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Film School’s Spring 2016 Auditions Set for February 6

Posted on: January 30th, 2016 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will hold a general casting call for Spring 2016 student film projects on Saturday, February 6, at the Watkins campus in Metro Center.

Directors of approximately a dozen productions from the BFA film program at Watkins 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 résumés and head shots for each audition (or a photo can be taken at the reading).

Ava DuVernay on the set of "Selma" (2014)

Ava DuVernay on the set of “Selma” (2014)

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) for individual productions will be posted to this page 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. – Young men and women, age range 8-18

NOTE:  No overall make-up audition session will be offered. However, after production breakdowns are posted, actors who cannot attend the February 6 casting day may contact specific directors concerning particular roles. If headshots and résumés are submitted electronically, please include name in file title.

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.

For any questions not answered here, email auditions@watkins.edu. Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in Metro Center (across from the Looby). Free parking is available in the campus lot.

EXTRA OPPORTUNITY: Film School Actor/Director Workshop

The Film School is looking for actors who want to participate in our directing workshop, working with student-directors who will be filming scenes this semester [February 9 through April 28] during  3-hour sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (6-9 p.m.) Each class session is devoted to one scene; therefore, the commitment is only for 3 hours, unless an actor is cast in multiple scenes.

Sides will be available on February 6 outside the casting room. There will be plenty of roles to consider as up to 9 student-directors will be casting 18 scenes. Please indicate to the students present if you are not available on certain days. Callbacks may be held at the discretion of the student-director. Actors will be provided with an edited, digital copy of their scene.

The instructor is Richard Gershman, Chair of the Film School who has directed nationally for theatres like the Mark Taper Forum and Seattle Repertory Theatre and for CBS dramas Chicago Hope and Judging Amy. He has worked with many notable actors including Adam Arkin, Amy Brenneman, Tyne Daly and Mark Harmon.

HOWIE GRAVE: TEENAGE REAPER
Director: Micah Atkinson = matkinson@watkins.edu
Union/Non-Union
Production Type: Student Production III With Dialogue
Project length: 20 pages, 15-17 min
Shooting Location: Nashville/Murfreesboro
Shoot Dates: March 26-27, April 2-3
Compensation: No Pay, DVD copy, digital file and meals

SYNOPSIS: “Howie Grave” is an anti-suicide themed production. The story revolves around Howie, a teen who has prematurely ended his own life, and consequently has had his spirit returned to earth where he must carry out the duties of a grim reaper until his true time of departure.

CHARACTERS:
• HOWIE GRAVE [Lead/18]: A melancholy, wondering young man. He carries a fairly reserved demeanor; harboring his emotions, he often behaves in a gritted-teeth, white-knuckled manner. (He and GRIMM are both spirits)

• GRIMMOTHY/GRIMM [Lead/18]: He retains the aura of a surfer boy. He is easy going and laid back, though perhaps to fault, resulting in distant, passive and sometimes narcissistic qualities. (He and HOWIE are both spirits)

• MRS. GRAVE Howie’s mother is presented in a time of grieving and is portrayed bearing similar personality traits to those of her son. She is quiet thoughtful and insightful.

• GIRL [Supporting/17-18]: A recent love interest of Howie’s. Actor must be able to give a subtle yet strong performance.

• FRIEND [Supporting]: A female friend of Mrs. Grave’s who is at her side during the scene of grieving. Though with fewer lines, she must be emotive and comforting.

• RECENTLY DECEASED MAN [Supporting]: Looking for a heavier set, slightly older man who is comfortable being presented as a slobbish, recently deceased body. While the role is non-speaking, the performer will be featured in an entire scene.

MISTER ALLEIN
Director: Dalton Malone = dmalone@watkins.edu
SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student Production II With Dialogue
Project length: 10-15 minutes
Shooting Location: Davidson County
Shoot Dates: April 3, 9-10
Compensation: No Pay, DVD copy, digital file and meals

SYNOPSIS: After Izaak Allein retires, he loses his wife and faces betrayal, walking a solitary road to forgiveness.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”–Matthew 6:14-15.

CHARACTERS:
• IZAAK MARX ALLEIN [Lead/60s or 70s]: Of average height and build, Izaak is a war veteran. Quick-witted, he was a salesman for 40 years. Izaak is slightly hunched over from age and is in the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. He lives alone. Izaak is very forgiving.

• MIRIAM MAGDALA [Lead/20s]: A nurse, she is athletic and homely, and the oldest of three children. Miriam is filled with desolation, despair and love. She sometimes confuses the three, which causes bad decisions.

• MELVIN SMITH [Supporting/30s]: Pale and tall, he works as a mid-level manager for a sales firm. He loves his job and himself. Melvin is aristocratic without the money.

• DWAYNE ARSCH [Supporting/20s]: Short, portly and a bit of an adulator. Dwayne is from a poor neighborhood. He is an only child.

• ELLEN JANE [Supporting/mid to late 30s]: Happy, heavy set, easily excited woman; the secretary pool is her whole life.

• DOROTHY ALLEIN [Supporting/60s or 70s]: Dorothy suffers from late stage Alzheimer’s disease and organ failure. She married Izaak very young. Dorothy was loyal out of necessity.

• OFFICE STAFF [Supporting/Extras]: Any age and gender. Includes secretaries.

• NURSING HOME STAFF [Supporting/Extras]: Any age and gender. Includes doctors and nurses.

• MOURNERS [Supporting/Extras]: Any age, gender.

PROTECTOR
Director: Jonathan Terry = jterry@watkins.edu
SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non-Union
Production Type: Student (Production III) With Dialogue
Project length: Approx. 10-15 minutes
Shooting Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Shoot Dates: February 26-28
Compensation: Deferred payment, no worker’s compensation, DVD copy, digital file, housing, and meals.

NOTICE: This short film will contain violence and language.

SYNOPSIS: Kate is pushed to the brink; as she investigates her new neighbors, she suppresses anger of her own.

CHARACTERS:
• KATE WINTON (Lead/early 20s): A flight attendant, she has an anger problem that she’s been dealing with through yoga. She is extremely suspicious of her new neighbors and decides to enter their home to find out more about them.

• BETH JOHNSON (Supporting/early 20’s): Kate’s best friend is a thinker, not a fighter. She’s with Kate to discover the new neighbors, but, unlike Kate, gives them the benefit of doubt.

• LESTER SMITH (Lead/30’s-40’s): A controlling husband who forces his wife to lie about suffering from mutism. His true character is revealed throughout the film.

• JESS SMITH (Supporting/30’s-40’s): Lester’s manipulated wife.

• ASHLEY SMITH (Supporting/8-12 years old): The Smiths’ daughter, who shows signs of physiological abuse.

THE DIRECTOR
Director: Cobi Noblin
 = cnoblin@watkins.edu
Union / Non-Union: SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student (Production II) With Dialogue
Project length: 12 minutes
Shooting Location: Watkins and Centennial Park
Shoot Dates: March 11-13
Compensation:  No Pay, DVD copy, digital file and meals.

SYNOPSIS: A 12-year-old-boy attempts to make the greatest film ever made. Using his father’s clout, he directs two actors and his professional crew deeper and deeper into one of the worst films ever made.

CHARACTERS:
• CHRISTIAN (Lead): A 12-year-old daddy’s boy whose father paid for him to make a science fiction film. He’s impatient, angry, and determined to have his way no matter what. He’s never made a film in his life but he already knows he’s the greatest director of all time.

• JOEY (Supporting/young-20s): Camera assistant who wants to make a film of his own. He’s quiet, humble, and good-hearted.

• STACY (Supporting/mid-20s): Smart, talented, stern, and caring, she was conned into being assistant director for Christian’s film. She wants to make sure her crew is treated right and that the film gets made, even if she upsets Christian along the way.

• MARK (Supporting/mid-30s): Director of photography who works with Stacy whenever he can. They’ve built a good working relationship and he doesn’t want to abandon her on this little boy’s film. He’s reserved, focused, and knows how to hold his tongue.

• LAUREN (Supporting): A young actress trying to make it in the movies. Christian’s father promised her a role in a real film if she would do this for his son.

• TOMMY (Supporting): A young actor who was also conned into doing the film.

• KELLY (Supporting): Joey’s nice girlfriend; she’s a dental assistant.

• HOMELESS MAN (Supporting): He’s there for the free food.

• SOUND MIXER, BOOM OP and GRIPS (Supporting): Crew members on Christian’s film

• DAD (Supporting): Christian’s elderly father, a powerful film producer with some directing talent of his own.

AIN’T NO LIGHT BUT JUSTICE
Director: Jason Harper = jcharper@watkins.edu
SAG-AFTRA Signatory
Production Type: Student Production IV
Project length: Short Film (20 minutes)
Shooting Location: Davidson County, Wilson County
Shoot Dates: TBD
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment. DVD copy, digital file and meals.

SYNOPSIS: Jacey, unable to hold down a job, is indebted to her landlord, Roy. Roy extorts sexual favors from her as she looks to God for guidance. Jacey’s son Harris discovers what is going on and decides to take matters into his own hands, for better or worse.

CHARACTERS:
• JACEY MILLS (Lead/mid 30’s-40’s): A short, frail woman. She is unlucky, mousy, and meek. She is also devoutly religious, and her only concern is her children’s well being. Her religious devotion remains unwavering, even as she descends into a hellish nightmare. [CASTING NOTE: Simulated sex and partial nudity scripted. Director is willing to discuss with actress.]

• HARRIS MILLS (Lead/18-early 20’s): Jacey’s older son, and an average looking young man. As his religious beliefs crash down around him, he takes on a cynical view of the world and is unafraid to speak his mind. Seeing his mother being taken advantage of, his subservience to her shatters as he steps up to take care of the problem himself.

• ROY JOHNSON (Lead/30’s-50’s): Apart from not caring about his appearance, he is a fairly attractive and charismatic man. These characteristics mask the evil inside of him. [CASTING NOTE: Simulated sex and partial nudity scripted. Director is willing to discuss with actor.]

• JOEL MILLS (Supporting/8-11): Jacey’s younger son. A happy, innocent child untouched by his poor circumstances. [CASTING NOTE: Joel is not in any of the scenes that involve adult content.]

• BROTHER JIM (Supporting/40’s-60’s): A boisterous Southern Baptist preacher.

• WAREHOUSE MANAGER (Supporting/40’s-60’s): A regular Joe.

• JACEY’S BOSS (Supporting/30’s-60’s): A thin man. He is perhaps a little nebbish for a boss.

150 FEET UP
Director: Rose Hook = rhook@watkins.edu
SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student (Production III) With Dialogue
Project length: 7 pages
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: March 19-21
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment plus DVD copy, digital file and meals. or No Pay, DVD copy, digital file and meals.

SYNOPSIS: A young woman finds herself on a rooftop, contemplating suicide, while a police officer tries to talk her down.

CHARACTERS:
• LILY (Lead): A young woman in her late teens to early twenties who struggles with depression due to the emotional abuse suffered at the hands of her mother.

• JENSON (Lead): A mid-twenties to early thirties police officer who meets Lily on the rooftop. He is charming and seemingly lighthearted, doing his best to talk Lily down.

• MOTHER (Supporting): Lily’s mother, in her forties to fifties, who resents her daughter. Some profanity.

‘TIL NEXT TIME
Director: Krista Gail = khill@watkins.edu
SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student Film (Production III) With Dialogue
Project length: 25-30 Minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: March 4-6
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment, DVD copy, digital file and meals.

SYNOPSIS: A troubled teenager crosses paths with a teacher who is determined to bring out her full potential.

CHARACTERS:
• MARIE (Lead/16): A disgruntled teenage blogger who has difficulties adapting to a new environment until an unlikely individual makes her way into Marie’s life.

• MRS. GIBSON (Lead/late 20’s): An English Teacher who cares for her students; she struggles to get through to one in particular, eventually making that student realize her true potential.

• MARIE’S MOM (Character/late 30s): Marie’s unstable mother who is always the bearer of bad news to Marie.

• STACY (Character/16): Captain of the Writing Club. NOT AUDITIONING. E-MAIL OR SIGN-UP IF INTERESTED.

• TEENAGERS (Extras): E-MAIL OR SIGN-UP AT TABLE IF INTERESTED.

TRICKS
Director: Ashlee Flint = aflint@watkins.edu
SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student (Production II) With Dialogue
Project Length: 10 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: March 25-27
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA differed payment plus DVD copy, digital file and meals OR No Pay, DVD Copy, digital file and meals.

SYNOPSIS: Phillip Howell is a man in his late-twenties who has recently lost his job. Phillip has been keeping his unemployment from his best friend, Mark. Unaware that Phillip is holding back from doing things simply because he cannot afford to, Mark gets aggravated with Phillip and encourages him to get a hobby. This gives Phillip the idea to take up magic, something he loved as a child, and work to make money doing street magic to pay his rent.

CHARACTERS:
• PHILLIP HOWELL (Lead): A simple man in his late twenties. He spends most of his time at home, seeing as he can’t afford to do much else. He is an organized man, used to sticking to the plan. When he loses his job he reminisces on his childhood dreams and takes a crack at street magic to pay his bills.

• MARK (Supporting): Mark, Phillip’s best friend, is in his late twenties. He is a believer in tough love, and he will do some unusual things to help his friends.

• LAINEY: An attractive girl in her twenties. She is an acquaintance of Mark.

THE RESTAURANT
Director: Jennifer Hartsel = jhartsel@watkins.edu
SAG-AFTRA Signatory or Non Union
Production Type: Student Production II With Dialogue
Project length: Approx. 10 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville area
Shoot Dates: March 18-20
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment plus DVD copy, digital file and meals.

SYNOPSIS: Inspired by The Office. This is a quirky comedy, with Marty as the general manager of an Italian restaurant. After a new CEO takes charge, Marty resists conforming to new company policies; Rebecca, the regional director, tries to get him to comply. Meanwhile, the restaurant runs as usual with zany servers and unusual happenings. This film contains some language and crude humor.

CHARACTERS:
• MARTY (Leads/30s): A General Manager of an Italian restaurant chain. He’s a people pleaser and wants to be people’s friend, but he’s also stubborn.

• REBECCA (Leads/30s): The Regional Director of the area Marty is in.She feels the pressure of the new CEO as she tries to get Marty to make the necessary changes to the restaurant. She is very short with Marty, who has some odd quirks.

• TAMMY (Supporting/30s): A decent server, but not very emotionally invested in the restaurant.

• TINA (Supporting/20s): A server who’s awkward, klutzy and not very restaurant savvy.

• SHAWN (Supporting/30s): A gung-ho server who’s annoyingly enthusiastic with his job. His fellow servers don’t like him.

• RON (Supporting/20s): A server who doesn’t follow the rules or care about the restaurant’s guests.

• DAVE (Supporting/30s): A health inspector checking the restaurant.

DAMAGE CONTROL
Director: Ben Parsons = bparsons@watkins.edu
SAG-AFTRA signatory or Non-Union
Production Type: Student Production II with Dialogue
Project Length: 15 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shooting Dates: February 26-28
Compensation: No pay/SAG-AFTRA deferred payment, digital file, DVD copy and meals.

SYNOPSIS: David Dunkle, a young Poli Sci major in Ohio, swims through murky moral waters when thrust in the middle of an important scandal while interviewing for a campaign internship.

CHARACTERS:
• DAVID DUNKLE (Lead): A college student; in his early 20s. David goes for an interview on the Kendrick campaign but faces an ethical dilemma when Kendrick posts an insensitive message on his website. David must decide whether to stick by him or sabotage the already weakened campaign so David’s preferred candidate can triumph.

• QUENTIN QUALLS (Lead): An employee of the Independent Congressional Campaign Committee; in his mid-30s. Quentin has mixed feelings about his candidate but wants him to succeed in order to move up the corporate ladder.

• LARRY LYMAN (Lead): A litigator at Williams Bolling and David’s lawyer; in his mid-50s. Friends with David’s father, Larry worries that he will lose this relationship if he cannot help clear David’s name in the lawsuit.

NO RUSSIAN (Tentative)
Director: Andrew Furris = andrewfurris@gmail.com
Union / Non-Union: Either
Production Type: Student Production II With Dialogue
Project length: 10-12 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: March 5-6
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment plus DVD copy, digital file and meals

SYNOPSIS: A psychiatrist’s best friend’s brother is in town. He might be crazy; he might be dangerous. The psychiatrist senses the perfect opportunity to test a theory of his and, for reasons he deems appropriate, decides to kill his friend’s brother to stop him from causing harm to anyone else. In a twist ending, it turns out that the psychiatrist is not in control, but instead his best friend is the crazy one. Some strong language.

CHARACTERS:
• HECTOR LAMBE (Lead): A proud and successful independent psychiatrist in his mid-30s. He is not smug but feels that his job is more important than others and believes that he has the right to make decisions for the greater good.

• JULIUS BIGGS (Lead): A teacher in his late-20s to early-30s. He seems very polite and understanding, an ideal teacher on the outside. Deep down he is self-indulgent, obsessive, and also a curious individual. He wants to appear crass, but is actually very intelligent. Vulnerable looking on the outside, but no pushover.

• GARRY BIGGS (Supporting): Younger brother of Julius Biggs by a few years. Deemed unstable and inept at a young age. He is perfectly normal; however, his whole life he’s been framed for the things his older brother has been doing.

• PATIENT (Supporting): A confused man/woman trying to cope with his/her situation that is eerily similar to that of the main characters. He/she is mid to late 20s.

DEAD AND DYING
Director: Eric Dudley = edudley@watkins.edu
SAG-AFTRA Signatory
Production Type: Student Production IV
Project length: Short Film, roughly 20 minutes
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: February 26-28 and/or March 4-6
Compensation: SAG-AFTRA deferred payment. DVD copy, digital file and meals.

SYNOPSIS: A young man attempts suicide and fails, killing a man in the process. With the help of a concerned defense attorney, he takes steps to find the meaning in his life before he is forced to face the consequences of his actions.

CHARACTERS:
• DAVID CARTER (Lead/early 20’s): A young man facing a personal crisis. He begins the film as a kid who is lost and trying to find any way out; as the film progresses, he becomes more aware that there are people who genuinely care about him, and learns to care about himself as a result.

• BEN DAVIES (Lead/mid 20’s to mid 30’s): An up-and-coming defense attorney with a smile to share. He is very hard to put down, and will always try to find the best in a situation, no matter how dim.

• GERALD DAGMUND (Supporting/late 30’s to mid 50’s): An older gentleman who directs the conversation of the depression support group that David joins. He is a kind man who genuinely cares about every person who walks through the door.

• LUCY TURNPIKE (Supporting/20’s): A woman David meets in the support group. She has similar issues to David but has a tendency to retreat into herself when someone disagrees with her.

• SAM (Supporting): Another member of the support group.

• TYLER (Supporting): Another member of the support group.

• JAMES (Supporting): Another member of the support group.

THE VOID
Director: Noel Costill = ncostill@watkins.edu
Non-Union
Production Type: Student Production IV
Project length: Short Film (20 minutes)
Shooting Location: Nashville
Shoot Dates: March 12-14 & 18-21
Compensation: DVD copy and meals

SYNOPSIS: Two years ago an anomaly appeared in space in our solar system. Black and planet-sized, the Void, as it has come to be known, rises and sets each day. Many people believe it is the end of the world, but Declan believes there is more to it. His recurring dreams of a strange place with stranger characters seem to have a connection to the mystery in the sky, and to Declan himself. One day, the anomaly begins to move closer to Earth and Declan begins to realize the true meaning and purpose behind the Void.

CHARACTERS:
• DECLAN HALE (Lead): A homeless young man, 20s-30s, has had dreams of the Void since before it arrived. He struggles to survive after a tsunami took away everything he has, including his family. While he moves from place to place the recurring dreams of characters begin to reveal more about the anomaly. He becomes more and more obsessed with his dreams, and believes the characters within them hold the answers to what the Void is and what effect it will have on our planet.

• BEN SHEPHERD (Lead): An Astronomy professor, 40s-60s, who takes in his former student, now homeless friend Declan, and lets him stay in his observatory. Ben acts as Declan’s mentor and wants to help him get back on his feet. He has an intelligent, open mind; part of him believes Declan has a connection with the Void.

• KI VALA (Lead): A young woman, 18-30s. After her only companion, Teno, sacrifices himself for a higher purpose, Ki must survive in a harsh world. She is chased by beasts and scavenges for food. She lives in Declan’s dreams, and is a complete mystery. The only company she has is a black blade left to her by Teno.

• NEWS ANCHORS (Supporting, 20s-60): Charismatic.

WAG Counts Joseph Newsome’s ‘Calhoun’ in February 6 show

Posted on: January 30th, 2016 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents Calhoun, an exhibition of photography by Watkins senior Joseph Newsome, at its downtown gallery WAG during the February 6 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Joe_Newsome_Calhoun_03 WwebIn Calhoun, Newsome uses photographs to investigate the small north Florida county where he was raised. With uncovered memories of his childhood, each observation becomes a commentary on the distance of those memories, and he photographs this rural area as it is now, equating his childhood trauma with a decaying, distant, and slowly discarded way of life.

For more information, visit jnewsomefineart.com.

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.

Joe_Newsome_Calhoun_Pink Lady 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 nashvilledowntown.com/play/first-saturday-art-crawl.

Click here for map of free Downtown Partnership shuttle: Shuttle_route_First_Saturday Feb2016

 

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Watkins Welcomes Sculptor Steve Tobin February 18

Posted on: January 30th, 2016 by Caroline Davis No Comments

World-renowned sculptor Steve Tobin, who explores natural forms through monumental works in glass, bronze, steel and clay, will speak at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film on Thursday, February 18, at 6:30 p.m. as part of the school’s Visiting Artists Series.

The artist talk, titled “Steve Tobin: Natural World,” will detail his creative process and highlight several of his major installations.

The event, held in the Watkins Theater, is free and the public is invited. His appearance is in conjunction with his solo exhibition Southern Roots, which will be on view on the grounds and in the Museum of Art at Cheekwood February 20–September 4, 2016 (indoor exhibition ends May 29).

Steve Tobin KEK2540 WwebA native of Philadelphia’s Main Line, Steve Tobin earned a degree in Theoretical Mathematics from Tulane University, where he also participated in a glass-blowing class. He pursued his artistic career with study in glass at Pilchuck Glass School, WA and Penland School of Crafts, NC. Teaching appointments and fellowships in glass followed, and in 1989, he became the first foreigner invited to build his own studio in Murano, Italy. (He is entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for having blown the world’s biggest bottle.) His 15-year exploration of the medium of glass culminated in 1993 with a blockbuster installation in the caves at Retretti in Punkaharju, Finland.

In 1994, Tobin built his first bronze foundry and began to cast bronze; his monumental bronze sculptures include towering termite hills in Africa, forest floor detritus in rural Pennsylvania, a shelter made of Matzoth wafers, and the sprawling root systems of dead trees. Known for pushing the limits of his materials, he began experimenting with various ceramics processes in 1999, and detonated thousands of pounds of wet clay to make “Exploded Earth” vessels, whose forms suggest that landscape is an event.

Cheekwood’s Steve Tobin: Southern Roots features work from his Steelroots sculptures, an evolution of his signature bronze Walking Roots series. In 2005, Tobin gained acclaim when his massive bronze “Trinity Root” sculpture was installed in the courtyard of St. Paul’s Church in New York City, becoming the first and only 9/11 memorial near Ground Zero. The piece was cast from the stump and roots of a large sycamore tree that shielded the church from the collapsing towers of the World Trade Center.

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His work has been shown internationally at such venues as the American Museum of Natural History, United States Botanic Garden, Carpe Diem Gallery (Paris), the Page Museum/La Brea Tar Pits and Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, and is part of permanent collections at the American Craft Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, American Glass Museum, the White House, and Musee des Arts Decoratifs (Switzerland).
In 2007, a Tobin Steelroots creation was among the 40 sculptures chosen for the City of New York’s “40 Years of Art in the Parks” retrospective, gracing the entrance to Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

He lives and works in Bucks Country, PA. For more information, visit stevetobin.com.

Now in its sixth year, The Watkins Visiting Artists Series welcomes nationally and internationally recognized fine artists, designers, filmmakers, educators and critics to the campus and the community. The guest artists, whose work crosses many disciplinary boundaries, give public presentations, sharing their expertise and perspectives on their careers and providing insight into issues facing contemporary artists and designers. The VAS offers the area’s cultural community a rare opportunity to engage the work and ideas of trendsetting visual artists, designers, filmmakers and intellectuals. The critically acclaimed initiative has not only brought a number of internationally renowned artists to Nashville—like first-time visitors Harrell Fletcher, R. H. Quaytman, Martha Rosler, David Hilliard, Jonathan Katz, Alec Soth and Artemio Rodriguez—but it has also invigorated the local art scene by introducing artists working in new media and performance—artists like Nick Briz, Jon Satrom and Liz Magic Laser (2013 New York Armory Artist)—and those expanding the parameters of traditional media and art practice—such as Jessica Hische, Ashley Hunt, Chris Sickels, Deborah Luster (2013 Guggenheim Fellow) and Natalia Almada (2013 MacArthur Fellow).

Documentary photographer Carolyn Drake (Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, Lange-Taylor Prize) launched the 2015-16 series with a lecture in November.

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

About Steve Tobin: Southern Roots
In 2016, Cheekwood will present the work of internationally-acclaimed artist Steve Tobin. This exhibition, Steve Tobin: Southern Roots, will not only be on view in the Museum of Art, but it will also continue throughout Cheekwood’s vast landscape. Five outdoor areas will host Tobin’s monumental work, most notably his “Steel Root” sculptures.  While in the Museum, visitors will have the opportunity to experience Southern Roots in the second floor gallery spaces, each providing an intimate setting to observe a particular style and medium from the artist’s vast portfolio of work. In addition to steel and bronze, Tobin incorporates natural elements such as wood, glass, and ceramics into his beautiful, mysterious, and dramatic pieces of sculpture.  Tobin’s newest work, using wood from fallen trees in Costa Rica, has never before been exhibited, and will be a highlight of the Steve Tobin: Southern Roots exhibition.

Steve Tobin: Southern Roots will be on view on the grounds and in the Museum of Art at Cheekwood February 20– September 4, 2016 (indoor exhibition ends May 29). For programming details and tickets, visit cheekwood.org.

Dan Brawner Tapped for ‘Special’ Recognition

Posted on: January 29th, 2016 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Work by Department of Graphic Design chair Dan Brawner has been selected for a new book arts collection at Vanderbilt spotlighting Southern artists. Two sketchbooks and three limited edition books reflecting on Brawner’s life in Nashville and his annual road trips to Central Mexico are now included in VU’s Special Collections and University Archives of rare books, manuscripts, photographs and memorabilia.

Dan Brawner (photo: David McLister)

Dan Brawner (photo: David McClister)

The Nashville-native, who holds an MA and MFA in illustration and joined Watkins in 2007, has published work for Children’s TV Workshop, Coca-Cola, Flannery O’Connor Review, and Simon & Schuster. He has earned recognition from American Illustration, Huntsville Museum of Art, Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, PRINT, and El Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca.

Brawner was part of the Frist Center’s Anthology: Visual Narratives from Nashville’s Print Communitya juried exhibition of handmade books, illustrated posters and poems, and intimate etchings by individual artists and small presses who use a variety of printing techniques to tell stories through images and text. On view through February 7, Anthology also includes work by Watkins alumni Mika Agari and Zack Rafuls.

Selected works for Vanderbilt Special Collections:

  1. Clutch y Frenos (Clutch & Brakes), 6″ x 6″, 12pp, edition of 20, silkcreen and stone lithography. Printed and and bound by Derli Romero, Julian Guerrero and Carolina Ortega at The Center for the Graphic Arts at the Old Jesuit College in Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico. (The book is also in Stanford University Library’s Special Collections.)VULKA-detail2 Dan Brawner Wweb
  1. Vulcanizadora Nino (Nino’s retread tire shop), 3″ x 3″, 12pp, edition of 10, silkscreen in silver and black ink on white cloth covers by Aspiring Gentlemen Farmers, printed by the artist with archival ink on Hahnemuhle William Turner Fine Art paper at Watkins College of Art. The books were bound by hand by Annie Herlocker at Paper Revival Press in Nashville.
  1. By Pass-detail Dan Brawner WwebBy Pass (el Libramiento), 3″ x 3″, 12pp, edition of 10, silkscreen in red and white ink on tan cloth covers by Aspiring Gentlemen Farmers, printed by the artist with archival ink on Hahnemuhle William Turner Fine Art paper at Watkins College.. The books were bound by hand by Annie Herlocker at Paper Revival Press in Nashville.
  1. West Nashville Sketchbook, 4″ x 4″.
  2. Anima, leather binding by Sean Dudley.
    VULKA-1

Family Appreciation Day Feb. 20, 2016

Posted on: January 27th, 2016 by Jenna Maurice No Comments

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film invites you to take part in Family Appreciation Day 2016! This is a chance for parents and family of students to see all the hard work their students have been doing over the past year and get to know the Watkins Family!  Events will include:

  • Welcome from the President
  • Meet & Greet with the Faculty
  • Screenings of student films
  • A Student Show in our campus gallery

and much more!

We look forward to having you here to make this a day of fun, but also to let you get to know Watkins a little better.  Hope to see you there!

Contact studentlife@watkins.edu for more information

Interior Design 2016 Winners Announced

Posted on: January 26th, 2016 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Congratulations to the winners of the 19th annual Interior Design Student Exhibition!

Cheryl Gulley, associate professor and chair of the Interior Design department, announced the winners during a reception on January 25.All Watkins Interior Design majors were eligible to submit projects (created since Spring 2015) in eight categories: Residential, Commercial, Introductory Presentation Skills, Intermediate Presentation Skills, Lighting or Furniture Design, Computer Modeling, Portfolio, and Sustainability. Winners were chosen based on craftsmanship, creativity and digital rendering skills.

BEST OF SHOW

1st Place: Aimee Spencer

2nd Place: Renee Johnson

3rd Place: Anna Caro

Intermediate Presentation Skills
Anna Caro (Junior)
Tennessee Cosmetic Surgery Center

Aimee Spencer
Renee Johnson
Anna Caro
Elizabeth McLemore
Laura Chytrowsky
Sophomore Lexi Ray Livington’s work was juried into the show
Print center manager Sam Angel and Vice President of Academic Affairs Joy McKenzie
The Spencer Clan was excited to be there!

Introductory Presentation Skills
Aimee Spencer (Sophomore)
Seattle Residence

Residential Design
Renee Johnson (Sophomore)
Downtown Residence Model

Commercial Design
Elizabeth McLemore (Junior)
Peak Cosmetic Surgery Center

Sustainable Design
Anna Caro (Junior)
Turnover Hill

Furniture Design
Laura Chytrowsky (Senior)
Luna’s Bassinet

Lighting Design
Elizabeth McLemore (Junior)
Feather Lighting System

Portfolio Design
Laura Chytrowsky (Senior)
Portfolio

Pictured at top: Cheryl Gulley [center] with Watkins ID alumnae Reinalisa Santoyo and Emily Hill.

Fine Art’s Brady Haston Wins Grants from Pollock-Krasner and TAC

Posted on: January 25th, 2016 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Brady Haston, who recently received two prestigious grants, from:

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, whose mission is to aid, internationally, those individuals who have worked as artists over a significant period of time, and

The Tennessee Arts Commission, which selected him for Individual Artist Fellowship in the Visual Art category

Brady_Haston Dickerson Wweb

“Dickerson” (oil on panel, 2013)

A native of Spencer, Tennessee, Haston attended the University of Georgia’s Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy, earned a BFA from MTSU, and received an MFA from Montana State University (Bozeman). He joined Watkins’ Department of Fine Art in 2008 and teaches printmaking, drawing and 2D design; he also serves as studio facilities manager.

To learn more, visit bradyhaston.com or his Instagram account. He is represented by Zeitgeist Gallery.

Brady_Haston Treehouse Wweb

“Treehouse” (oil on linen, 2015)

Brady_Haston Traveler Wweb

“Traveler” (oil on linen, 2015)

RESCHEDULED: Interior Design Will Honor Best at Monday, January 25 Reception

Posted on: January 21st, 2016 by Caroline Davis

Owing to weather, the Interior Design Student Exhibit is being extended. Join us for the closing night awards reception on Monday, January 25, beginning at 5:30 pm.

Watkins will recognize the best of the year at an awards reception for the 19th annual Interior Design Student Exhibit, a juried show featuring works by Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design degree candidates, on [rescheduled date] MondayJanuary 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus.

Category and Grand Prize winners, based on craftsmanship, creativity and digital rendering skills, will be announced at 6:15 p.m. by Cheryl Gulley, associate professor and chair of the Interior Design department. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

All Watkins Interior Design majors are eligible to submit projects (created since Spring 2015) in eight categories: Residential, Commercial, Introductory Presentation Skills, Intermediate Presentation Skills, Lighting or Furniture Design, Computer Modeling, Portfolio, and Sustainability.

The show opens January 8 and will close after the awards reception on January 25.

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 MetroCenter; free parking is available in the campus lot.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbout the program
The Watkins Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design program promotes a curriculum intended to educate the student who is intent on a professional career as a registered interior designer with strong links to the professional communities that are shaping the twenty-first century. Students who earn the BFA degree will possess professional presentation techniques and technical skills, will be capable of creating innovative designs, analyze and problem solve, and understand the application of appropriate material use and code requirements. Courses offered within the interior design major encourage the student to develop imaginative, responsible solutions to problems created by social needs and economic constraints, as well as the material and physical limitations of the built environment. The integration of fine art classes elevates the student’s ability to develop resourceful responses and further balances the increasing demands of technology. Watkins offers an optional concentration in Sustainable Design as well as a Certificate in Interior Design (CID), a series of introductory courses that make up the foundation year of the college’s undergraduate degree (BFA). Watkins’ Interior Design program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), recognizing that the standards and education given are of the highest quality.

 

Top and bottom renderings by Aimee Spencer
Middle rendering by Anna Caro

 

 

Click to enlarge evite

Click to enlarge evite

CANCELLED: Tennessee Craft’s “Make Your Art, Make It Work” Forum Set for Jan. 23-24 at Watkins

Posted on: January 19th, 2016 by Caroline Davis

Because of inclement weather, Tennessee Craft has cancelled the 1/23-24 workshop. For questions, contact info@tennesseecraft.org.

On January 23-24, Tennessee Craft will present their 2016 Annual Weekend Workshop, entitled “Make Your Art, Then Make It Work: A Maker Forum for Sharpening Your Business Skills.” Hosted and co-sponsored by Watkins, the weekend events will include expert forum discussions such as:

  • Sell ART: Discover diverse ways artists make money
  • Speak ART: Reach your audience using traditional & social media
  • Share ART: Learn how to collaborate for public art
  • Show ART: Create successful art events
  • Study ART: Participate in a positive group critique

Event schedule is Saturday, January 23, from 9 am- 5:30 pm (lunch included) and Sunday, January 24 from 9 am-noon.

For more info, including confirmed panelists. and to register, click here.

Early bird purchase by December 31: Members $50 / Non-members $75
At the door: Members $75 / Non-members $90 / Students $35

Tennessee Craft (formally TACA) offers workshops throughout the year to increase professionalism in the arts. Independent makers are responsible for not only the creation of one-of-a-kind products, but the finances, marketing and sales of their business. Their workshops share emerging trends and best practices on a variety of business-related topics to help artists grow their craft careers.

Watkins Graphic Design Talent Plays Key Part in Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival

Posted on: January 12th, 2016 by Caroline Davis

Chris-Robertson-150x150The 24th Annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival Presented by Regions Bank is thrilled to partner for the ninth consecutive year with Watkins College of Art, Design & Film for its festival artwork. Select Watkins Graphic Design students competed to create a concept that captured the essence of the event, and this year, junior Chris Robertson’s design has been chosen to represent all Tin Pan South marketing, passes, posters and banners. Robertson is an artist and writer from Alabama who also holds a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art from the University of Alabama.

Working on a tight, professional timeline, students from department chair Dan Brawner’s Illustration I class created finished art in three weeks. On November 13, TPS co-director Erika Wollam-Nichols and art director Libby Oellerich presented the history of the festival along with the project specifications and deadline; one week later students presented concepts and sketches to the client and received valuable feedback. Two weeks later, the students presented final art on December 4.

Tin-Pan-South-194x300“There were so many strong solutions, not a weak piece in the bunch,” said Professor Brawner. “Chris Fornal, Shelton Jackson, Jessi Knight, Emma Lawrence, Drew Nguyen, Samantha Starr, Hannah Strobel, and Clayton Weber participated. Ultimately, Chris Robertson’s bold digital image of hands embracing a worn, Willie Nelson-inspired guitar was chosen to celebrate the warmth and intimacy of the festival.

“The value of the Tin Pan South project is immense and connects the dots for the students between a client’s problem and the illustrator’s desire to solve that problem while also producing a personally gratifying work of art,” he continued. “We are grateful to Erika and the TPS team for this opportunity, which supports our commitment to our students’ design education while preparing them for the professional world.”

The popular Tin Pan South Fast Access Passes are scheduled to go on sale at tinpansouth.com on March 8. Information about venues, lineups, schedules and more will also be available at tinpansouth.com. Updates can also be found on the Tin Pan South Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.

Produced by Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), Tin Pan South reigns as the world’s largest all-songwriter festival. Last year close to 350 talented songwriters performed 92 shows at ten of Nashville’s top music venues. Thousands of music fans attend the event annually to hear songwriters tell stories behind hit songs they have written and perform the songs as they were originally composed.