival, Best World Narrative at the Indy Film Festival, a Special Jury Award at the Osians Film Festival in New Delhi, Best Feature Narrative at the DC APA Film Festival, and Best Film at the SAIFF’s Rising Star Film Awards; Bhargava was also named Best Director. Defying convention in its process and cinematic language, Patang united a community torn apart by religious conflict and natural disaster, starring two of India’s finest actors, Seema Biswas and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

His latest work, Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, is a journey of desire and devotion during the colorful and choatic celebrations of Holi in Mathura, India. Created in collaboration with celebrated composer and pianist Vijay Iyer, the performance is presented as a film projected in conjunction with a live orchestra, and was described by NPR as “one of the most brilliant and exciting commemorations of the 100th anniversary of Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.”

Bhargava studied computer science at Cornell University and theatrical directing at the Barrow Group and at the Actors Studio (MFA program). He has lectured at New York University, Cornell University, Amherst College, UNC Chapel Hill, Stonybrook, Indiana University, University of Chicago and CEDIM. Bhargava was a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College and a New York Foundation of the Arts Fellow in both 1997 and 2012. For more information, visit

Scene’s ‘Best of Nashville’ Praises Watkins students, alumni and faculty

Posted on: October 10th, 2014 by Caroline Davis No Comments

We appreciate the attention that the Nashville Scene shows to the city’s arts and culture community all year long and their support of Watkins’ talents, events and programming. And we’re grateful for the “Writers’ Choice” recognition of several Watkins students, alumni and faculty in their annual Best Of Nashville issue!

Best Student Show: Co. H’s Mystic Truths at Watkins

Art exhibits by college students tend to be spotty affairs. But the Mystic Truths show at Watkins was a thoroughly excellent display and the crowning achievement to a busy year for the Co. H collective, whose multiple exhibitions in multiple venues all over the city this year recalled the glory days of the Secret Shows founded by Watkins students. We need young, hardworking artists to energize and challenge our scene, and these kids are all right. –Joe Nolan

Best Art Collaboration: Watkins and Death Row Unit 2NvScene Bestof2014 arts_culture image Wweb

A series of art installations at Watkins Arcade Gallery created by students from the school in collaboration with death row prisoners at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution, the latest Unit 2 exhibition opened in July. Social practice art is all the rage, but when the privileged decide to create with the disenfranchised, exploitation is often the result. Not so here. This heartbreaking wonder of a series exemplifies that one-word answer to this question: “How might artists best ply their trade in the name of social progress?” Service. – Joe Nolan

Anne Catherine Carter

Anne Catherine Carter (photo by Michael W. Bunch)

Best New Curator: Ann Catherine Carter at the Packing Plant

Whip-smart and talented, Ann Catherine Carter was a regular fixture at art events when she was a Watkins student, and after taking over from Veronica Kavass as The Packing Plant’s curator, she’s positioned to prove herself as a conduit between Nashville’s old guard and its new. — Laura Hutson

Best Abstract Art Show: Abstractometry at the Frist [featuring Watkins Fine Art Professor Terry Thacker]

Abstractometry graced the Frist’s Conte Community Arts space with a display that functioned as a survey of some of Nashville’s best abstract artists while simultaneously examining the manner in which our city defines itself through album art, letterpress printing, vintage signs and other graphic means. Terry Thacker, James Perrin and Alex Blau all showed stand-out work in the exhibition, setting a high bar for nonfigurative art that wasn’t surpassed in Nashville in 2014. – Joe Nolan


Patrick DeGuira, “Hue and Weight”

Best Solo Show: [Fine Art Adjunct Faculty] Patrick DeGuira at Zeitgeist 

Patrick DeGuira has become one of Nashville’s best artists by bringing his meticulous craftsmanship to a broad understanding of the current contemporary art conversation and marrying both to his own personal mythology. DeGuira’s Shade Models at Zeitgeist included photography, models, paintings and even a full-sized rowboat. The show opened last fall after our 2013 Best of Nashville issue, but it still resonates. – Joe Nolan

Best New Gallery = David Lusk Gallery Nashville [featuring Watkins Fine Art Adjunct Faculty Mary Addison Hackett]

David Lusk is a skilled art dealer with a proven record of connecting artwork with buyers, and news that he was opening a Nashville outpost of his successful Memphis gallery was met with almost immediate praise. The gallery’s opening exhibition, which featured work from local favorites like Mary Addison Hackett and Kit Reuther, all but solidified its Wedgewood-Houston locale as the most interesting part of the First Saturday art openings. – Laura Hutson

Graphic Design Gets ‘Split & Twisted’ Oct. 23–Nov. 14

Posted on: October 7th, 2014 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents Split & Twisted, the school’s annual juried graphic design student exhibition, from October 23–November 14 in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus.

Split & Twisted’s opening night reception, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 23, is free and the public is invited.

Split&Twisted 2014-BROJurying the show will be Senior Art Director Neely Tabor of Gish, Sherwood & Friends and several GS&F colleagues.

All Watkins Graphic Design majors are eligible to submit projects (created since September 2013) in 10 categories: Advertising, Books & Jackets, Identity, Illustration, Illustration Series, Package Design, Poster/Design, Publication Design, Multimedia, and Miscellaneous/Design.

Department of Graphic Design chair Dan Brawner, recognized as a “top instructor” by the international visual communications journal Graphis, will announce the category winners as well as best in show and faculty choice awards.

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 2014 Nashville Student ADDYs, Watkins won more top-level awards than any other school competing (just as they did in 2012 and 2013), claiming nine Golds, eight Silvers and three of four Judge’s Choice Award.

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, Split&Twisted 2014-SISMusic 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.

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 is free. Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in Metro Center. For more information, visit

About the program
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree program at Watkins College begins with a strong foundation in the basic principles and elements of design and typography. The curriculum then builds in complexity until students graduate with a professional, high quality, entry-level portfolio. Coursework effectively covers art, design, typography, technology, professional practices and the history of art and design. Small class sizes allow for each student to have individual consultations with faculty at every stage of assigned projects. Graphic design electives, including internships with area advertising and design agencies, enhance each student’s education. The curriculum culminates in the capstone course, Senior Portfolio Development, where each graduating senior works with senior faculty to polish his/her portfolio. Finally, the graduating class, as a team, puts together a senior exhibition that features their portfolios.

Thanks to senior Holly Carden for the Split & Twisted 2014 promotional artwork.

‘Watkins Alumni Exhibition Series No. 1’ Celebrates Community and Connections

Posted on: October 6th, 2014 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents “Watkins Alumni Exhibition Series No. 1,” featuring new work by 11 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), 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), Alethea Norene (Photography, 2008), Jaime Raybin (Fine Art, 2006), Trent Thibodeaux (Graphic Design, 2006), and Alicia Waters (Graphic Design, 2008).

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 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 ( 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″)

    JJeremy Adams, "Pacific Stranger"

    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.”

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, “The Veil”

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 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"

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, film still from “Accepted”

Patricia Earnhardt ( 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.”

Pam Haile - Her Mark 1

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, “Shine”

Joshua Brent Montgomery ( 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, “For Owen”

Jaime Raybin ( 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 ( 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.”

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 protected]

‘Terrible Three from Tennessee’ Come Home for WAG Graphic Design Show

Posted on: September 26th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents The Terrible Three from Tennessee (…now in Chicago), featuring work by Graphic Design alumni Julian Baker, Andy Gregg, and Shelby Rodeffer, at its downtown gallery WAG during the October 4 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl.

Terrible Three from TN evite Oct 2014 WwebAccording to Dan Brawner, chair of the Graphic Design department, even before graduation, these three amazing creatives were making their mark in Nashville through highly visible design projects for classwork, popular festivals, internships and freelance gigs. Immediately upon graduation, Julian Baker (’09) was hired as lead designer at Jack White’s Third Man Records; Andy Gregg (’10) was hired as illustrator/designer at Anderson Design Group and, after working part-time at Isle of Printing and freelancing for Anderson Design Group, Shelby Rodeffer (’11) joined redpepper as designer/illustrator.

After a couple of insanely productive years, Andy quit his job to follow his heart (and girlfriend) to Chicago, and in no time, the global marketing and technology agency Digitas, offered him a design position. A short time later he recommended Shelby for a job there. She accepted, and her boyfriend, Julian Baker – who had, arguably, the most coveted design position in Nashville – faced a stay-or-go decision…but love won and he relocated with her. In addition to being a designer at Chicago-based BBDO Worldwide, he and Shelby also founded The Finer Things, a small business dedicated to the production of artful artifacts.

About the artists
Nashville native Andy Gregg is a graphic designer and illustrator working in Chicago. While on the full-time design staff at Anderson Design Group, Andy created work for such Nashville greats as the Grand Ole Opry, Vanderbilt University and the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards. Additional clients have included Ram Trucks, Creative Artists Agency, Gibson Guitar and Denny’s. Andy has received local and regional ADYY awards and has enjoyed attention from many cool design forums like Print, HOW, The Dieline, Design Work Life, and Laughing Squid. Visit his site for Writ Large Studio.

Shelby Rodeffer’s aesthetic is the result of growing up in Nashville, where she ate a lot of hot chicken, saw a lot of live music and learned a lot about letterpress. She a embraces evidence of the human hand in her work with fondness for art that merges typography and imagery. In the future, she hopes to go on adventures with her sign painting kit, then settle down to open up a print-studio-slash-pizza-place-slash-bicycle-repair-shop.  Visit

Julian Baker is a graphic designer on paper, but likes to dabble in as many industrious crafts as his hands can handle. The Finer Things, a small studio of artful artifacts which he co-founded with Shelby, is a way for him to balance all the time spent hunkered over a computer screen with the important practice of creating things that are real and tangible. When there is left over time after that, you can expect to find him tinkering with something on two wheels or fiddling with old cameras.  Visit

About the name
During the 1940s, The Chicago Tribune editorial cartooning staff consisted of three Nashville Tennessean cartoonists, Carey Orr (Pulitzer-winning editorial cartoonist), Joseph Parrish and Ed Holland, referred to as “The Terrible Three from Tennessee” by then-publisher Colonel McCormick.

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 [email protected]. 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.

See what’s going on in Artober!

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‘Handmade & Bound’ Returns to Watkins October 3-4

Posted on: September 24th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

Exhibition & zine entries and marketplace vendor registration now open!

H&BN2013_6777 accordian card bldg front Wweb The fourth annual edition of Handmade & Bound Nashville (H&BN), a two-day celebration of print, paper and book, will unfold Friday, October 3, and Saturday, October 4, at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. The free, family-friendly event–part book convention, part literary event and part art show–is presented by the Watkins Library and the Community Education department and features a gallery exhibition, film screening, zine collection, marketplace with dozens of vendors and distributors, and demos and hands-on activities.

H&BN2013_6718 gallery viewers WwebOn Friday, October 3, the festival’s exhibition, Poetry and Prints, will open in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The gallery show takes its name from a series of community workshops to be presented this summer by Watkins Community Education, with assistance from the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. The Poetry and Prints workshops, led by professional artists, poets and printmakers, will allow community members to produce handmade books inspired by the art of Wassily Kandinsky, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and the subject of an upcoming retrospective at the Frist (Sept. 26-Jan. 2, 2015).


Wassily Kandinksy, “Black Grid,” 1922

The H&BN exhibition, on view through October 17, will showcase handmade books created by workshop participants as well as those from local artists and creative professionals.

CALL FOR ARTISTS: Submissions of artists’ books with prints or poetry, or of individual poems and prints, will be accepted through September 22. The 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: Mary Beth Harding.

Handmade and Bound: Poetry and Prints is funded in part by an Arts Access grant from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission. Root Hog or Die poster

PREMIERE SCREENING: Also on October 3, Watkins will welcome acclaimed zine author/publisher John Porcellino for the Nashville premiere of “Root Hog or Die,” a 2014 documentary about his life and work. Currently living in South Beloit, Illinois, the Chicago native has been writing, drawing, and publishing minicomics, comics and graphic novels for more than 25 years; his self-published series King-Cat Comics, begun in 1989, has inspired a generation of alternative comics creators.

With equal parts Thoreau and Hüsker Dü, Porcellino’s comics showcase the “moments between moments” which make up the majority of our lives, but which many fail to notice. The title phrase is John Porcellino’s personal motto in regards to creating King-Cat: the saying about self-reliance refers to the colonial practice of releasing hogs into the wild to fend for themselves or starve.

“Root Hog or Die” (90 min., dir. Dan Stafford) will screen at 7 p.m. in the Watkins Theater, followed by a Q&A with Porcellino. [See trailer here.]

In conjunction with Porcellino’s visit, H&BN is bringing back Zine-O-Rama, a display of community-submitted zines in all formatsH&BN2012 Zine_o_rama readers5625 Wweb and on all subjects. According to Library Director Lisa Williams, “Zines make the underground publishing world go round; they’re about form, content and the distribution of ideas in a non-corporate medium. Our first Zine-O-Rama in 2012 introduced the world of zines to the broader Nashville community and we are anxious to show off new zine discoveries: personal zines, cookzines, fanzines, artiness, cut and paste, comics, minis, mental health.”

ZINE ENTRIES: Zine submissions should be sent by September 26 to the Watkins Library, 2298 Rosa L. Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37228.

On Saturday, October 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 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. The day will also feature demonstrations and hands-on activities for children and adults, as well as food trucks.

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

H&BN2013_6596 star book Wweb

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 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.

Check out our frequently updated 2014 vendor list here or see .pdf: H&B 2014 Vendors list ao 9.25.

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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.

SPONSORS: Handmade & Bound Nashville, Vol. 4 is hosted by the Library at Watkins and Watkins Community Education and is partially funded by the William N. Rollins Fund for the Arts through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Additional sponsors include Jerry’s Artarama, Plaza Artists Materials and the Nashville Scene.

Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in Metro Center; free parking is available in the campus lot.

FAQ H&BN2013_6506 Katie G books Wweb

  • What’s in the marketplace? More than three dozen 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. Participants will be posted in the “Our Vendors” section of
  • What’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’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.
  • What’s a chapbook? Traditionally, a small pamphlet containing tales, ballads or tracts, sold by peddlers. It’s generally a small paperback booklet, typically containing poems or short fiction or narrative.

H&BN2013_7109 cube w books Wweb H&BN2013_6493 baby shopper Wweb H&BN2013_6965 line of shoppers Wweb CommFdnMidTN_logo WwebMNAC logo smWweb

Adventures in Design’s Mark Brickey Rides into Watkins Sept. 30 For Lessons in Losing

Posted on: September 16th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

Mark Brickey — screen printer, illustrator, small business owner (Hero Handmade), and host of the Adventures In Design podcast — is bringing his Failure Tour 2014 to Nashville on Tuesday, September 30, for a live podcast recording in the Watkins Theater.

AID sq logo WwebAdventures In Design (AID), about the culture in and around design and illustration, is among iTunes’ top 10 design podcasts with 300,000+ downloads. On the national tour, Brickey and other distinguished creative professionals share their greatest failures, of times that everything went wrong and how they survived to make it all right. These lessons in losing will show there’s no reason to fear failing, because “when you’re not afraid to fail, you’re ready to win.”

Special guests for the Nashville stop are Derrick Castle of Straw Castle, Connie Collingsworth and Jim Madison of Print Mafia, and Drew Binkley of Monkey Ink Design.

Mark Brickey mic“Adventures In Design podcast with Mark Brickey is the rawest content out there helping young and experienced designers alike grab their creative careers by the horns,” says brand consultant and Watkins alumnus Stephen G. Jones, who is helping coordinate the event. “The creative community in Nashville will be getting a real treat as Brickey and company talk about falling face-first and the recovery that leads to success. This is a must for any student entering the workforce and for those looking to pave their own way through creative entrepreneurship.”

A social hour begins at 6:30 p.m., and the live podcast recording at 7:30 p.m. (show runs 90 minutes).

Tickets begin at $12 and are available in advance online through and at the door.

Free parking is available in the campus lot at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in Metro Center.

The Failure Tour with Mark Brickey is sponsored in part by Watkins’ Department of Graphic Design and Straw Castle Design, Grand Palace Silkscreen and Black Abbey Brewing Company.

AID at Minot State U

AID live podcast at Minot State University (Minot, ND)

The Adventures In Design podcast (, hosted by Mark Brickey, regularly gets downloaded 20,000 times per month, each release appears in the top 10 of all design podcast on iTunes, and the show has now been downloaded 300,000+ times to date. This fall Brickey is launching a daily morning talk show for creatives, themed around people who have designed happiness into their lives through their careers. His honesty, integrity, humor and wit have been described as a breath of fresh air in the design community. Mark and his supporting cast of characters have created an environment where it’s possible to have so much fun talking about life, art and their careers, you can easily forget that you’re learning while laughing.

MEDIA: Twitter: @markbrickey & @AIDpodcast • •

For inquiries:

Watkins Hosts FLEX IT! Gaming Workshops Sept. 18-21

Posted on: September 10th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

The living art exhibit FLEX IT! My Body My Temple, a show of social practice work addressing obesity prevention presented at The Parthenon Museum and Centennial Park (now through Jan. 10, 2015), is offering a variety of ways to participate in the exhibition in an effort to encourage healthy lifestyles.

Watkins is pleased to be a programming partner as the location for two, two-day workshops (Sept. 18-21) on the art of gaming, led by Colorado-based new media artist Bryan Leister, who co-designed the Pygmalion’s Challenge app for FLEX IT.

The first workshop, on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 18 and 19, from 1 to 5 p.m. in lab #403 at Watkins, is titled “Creating 2D and 3D Content for Video Games.” This workshop is most appropriate for artists and designers.

The second workshop, on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 20 and 21, from 1 to 5 p.m. in #403, is titled “Augmented Reality for All!” Leister designed this workshop for the general tech or game audience.

Participation in the workshops is free. Attendance at each workshop is limited to 17. To sign up, send an email titled FLEX IT to [email protected], with choice of workshop.

Bryan LeisterBryan Leister is assistant professor of visual arts in the College of Arts & Media at the University of Colorado at Denver; read more about his work — in new media, installation artwork, interactive art, painting, animation, art games and video game design – here.

In addition to the workshops, Leister and colleague Becky Heavner, MLA–a designer and illustrator practicing illustration and landscape design in Denver–will present a talk at the Parthenon on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 10 to 11 a.m. to discuss their FLEX IT! project. “How the Heck Did We Do This?” is free with museum admission and reservations are not required.

Leister and Heavner’s FLEX IT! project is an app that works in conjunction with sculptural markers embedded in the grounds of Centennial Park. To play Pygmalion’s Challenge, players collect coins using their iPhone or Android by traveling from the markers in the park to the door located on the western side of the Parthenon. There they get a key that releases colorful animated characters from the sculptural markers.

Click here for more information on the project and workshop descriptions.

Upcoming FLEX IT event include playing Capture the Flag in Centennial Park with Adrienne Outlaw (Sept. 26), Public Doors and Windows One Mile Loop musical journey (Oct. 11), and yoga in the park with Nicole Cormaci (October TBD).

To see a full schedule of events, visit the Parthenon’s Facebook page or the blogspot 

In their efforts to make participatory works that promote health, FLEX IT! artists are connecting history, contemplation and action. Taking cues of community engagement from the historic Greek agora, FLEX IT! projects encourage participants to flex their minds and bodies to create a better future.

Acting within an evolving framework of collaborative artistic works, FLEX IT! is designed to develop over time as projects unfold and people participate. FLEX IT! artists began travelling to Nashville in May from as far away as Hong Kong to make art with and for the Nashville community. Their ongoing works may be viewed both inside the museum and on park grounds. Lueng Mee Ping’s Chronicle installation raises awareness of how the speed of contemporary life may affect individual and community health. Adrienne Outlaws MeetUp events and video installation promote health and harmony. Susan O’Malley’s Your Body is the Architecture encourages visitors to physically and playfully interact with the Parthenon. Bryan Leister and Becky Heavner’s Pygmalion’s Challenge rewards skill and athleticism. Nicole Cormaci’s Yoga for Truckers (+Everyone) incorporates yoga into sedentary lifestyles. The Public Doors and Windows collective encourages a musical journey along The One Mile Loop. Their second piece, the Highlander Spring Project, offers hydration of body and spirit. Moira Williams’ Socrates’ Wagon Sings with Demeter’s Torch invites consideration of food sourcing, standardization and production.

ABOUT THE PARTHENON: The Parthenon, owned and operated by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County’s Parks and Recreation Department, is the city of Nashville’s oldest art museum. Opened as a museum in 1931, its galleries are the home of the distinguished Cowan Collection of American Art and feature several temporary exhibitions per year. The galleries are housed on the lower level of the Parthenon, the world’s only full-scale replica of the fifth-century BCE temple in Athens, Greece. Beloved symbol of civic pride to Nashvillians since its original manifestation as the art building for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897, it welcomes hundreds of thousands of Nashvillians and visitors to the city per year. The Parthenon is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sundays 12:30-4:30 p.m. To learn more visit