Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Watkins Artists Find A Show ‘Place’ at Global Mall

Posted on: June 29th, 2015 by Caroline Davis No Comments

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

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

Chelsea Velaga

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

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

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

In Place artists

From Nashville:

  • Chelsea Velaga

    Aaron Harper

    Aaron Harper, “Totem Piece,” oil on linen

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

    David Hellams

    David Hellams, photo from “Crappy Magic”

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

    InPlace Ariel Lavery, Bits-and-bellows1 Wweb

    Ariel Lavery, “Bits and Bellows,” installation



Click to enlarge evite

Click to enlarge evite

Watkins Welcomes Dr. Jay Kline as President on July 15

Posted on: June 16th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

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

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

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

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

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

Prior to ENMU, Dr. Kline was Professor and Chair, Performing Arts Department, and Producing Artistic Director, School of Performing Arts, at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He also served as Chair of the Departments of Production Design and of Dramatic Writing. Previously, he was Associate Professor and Chair, Performing and Fine Arts Department, at DeSales University (Center Valley, PA), with executive supervision of majors in TV/Film, theatre and dance and oversight of the university’s fine art and music offerings. While at DeSales, he was a member of Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s artistic staff.

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

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

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

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

‘Number’ Chooses Watkins Senior David Anderson for Cover Art

Posted on: June 12th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Congratulations to Fine Art senior David Anderson, whose artwork  graces the cover of the Spring 2015 issue of the independent arts journal Number. 

David Anderson, "Distance"

David Anderson, “Distance”

Distance, an 8″x10″ oil paint on panel, is a meditation on organic and patterned structure, and references clothing, textile, and the body.

Check out Number: 82 for interviews and reviews, including one of the March show of photography at WAG, and Living.

WAG’s July 3 Show Salutes Paintings by Casey Payne

Posted on: June 12th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will present paintings by Watkins senior Casey Payne at its downtown gallery WAG during the July edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl. This year, the crawl will be held on Friday, July 3, to avoid conflicts with Independence Day activities.

Click to enlarge evite

Click to enlarge evite

A native of Amherst County, Virginia, Payne is studying for a BFA in Fine Arts, and works primarily in painting and printmaking. His work has been seen in the Co. H group shows Attention (Track One) and Mystic Truths (Currey Gallery), and in The Philosophy of Risk (Haus/40AU), a collaboration with assistant professor Brady Haston.

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

Watkins Gets SACSCOC Stamp (Again)

Posted on: June 12th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Terrific news! Earlier today, Watkins learned that the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has voted to reaffirm our accreditation. Watkins received its initial accreditation in 2010, and this reaffirmation was part of the required five-year interim review.

SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites approved by the Commission on Colleges that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees.

Their mission is to assure the educational quality and improve the effectiveness of its member institutions, with core values of integrity, continuous quality improvement, peer review/self-regulation, accountability, student learning and transparency.

Congratulations and thanks to all faculty and staff who served on committees, wrote and researched during this lengthy process,  most especially to Vice President for Academic Affairs Joy McKenzie, our accreditation liaison.


Ross Denton and Emily Sue Laird Make Their Marks on WAG at June 6 Show

Posted on: May 19th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents Amour fo’ Phallus, a riotous and ridiculous show of drawings and animation by Watkins alumni Ross Denton and Emily Sue Laird, at its downtown gallery WAG during the June 6 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl.

Amour fo' Phallus ELaird_RDenton 6.6.15 WwebWith a goal of celebrating the absurd aspects of life in an innocent and fun format, Denton and Laird will fill the gallery from floor to ceiling with chalk images drawn directly on the walls and architectural fixtures of the space. The show will also feature their chalk animation of a budding, blossoming and decaying Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanium), one of the largest and most rare flowering plants on earth. (It’s also known as the corpse flower for an odor reminiscent of the smell of a decomposing mammal.)

“Emily Sue Laird and Ross Denton are kindred spirits with a shared passion for wandering, drawing inspiration from serendipitous discoveries and the unlooked for,” said Dan Brawner, chair of the Department of Graphic Design. “Amour fo’ Phallus is the catalyst for a creative collaboration and offers a unique insight into the productive minds of two lovers of life.”

About the artists:

EmilySusanLaird WwebEmily Sue Laird is a Nashville-based visual artist, production designer and installation artist who earned a BFA in Fine Art from Watkins College of Art, Design & Film in 2011. In the past few years, Emily Sue has designed custom work for brands such as West Elm, Janet’s Planet, My Gnome on the Roam, Holiday Inn Suites and Bongo Java, and custom art for multiple music festivals including Marathon Music Works’ Block Party and Nashville Scene’s 25th Birthday Bash. Since 2014 she has been owner and lead designer at Artist Nashville, providing a variety of creative services: mural projects, graphic design, illustration, chalk art and set design for film and television, fashion shows, music videos, tours and in-store retail displays. Her sculptures, textile art and paintings, which frequently incorporate reuse materials, have been shown in several downtown arcade and Wedgewood-Houston galleries and she has been featured by the Nashville Scene, Native Magazine, Lightning 100 and Nashville Arts Magazine. She’s currently working on the second edition of Replication, Nashville’s only juried 3D printing show, in September.

RossDenton WwebRoss Denton is a 2015 graduate of Watkins, earning a BFA in Graphic Design with a concentration in illustration. He grew up on the South Harpeth River outside of Nashville, surrounded by forests and hills, where he never had to wear any shoes. Legend has it that Ross started to draw when he first held a pencil at the age of two and he never stopped. He has won local, district and national Student American Advertising Federation (Addy) awards for illustration, and his work has been published in the international design journal Graphis.

WAG–an acronym for Watkins Arcade Gallery–is located in suite 77 upstairs in the historic Arcade and is open the first Saturday evening of the month during each Art Crawl (from 6-9 p.m.), and by appointment.

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

Ross Denton for WAGAbout WAG
The Watkins Arcade Gallery–WAG–is a public exhibition space of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film committed to serving the College community and the community at large through exhibitions and programs that enhance curriculum as well as engage a greater audience in the visual arts. WAG is dedicated to supporting the educational and cultural mission of the College by encouraging students to think independently and creatively about their art practice and role as critical thinkers within the cultural landscape. The venue will present shows year-round featuring work by Watkins students, alumni and other professional artists. For inquiries, contact WAG is the second Watkins-run gallery space, joining the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery, the primary exhibiting space on the College’s campus in Metro Center.

Artists Explore Feminist ‘Point of Reference’ in Currey Show Opening May 28

Posted on: May 15th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents Point of Reference,  a student-organized, mixed media show exploring definitions of feminist ideals, from May 28 through July 18 in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus.

The exhibition’s opening reception on Thursday, May 28, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. is free and open to the public.

Lily Adcock, "Transgression"

Lily Adcock, “Transgression” (2014)

Participating are eleven artists – current and former Watkins students and recent alumni from Watkins and MTSU – committed to challenging themselves as feminists through the art they create.

  • Lily Adcock, Watkins, Fine Arts ’15 (painting)
  • Burt Blackwood (video)
  • Peggy Corlew (writer of exhibition manifesto)
  • Ashley Doggett, Watkins, Fine Arts junior (multidisciplinary work)
  • Kelsey Goessman, Watkins, Graphic Design ’15 (multidisciplinary work)
  • Corrina Joyner, Watkins, Fine Arts sophomore (multidisciplinary work)
  • Mika Mollenkopf, MTSU, Fine Arts ‘15 (sculpture)
  • Maxwell Parker (photography)
  • Jill Schumann, Watkins, Photography ‘15 (photography)
  • Sophia Stevenson, Watkins, Fine Arts senior (sculpture)
  • Laura Whitfield, Watkins, Photography ’15 (photography)
Sophia Stevenson,  untitled (fabric slip cast, 2014)

Sophia Stevenson, untitled (fabric slip cast, 2014)

Exhibition statement:  Feminist ideologies are easily misinterpreted throughout history; our departure will constitute our own point of reference. This exhibition explores the ideals of feminism historically pre-defined. No longer passively accepting all knowledge as truth, we are actively approaching our individual experiences, and have formed a group to create our dialogue with stories untold. The purpose of this group is to learn and share the knowledge and experiences of feminist artists living within the contemporary world.

Point of Reference was organized by Jill Schumann and originally shown in Kent State University’s Main Hall Art Gallery, March 10-April 6. Read more here.

Manifesto statement:  In this defining manifesto, we focus more on our individuality, our mode of thought and philosophy, and our explicit wishes starting to turn to action more than a rigid call to action requested of the public. It is a thought imbued blueprint, positioning as an upbeat and positive threshold to the road of our futures, and fuel and inspiration for battling obstacles of patriarchy, or perhaps, our own fears. It’s gentle nature inversely and forcefully reminds us, that yes, our cause is worth it, we are worth it, and that feminism is important.

Click to read more: Peggy Corlew, A Moving Manifesto

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.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge


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

Posted on: May 7th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

illustration: Ross Denton '15

illustration by Ross Denton ’15

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

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

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

Artober logo

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

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

Additional sponsors include the Nashville Scene.

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

HBN2015_nashville_arts_leaderboard Wweb

H&BN design by Sara Strese ’13


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

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

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

Katie Gonzalez, linenlaidfelt

John Porcellino, King-Cat

John Porcellino, King-Cat

2014 gallery show “Poetry and Prints”


Interior Design Showcases Senior Projects May 15

Posted on: May 5th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents the BFA senior thesis exhibition from the Department of Interior Design, featuring work by Bachelor of Arts degree candidates Hannah Chandler, Whitney Garnier and Catherine Soudoplatoff on Friday, May 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the school’s Interior Design wing.

The exhibition and reception, free and open the public, showcase portfolios of residential, commercial, lighting/furniture and sustainable design work as well as thesis projects.

Hannah Chandler

Hannah Chandler
Thesis statement: Large and small dog adoption rates can be increased while decreasing the amount of euthanized pets through a comfortable, stress and anxiety free, full service canine facility.

Whitney Garnier

Whitney Garnier
Thesis statement: An artist residency in the growing art district of Wedgewood-Houston provides emerging artists a unique living and working space for a four-week period. Artists are able gain experience working and networking with other fellow artists and the public while working towards a community-based project. The facility’s space will maximize creativity and production by providing a highly adaptable and inspirational environment.

Catherine Soudoplatoff 2

Catherine Soudoplatoff

Catherine Soudoplatoff
Thesis statement: Sustainable floating fine art studios for the students at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film in Nashville, Tennessee offer a poetic, innovative and flexible solution: an ultimate calling card for attracting talented students and raising Watkins’ reputation as a premier art school.

Watkins Interior Design students are consistently recognized for their creativity and professsionalism in both academic competitions and community involvement, winning student competitions at the annual conference of the Tennessee Chapter of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) and the chapter’s top honor, the Jane D. Reagor Award, for outstanding interior design student in the state. Alumni of the program can be found in commercial, residential, hotel, restaurant, healthcare and furniture design.

About 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. 

Alumnus Justin Orton  checks out a senior project

Alumnus Justin Orton checks out a senior project

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’ 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.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Commencement To Feature Noted Arts Executive Karen P. Moynahan on May 16

Posted on: May 5th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Karen P. Moynahan, one of the nation’s most accomplished arts executives in higher education, will be the keynote speaker for Watkins College of Art, Design & Film’s 2015 Commencement on Saturday, May 16. The graduation ceremonies will be held at the Downtown Presbyterian Church, 154 Fifth Avenue North, at 2 p.m., and the public is invited.

Karen P. Moynahan

Karen P. Moynahan

Ms. Moynahan is executive director of four independent and autonomous accrediting organizations–the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the National Association of Schools of Music, the National Association of Schools of Theatre, and the National Association of Schools of Dance­–that work with more than 1,300 postsecondary institutions and programs throughout the United States by offering the service of discipline-specific peer review. She also oversees and manages the Higher Education Arts Data Services project, a joint effort of the four organizations to provide comprehensive management data on the arts in higher education.

Ellen L. Meyer, president of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, described Ms. Moynahan as “a tireless champion of the arts with an unrivaled view of the interconnectedness of the disciplines of art, design, film, music, theatre and dance.”

Based in Reston, Virginia, Ms. Moynahan is a trustee and the executive director of the Council of Arts Accrediting Associations, a forum for policy discussions regarding the arts, education, and accreditation. She also serves as the executive director of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Precollegiate Arts Schools, a body established to review and accredit schools and programs providing non-degree instruction in the arts disciplines to children, youth, and adults. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, Maryland, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. A member of the advisory board of Arts Education Policy Review, Ms. Moynahan consults regularly with specialized and regional accrediting bodies; state and federal offices; higher education and arts organizations; international institutions seeking information or assistance; and students, parents and the public regarding the work of the arts accrediting organizations and their programs.

After a welcome from Watkins President Meyer, Ms. Moynahan will deliver the Commencement address. Following her remarks, Vice President for Academic Affairs Joy McKenzie will present BFA, BA and Certificate candidates in art, film, fine art, graphic design, interior design and photography, and Samuel E. Stumpf, Jr., chair of the Watkins Board of Trustees, will confer the degrees and certificates.

The Class of 2015 will be the last to graduate under the leadership of President Meyer, who is retiring July 31 after seven years in office. Ms. Meyer began her work as the institution’s 15th president on August 1, 2008. Under her energetic leadership, she has led Watkins to a place of recognition and prestige among the best colleges of art in the country.

Commencement 2013 feature pic WwebAchievements include the realization of a decade-long goal of regional accreditation of the college through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC, in 2010) and re-accreditation of the Department of Interior Design by Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the national accrediting agency for art and design and art and design-related disciplines. In 2011, Watkins gained acceptance into the prestigious Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), a consortium of 43 leading visual arts colleges in the United States and Canada.

Under President Meyer’s guidance, community partnerships expanded, the campus itself experienced significant transformation, and academic standards have consistently been raised in Watkins’ BFA degree programs in Film, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Interior Design and Photography, BA in Art, and Certificate in Film and (added 2013) in Interior Design. Notably, in the midst of a national economic downturn, Watkins has remained fiscally sound, achieved high-level fundraising, and established a professional admissions office with increasingly sophisticated student recruitment efforts.

The historic Downtown Presbyterian Church, a national landmark noted for its Egyptian Revival motif, is located at 154 5th Avenue North (corner of 5th and Church Street).


Congratulations, Class of 2015!