Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Film School’s Fall Auditions Set for Sept. 13

Posted on: August 28th, 2014 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will hold a general casting call for Fall 2014 student film projects on Saturday, September 13, at the Watkins campus in Metro Center.

Casting call sign in 0010Directors of more than 20 productions–from the film programs at Watkins and, for the first time, Belmont University–will be looking for actors of all ages. Student films are being made under the SAG/AFTRA student film agreement and therefore all current union members are allowed to participate. Actors are asked to bring headshots and résumés.

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 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.); 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

Check this auditions page for more information. 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.



NOTE: Audition date for this production is Sunday, September 7, at 2 pm


Director: Jason Harper = [email protected]
Production Type: Student Production II With Dialogue
Shooting Location: Mt. Juliet and Hermitage
Shoot Dates: September 19-21
Compensation: No Pay, DVD copy, digital file and meals
Audition Location: Watkins • 2298 Rosa L. Parks Blvd (37228) in Metro Center, Room #501
Submission instructions: Email headshot and résumé to [email protected]

SYNOPSIS:  Willis Chamberlain is a religious gun enthusiast. When he shoots and kills a home intruder, he struggles to reconcile his actions with his beliefs.


  • MARSHALL (Supporting, late 50’s to mid 60’s, medium to large build): He is a vociferous Republican and avid hunter, and severely lacking in empathy.
  • MARTHA (Supporting, 50’s to 60’s, average build): Willis’ wife, who is always dressed to impress and never seen without make-up.
  • JANIE (Supporting, late 30’s to 40’s): A slim, unkempt woman with a noticeably Southern accent. She is a sad and lonely widow.

WAG Celebrates First Anniversary with September 6 ‘Iconophilia’ Show

Posted on: August 27th, 2014 by Caroline Davis No Comments
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Kevin Dietz, “Fetch” (woodcut)

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film marks the first anniversary of its downtown gallery WAG during the September 6 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl with Iconophilia, featuring summer studio work in multiple media from Fine Art majors Heather Barrie, Kevin Dietz and Ashley Doggett.

The show include prints, woodcuts, etchings, photography, sculpture and mixed media that reflect an interest in symbols and iconographic imagery. All three artists create work that challenges aspects of the human norm, from fixations with the modern to the superimposed need by society to implore fetishism over distinctive, manipulative imagery – the iconophilia.

WAG’s inaugural season has presented work by students and alumni in painting, installation, sculpture, printmaking, photography, illustration, film/video, plus an original curatorial exhibition. Of the 11 shows (one ran December/January), six have been group efforts, two duo, and three solo.

“The first year of WAG has been a rousing success,” said Fine Art assistant professor Brady Haston, “because of our students’ commitment to presenting thoughtful, focused exhibitions that show real insight into contemporary art trends. The diversity of their work and its high quality have raised the profile of young artists in Nashville’s cultural scene and led to several additional creative opportunities for them.”

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Heather Barrie, ‘Clench’ [print]

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

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.

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Kevin Dietz, “The Secret Handshake” (woodcut)

Kevin Dietz: The work that I’ve created closely relates to the graphic narrative, metaphor, and reinterpreting the everyday through traditional methods of print and mark making. I draw a similar line through history as Ashley and Heather from religious medieval prints such as the Nuremberg Chronicles, but I also reference romantic symbolism, Guston, and underground comics from the 60′s and 80′s. The images harbor reflections from the immediacy of everyday: from the job market, academia, and the ever present tension between our social state of affairs.

Ashley Doggett 2

Ashley Doggett

Ashley Doggett: This current oeuvre has its preoccupations with the graphic narrative found in a world engrossed in modernity, racial identity, sexuality, and profound interpretations of history that challenge the audience to consider the extreme harshness of what has been accomplished in the modern American world, both past and present.

All three artists are offering the regalia of the iconic by creating the ultimate iconoclasm; by bringing forth their controversial ideals on the higher spheres of social, political, and religious institutions, they are in fact making commentary on cultural fetishism, the preoccupation of unveiling the obscure to a general audience, and challenging the social tension between race and religion.


Heather Barrie, “My Tribe”


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Ashley Doggett


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Watkins Collects “Monuments, Hotel Soap and Linear Progressions”

Posted on: August 27th, 2014 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Opening reception for faculty show is September 4 in Currey Gallery

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents “Monuments, Hotel Soap and Linear Progressions,” a multiple media exhibition featuring recent work by faculty artists Mary Addison Hackett, Ariel Lavery, Robin Paris and Tom Williams, from September 4–26 in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus.

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Mary Addison Hackett, “Hotel Soap” (50″ x 39″), 2014, oil on canvas

The exhibition’s opening reception, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 4, is free and open to the public.

An adjunct instructor in Watkins’ Department of Fine Art, Mary Addison Hackett is a painter who has recently returned to the South after an extended leave of absence. The paintings for this show are the result of fieldwork and were painted from direct observation of objects in-situ around her childhood home (which is also her current studio) as well as a recent camping trip. Progressing through the seasons they capture the nuances of day-to-day life as revealed in domestic, work and leisure spaces.

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Ariel Lavery, “As We Continue to Move Forward,” 2012, found objects and mixed media





Ariel Lavery, who joined the Watkins Fine Art department this semester as Assistant Professor of Sculpture, is exhibiting two sculptures that install together: “As We Continue to Move Forward” (found objects and mixed media) and “Linear Progression of Chest, Wall Shelf, Shoe Organizer, Broiler Pan, and Napkin Rings.” Lavery’s assembled sculptures and installations reflect on a concept of Middle America as it is defined in domestic goods. She borrows from American domestic vernacular to create mutated versions of home living spaces, “sampling” from her immediate surroundings as she collects detritus found in thrift stores, at garage sales, on Craigslist, and on the side of the road.

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Robin Paris and Tom Williams, Statue of Abraham Lincoln by Adolph Alexander Weinman, Hodgenville, KY (installed 1909), 2014, archival pigment print

Associate Professor of Photography Robin Paris, in collaboration with Assistant Professor of Art History Tom Williams, will show photographic abstractions of figurative monuments made throughout the South and elsewhere. Paris and Williams set aside the lessons of “good” photography to transform the subjects into shadowy, indeterminate figures. These photographs obliterate the likenesses and context of these statues, but simultaneously emphasize their strident poses and emphatic gestures. In this way, they draw focus away from individual monuments and towards the generalized rhetoric of political monumentality, addressing the subtle persuasions of sculptures that often seem little more than props in the mise-en-scène of everyday life.

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.  Free parking is available in the campus lot.

About Mary Addison Hackett
Born and raised in the South, Hackett migrated to Los Angeles via Chicago, and has been exhibiting in commercial, non-profit and university galleries in the United States and abroad since the early 90′s. She holds an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BFA in Painting from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her work alludes to the ever-shifting construction of meaning, memory and representation in day-to-day life. In her current work, Hackett hones her focus on a sense of place by engaging primarily in the practice of observational painting while still acknowledging her roots in abstraction. Recent exhibitions include Tinney Contemporary and Leu Gallery at Belmont University (Nashville); ACME and WEEKEND (Los Angeles); Torrance Art Museum (Torrance, CA); and John Davis Gallery (Hudson, NY). Her debut solo exhibition at Kristi Engle Gallery (2008) in Los Angeles was reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, and she has been featured in numerous other publications. She is represented by David Lusk Gallery; her first solo with the Nashville gallery opens October 1, 2014.

About Ariel Lavery 
Ariel Lavery graduated magna cum laude with her BFA from the University of Colorado Boulder (2007) and received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (2013). She has exhibited nationally in Colorado, Kentucky, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington, DC. Recent solo exhibitions include Project 1 at Zephyr Gallery in Louisville, KY and Detritus In Situ at the Herter Gallery, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Recent group exhibitions include Fresh at the AVA Gallery (Chattanooga, TN), Best of the Northeast at the Helen Day Art Center (Stowe, VT), and Ice Breaker 5 at the Ice Cube Gallery (Denver). She is also a recent recipient of the Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women.

Robin Paris Tom Williams coach

Robin Paris and Tom Williams, Statue of Coach E.A. Diddle by Russ Faxon, Western Kentucky Univ., Bowling Green, (installed 2005), 2014, archival pigment print

About Robin Paris
Currently chair of the Photography department at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, Robin Paris earned a BA in Studio Art from the Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA) and studied visual anthropology and creative writing before earning her MFA in photography from Savannah College of Art and Design. She spent a year as a resident artist at Anderson Ranch in Aspen, where she assisted such artists as Keith Smith and Jerry Uelsmann. She has worked in marketing and as a photo editor for small publishing companies in Georgia and Colorado. She currently works in historical processes, digital imaging and book works, and exhibits them nationally.

About Tom Williams
Tom Williams, assistant professor of art history at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, is a graduate of the University of West Florida (BA, Art History), the State University of New York, Stony Brook (MA and PhD, Art History) and of the Whitney Independent Study Program. He has also taught at the School of the Visual Arts, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Vanderbilt University, and his writings have appeared in Art in America, Grey Room and other publications.









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

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 by Caroline Davis No Comments

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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ABC Offers IP and Copyright Law Workshop at Watkins Aug. 28

Posted on: August 21st, 2014 by Caroline Davis No Comments

The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville is partnering with Watkins to present a workshop addressing the basics of intellectual property and copyright law on Thursday, August 28, from 1 to 2:15 p.m. in Room 804.

“Yours, Mine & Ours: Copyright & Intellectual Property Fundamentals” will cover copyright laws’ exclusive rights and protections and offer perspective of both the law and the creator in this workshop suitable for all levels and artists of all disciplines. Co-facilitators are Carl Eppler of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP and Tennessee Repertory Playwright-in-Residence Nate Eppler.

Cost is $10 for ABC members, $15 for nonmembers. CLE Credit cost is $35 for ABC member attorneys, $50 for nonmembers.

To register, visit

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film is located in Metro Center at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. Free parking is available in the campus lot. Room 804 is on the second floor of the Cecy Reed Student Center.

About the presenters

Carl Eppler is an associate attorney at Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP in Nashville, Tennessee.  He is a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property Protection and Litigation Services Team. Carl handles a variety of intellectual property matters, including litigation and transactions in the areas of copyright, trademark, and patents. He has published articles on music copyright issues and trademarks with the University of Memphis Law Review and Carl is also an accomplished musician, having performed and taught percussion throughout the United States for over 15 years.

Nate Eppler is a playwright and teaching artist based in the southeastern United States. His plays include 2011 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award semi-finalist Long Way Down (3PS 2011), Sextape & Other Stories (Playhouse Nashville 2013), Larries (Tennessee Repertory Theatre 2013) and Good Monsters. Nate is one of the curators of The Ten Minute Playhouse, a quarterly festival of new plays by Tennessee Playwrights, and is a co-founder of Playhouse Nashville, an organization devoted to producing new works for the stage and elevating the voices of playwrights in the South. Nate currently serves as Playwright-in-Residence for Tennessee Repertory Theatre. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America.

The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville (ABC) educates individual artists, creative professionals, and arts nonprofits to help them master the business of art. Through monthly offerings and intensive trainings, ABC creates opportunities for the Nashville community to learn the most progressive, effective, and creative techniques to bolster business and expand the arts.

Watkins and Hatch Celebrate ‘Good Design’ August 21

Posted on: August 11th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will host a reception for “The Vignelli Canon,” an exhibit celebrating the words of legendary designer Massimo Vignelli through posters designed by Watkins Graphic Design students and produced at Hatch Show Print, on Thursday, August 21, from 5 to 7 pm.

Hatch 2014 workshop skedThe show, which runs through August 29 in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus, is the result of a continuing collaboration between Watkins and Hatch Show Print, one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America.

In a one-day summer workshop, Watkins students were challenged to use Hatch’s landmark collection of typefaces, along with traditional letterpress methods, to create posters that expressed the ethos of influential Italian-born designer Massimo Vignelli.

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Massimo Vignelli

Vignelli, who died on May 27, 2014 at the age of 83, worked firmly within the Modernist tradition. His prolific body of work ranged from packaging (Bloomingdale’s Brown Bags) and identity (American Airlines, IBM) through houseware and furniture design to public signage, logos and publication design (New York City’s subway system, National Park Service).

In 2009 he released “The Vignelli Canon” a free e-book (available via In the introduction he wrote, “I thought that it might be useful to pass some of my professional knowledge around, with the hope of improving [young designers'] design skills. Creativity needs the support of knowledge to be able to perform at its best.”Hatch 2014 on floor

The Watkins students, using a variety of wooden type and wooden image blocks from Hatch’s extensive collection—including one rarely-used alphabet of a decidedly Modern style—created hand-set, oversized posters with phrases selected from Vignelli essays describing the principles and concepts behind “all good design.”

Hatch 2014 group

Dan Brawner, Celene Aubry, Matthew Erwin, Holly Carden, Ryan Arauza, Yanet Mireles, Marty Potts, Judith Sweeney-O’Bryan, Jim Sherraden and Ross Denton

Watkins Graphic Design faculty Dan Brawner and Judith Sweeney-O’Bryan organized the July 26 workshop, which was led by Hatch Master Printer Jim Sherraden and shop manager Celene Aubry. Participating students were Ryan Arauza, Holly Carden, Ross Denton, Matthew Erwin, Marty Potts and Yanet Mireles. Previous Watkins-Hatch summer workshop themes were the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones and the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

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.

hatch-logo-redEstablished in 1879 in downtown Nashville, Hatch Show Print is a division of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. For more information, visit

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 (for the third consecutive year), claiming nine Golds, eight Silvers and three out of four Judge’s Choice honors.

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.

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Hatch 2014 proofing

The all-important proofing process

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Hatch 2014 inking up

Marty Potts inking up under Jim Sherraden’s direction

Jenna Maurice and John Whitten ‘Get Lost’ at WAG’s August Show

Posted on: July 7th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents A Field Guide to Getting Lost, featuring video work by alumni Jenna Maurice and John Whitten, at its downtown gallery WAG during the August 2 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl.

Taken from the title of the 2006 book by Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost is a video-based exhibition about Maurice and Whitten’s relationships with nature, the unknown, and their search for the unfamiliar. These artists champion being lost. It is a goal for which they strive. Their research happens deep in secluded areas where isolation and solitude are desirable characteristics. Having relocated from Nashville to geographic regions offering some of the United States’ most diverse landscapes (Maurice to Colorado and Whitten to Oregon), their work deals with the subtleties of communication amid isolation, and their interpretation of the natural world. Fueled by a desire to discover a deeper level of connectedness to their environment, the two artists employ a range of tactics from subtle, poetic gestures of mimicry to spectacular displays of signals designed to attract help. In this work, both artists question their sense of place in the natural world, what it means to make one’s way through life, and what it means to be a lost soul.

Jenna Maurice Lowest Point

“Interacting with the Lowest Point in North America”

Jenna Maurice ( is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Denver, CO. 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.

She received a BFA in Photography from Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, and an MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her 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. 

Jenna Maurice: three images from the 2013 series “Concerning the Landscape: A Study in Relationships” 


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Jenna Maurice Bush


John Whitten ( excavates the meditative and philosophical implications of what it means to wander. The question of what it means to be a lost soul frames his practice as he searches for the unfamiliar. Driven by a passion for the outdoors and our cultural fascination with survivalism, his drawings and videos investigate what it means to make one’s way through life.

Whitten grew up in rural Indiana surrounded by corn, animals, and a fundamentalist belief system. He majored in studio arts as an undergraduate, receiving his AS from Vincennes University in Vincennes, IN, and BFA in Fine Art from Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. He went on to receive his MFA from the University of Oregon in Eugene.

Whitten’s work has been screened/exhibited nationally in galleries, museums and raw exhibition spaces. His work has been included in exhibitions at Disjecta in Portland, OR; the University of Oregon’s Laverne Krause Gallery; Clatsop Community College in Astoria, OR; and in Nashville at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Rymer Gallery, Zeitgeist Gallery and Belmont University’s Leu Art Gallery. He spends his time in the South, Midwest and Pacific Northwest.

John Whitten Signal

John Whitten, “Signal” (2013)

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John Whitten, “Smoke and Mirrors” (2013)








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.

Art Crawl logoWAG 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.

About Rebecca Solnit 
Field Guide coverWriter, historian and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of 15 books, as well as numerous essays in numerous museum catalogs and anthologies, about environment, landscape, community, art, politics, the power of stories and hope. A Field Guide to Getting Lost (Penguin, 2006) is an investigation into loss, losing and being lost. Taking in subjects as eclectic as memory and mapmaking, Hitchcock movies and Renaissance painting, Solnit combines memoir, history and philosophy to explore the challenges of living with uncertainty while shedding glittering new light on the way we live now.



WAG Aug 2014 evite

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Watkins Welcomes Laurence Papel and William Warfield to Board of Trustees

Posted on: July 3rd, 2014 by Caroline Davis

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

Joining the board of the four-year, baccalaureate visual arts college are Laurence M. (Larry) Papel, attorney at law, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, and William (Bill) Warfield, president, Brookside Properties. They each will serve a three-year term.

Mr. Papel is managing partner of the Nashville office of Nelson Mullins, a law film established in 1897 with offices in seven states and the District of Columbia. He concentrates his practice primarily in the areas of corporate and real estate.

Mr. Warfield directs all corporate operations within Brookside, overseeing more than 140 properties in 12 states. Under his leadership, Brookside, headquartered in Nashville, has grown into one of the premier full service, commercial real estate firms in the southeastern United States.

Current 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, Deborah G. Crowder, Dee Doochin, Taylor H. Henry (secretary/treasurer), Reggie Hill, James R. Kelley, Jerry L. Maynard II, Carol L. McCoy, Ken McDonald (vice chair), Eileen N. McGinn, Lucille Nabors, 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 Ellen L. Meyer, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr., serve as ex officio trustees.

Bill Warfield Brookside headshot Wweb

Bill Warfield

Larry Papel

Larry Papel

WAG’s July 5 Show Goes Inside with ‘My Life Is Outside’

Posted on: July 2nd, 2014 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents “My Life Is Outside”: Everyday Photographs from Prison at its downtown gallery WAG during the July 5 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl. Curated by Sharon Stewart, the show features a collection of photographs belonging to Tennessee prisoners, offering a more fully dimensional look at the personal histories, current realities and surrounding communities of these lives than may normally be seen.

WAG July 2014 Harold Wayne Nichols

collection of Harold Wayne Nichols

The title of the show borrows from a reflection shared by Riverbend Maximum Security Institution prisoner Harold Wayne Nichols. Writing on the significance of his photographs when considering his life inside versus outside of prison, he says, “My life is outside.”

Sharon Stewart is a senior in the Photography BFA program at Watkins; much of her current work explores the unique personal and cultural possibilities of vernacular photography. She plans to use photography as a therapeutic tool in her future career as an art therapist.

WAG July 2014 Akil Jahi

from the collection of Akil Jahi

“During the past year, Sharon has been part of a group of students and faculty that have participated in artistic dialogues and art exhibitions with prisoners on death row here in Tennessee,” said Tom Williams, Watkins’ assistant professor of art history. ‘My Life Is Outside’: Everyday Photographs from Prison is her original curatorial effort to expand that conversation. It combines her interest in the uses of photography in ordinary life and the life experience of people who are often defined by the institutions that imprison them. Sharon’s exhibition offers a glimpse of their communities and their families in order to show that life for them endures outside the walls of prison.” In addition to photographs, the exhibition includes writings by the prisoners about their images. Docents will be available at the gallery opening to share accounts of stories, as told to them by the prisoners, about select displayed photographs.

“My Life Is Outside” involves multiple participants from REACH, an organization for reciprocal education led by insiders on Tennessee’s death row (Unit 2 at Riverbend). For more information on their initiatives visit

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

Read about the September 2013 COOP gallery show with collaborations between students and Riverbend’s Unit 2 here at the art and culture forum

WAG July 2014 Gary Cone

from the collection of Gary Cone

WAG July 2014 Nickolus Johnson

from the collection of Nickolus Johnson

WAG July 2014 Abu Ali Abdur’Rahman

from the collection of Abu Ali Abdur’Rahman

WAG July 2014 evite

Click to enlarge


Co. H Celebrates ‘Mystic Truths’ with July 12 Reception

Posted on: June 30th, 2014 by Caroline Davis

Mystic Truths, a multi-media exhibition from Watkins College of Art, Design & Film’s student-led collective Co. H, will celebrate its summer run with a reception on Saturday, July 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. Featuring outstanding work in painting, printmaking, sculpture, drawing, photography, video and installation from 15 area artists, the show remains on view through July 18 in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus.

The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.

Participating artists are:mystic truths 6 Wweb

  • Caleb Adcock, Fine Art, senior (digital prints)
  • Mika Agari, Fine Art, senior (video)
  • David Anderson, Fine Art, junior (painting)
  • Heather Barrie, Fine Art, senior (printmaking)
  • Kevin Dietz, Fine Art, sophomore (printmaking)
  • Elisha Farahmand, Fine Art, junior (video)
  • Michael Hampton, BFA in Fine Art ‘14 (video)
  • Aaron Harper, Fine Art, senior (drawing)
  • Blake Holland, Film, senior (photography)
  • Casey Payne, Fine Art, junior (painting)
  • Zack Rafuls, Fine Art, senior (sculpture)
  • Alexine Rioux, BFA in Fine Art, ’14 (printmaking)
  • Kayla Saito, Fine Art, senior (sculpture)
  • Luke Weir, Fine Art, junior (conceptual/installation)
  • Weng Tze Yang, photography, senior (photographic installation)


mystic truths1 Wweb“Mystic Truths: A Group Show from Co. H and Friends” collects work from Co. H council members, collaborators and studio mates in order to present a survey of some of the best Watkins-created work. Showcasing current students and recent graduates, “Mystic Truths” includes work across many disciplines, including drawing, painting, sculpture, video, photography, installation and printmaking. The title of the show is pulled from Bruce Nauman’s 1967 neon sign piece “The True Artist Helps The World By Revealing Mystic Truths,” referencing the function of the artist in ironic and hopeful lights simultaneously while also directly supplanting the work within a contemporary context and dialogue.

Currey Gallery’s summer hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.  Free parking is available in the campus lot.

About Co. Hmystic truths2 Wweb
A collective of artists from various disciplines of the visual arts, Co. H provides opportunities for both students and professionals pursuing and/or working in the arts. Founded at Watkins in 2011, Co. H activity includes hosting lecture by artists and art professionals, holding studio critiques and collaborating on multi-disciplinary performances within the community. Visit

About Bruce Nauman
Born in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Bruce Nauman has been recognized since the early 1970s as one of the most innovative and provocative of America’s contemporary artists. Nauman finds inspiration in the activities, speech, and materials of everyday life. He graduated with a BFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1964, and with an MFA from the University of California, Davis, in 1966. Confronted with the question “What to do?” in his studio soon after leaving school, Nauman had the simple but profound realization that “If I was an artist and I was in the studio, then whatever I was doing in the studio must be art. At this point art became more of an activity and less of a product.” Working in the diverse mediums of sculpture, video, film, printmaking, performance, and installation, Nauman concentrates less on the development of a characteristic style and more on the way in which a process or activity can transform or become a work of art. A survey of his diverse output demonstrates the alternately political, prosaic, spiritual, and crass methods by which Nauman examines life in all its gory details, mapping the human arc between life and death. The text from an early neon work proclaims: “The true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths.” Whether or not we—or even Nauman—agree with this statement, the underlying subtext of the piece emphasizes the way in which the audience, artist, and culture at large are involved in the resonance a work of art will ultimately have. Nauman lives in New Mexico.

Bruce Nauman True Artist sign Bruce Nauman, “The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths,” neon and clear glass tubing suspension supports; 59 x 55 x 2 inches, 1967(Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Bruce Nauman’s neon sign asks a multitude of questions with regard to the 
ways in which the 20th century conceived both avant-garde art and the role of the 
artist in society. If earlier European modernists, such as Mondrian, 
Malevich, and Kandinsky, sought to use art 
to reveal deep-seated truths about the human condition and the role of the artist 
in general, then Bruce Nauman’s “The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing 
Mystic Truths” questions such transhistorical and universal 
statements. With regard to this work, Nauman said:

The most difficult thing about the whole piece for me was the statement. It 
was a kind of test—like when you say something out loud to see if you 
believe it. Once written down, I could see that the statement [...] was on 
the one hand a totally silly idea and yet, on the other hand, I believed it. 
It’s true and not true at the same time. It depends on how you interpret it 
and how seriously you take yourself. For me it’s still a very strong thought.