Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Watkins Concludes BFA Thesis Series with Luisiana Mera, Weng Tze Yang and Zack Rafuls on May 7

Posted on: April 14th, 2015 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents fine art and photography from Luisiana Mera (Añoranza), Weng Tze Yang (Idle Light) and Zack Rafuls (Props for a Film), opening Thursday, May 7, with a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The final of four installments in the Spring 2015 BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition series, the triple show will be on display in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery through May 18.

Luisiana Mera, self portrait (closeup)

Luisiana Mera, self portrait (closeup)

Luisiana Mera, Panama City, Panama – luisimera.comluisianamera.tumblr.com
BFA in Fine Art
Show title: Añoranza (charcoal on paper, oil paint on canvas)

Luisiana Mera works with charcoal to create delicately rendered drawings that are tactile, velvety and dreamlike. The medium and the slow process support the intent of the drawing: building and erasing with charcoal mimic the idea of building a complex, intimate image. Her artistic practice is centered on a critical investigation of the body and human psychological moments. She reflects on social and cultural conventions, paying close attention to portraying the fragile, particular details that distinguish each person, objects and places. These details such as moles, scars, wrinkles and textures highlight the history and subjective reading of the individual. Extended and concentrated looking, versus merely seeing, encourages more complex meditations on the human condition and its environment.

Born and reared in Panama City, Panama, Mera moved to the U.S. as a teen, and was graduated from Nashville School of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited extensively on campus and at Cheekwood, Cummins Station and WAG (Watkins Arcade Gallery). She has won multiple awards including the Robb Swaney Prize for Excellence in Visual Expression and first place at the Currey Juried Student Exhibition; this past fall her work was selected for inclusion in INDA 9 (9th International Drawing Annual), a competitive publication of works of contemporary drawing.

Weng Tze Yang, untitled

Weng Tze Yang, untitled

Weng Tze Yang, Ipoh City, Perak, Malaysia
BFA in Photography
Show title: Idle Light (photographs with mixed media, photo installations)

A photographer who works with abstract photographs and installations, Weng Tze Yang seeks to bring in the act of contemplation into the viewing experience for her audience. Her photographs are abstract with elements of familiarities; the subtle shades of colors, the play of shadows and light creates a poem that resembles her view of spaces. She also emphasizes on the physicality of the materials she uses for her work as they affect how she display them in the gallery. By creating installations using her photographs, she expresses her own reality through her work, hoping that her viewers will be able to do so, engaging their own perceptions and thoughts with her images.

Yang, who also has an interest in art history, has exhibited off-campus at WAG (Watkins Arcade Gallery), COOP, Fort Houston, Nostos Gallery and at the University of the South’s Carlos Gallery, and served as an exhibition intern at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

Zack Rafuls, "All of My Black Clothes in a Pile"

Zack Rafuls, “All of My Black Clothes in a Pile”

Zack Rafuls, Chattanooga, TN – zackrafuls.com
BFA in Fine Art
Show title: Props for a Film (soft sculpture, screen-printing, tropical plant, conceptual sound, bisque-fired ceramic, large-scale drawing

Zack Rafuls is a maker of art objects with an interdisciplinary practice that incorporates a wide-range of media and modes of making. A native of Miami, Florida, he moved to Tennessee in his early teens and to Nashville in 2011. His work – primarily sculpture, installation, painting, printmaking and video – has been exhibited at Ground Floor Gallery, the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery at Watkins, Track One, Cummins Station, and in solo and group shows at WAG (Watkins Arcade Gallery); he is currently co-curator at the Packing Plant. Chair of the art collective Co. H, Zack has interned at Zeitgeist Gallery and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Props for a Film presents a series of eclectic objects that function as components to a fragmented, semi-autobiographical narrative. At the heart of the work is a preoccupation with the appropriation of image as a means to construct a counter-cultural identity.

The exhibitions and reception are free and the public is invited. Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in MetroCenter; free parking is available in the campus lot.

The Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery is located in the main academic building on the Watkins campus. Regular Currey Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.

Mati Hays and Blake Holland Take ‘Victory Laps’ at WAG’s May 2 show

Posted on: April 13th, 2015 by Caroline Davis No Comments

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents Victory Laps, an exhibition by Watkins students Mati Hays and Blake Holland, at its downtown gallery WAG during the May 2 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl.

Victory Laps – integrating sculpture, photography, and video – examines anxieties about youth. While Mati (a Fine Art sophomore) seeks power in claiming the future, Blake (a senior in the Film School) finds control in grounding his past. By pulling from the past and framing the future, the work acts as a stand-in for their understanding of the present, with each artist allotting objects a great amount of responsibility.

Mati Hays, "Proud of You"

Mati Hays, “Proud of You”

While their processes are different in approach, through similar interests, perspectives and fixations, they both produce work that responds to one another on a literal and visceral level. By placing their respective works within a shared space, the crossing of past and future reflects the influence they have on each other.

As a filmmaker, Blake approaches art making in the same way he approaches story telling. Fully understanding the danger this poses, he attempts to reduce his own life into a manageable narrative by toying with ritual, contextualizing objects, and examining lineage.

Addressing the obsession she has with her future, Mati plays with the association of brands and status, using materials that inherently reflect ideals of luxury and uniformity. With her background in fashion and design, these access points allow her work to speak through the visual language of her generation.

About the artists:

A sophomore at Watkins pursuing a BFA in Fine Art, Mati works in a variety of media such as installation, sculpture, video, photography, fashion and product design. Her most recent involvements have been in the Nashville fashion community, interning for local designers, styling, and working for high-end boutiques throughout the city. Mati will continue her college career at Parsons The New School for Design in New York in the fall.

Blake Holland, "Buzz (Just For You)"

Blake Holland, “Buzz (Just For You)”

Blake is a senior in The Film School, with concentrations in directing and screenwriting. Two of his films have been accepted into the Nashville Film Festival as part of the Tennessee Shorts section: “Rust” (2014) and “Summer Haze” (2015). As a council member of the art collective Co. H, he has exhibited work at the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery at Watkins, Fort Houston, and WAG. Holland works as an editor and videographer on documentary projects with Crackerfarm, and makes music as Spring Blake.

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

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 WAG@watkins.edu. WAG is the second Watkins-run gallery space, joining the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery, the primary exhibiting space on the College’s campus in Metro Center.

Graphic Design Seniors Take Their “SkillShot” in April 30 Portfolio Showcase at Anode

Posted on: April 2nd, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents the Senior Graphic Design Exhibition “SkillShot,” featuring work by Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree candidates Holly Carden, Jay Greer, Melissa Mayhew and Jill Thompson, on Thursday, April 30, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Anode in East Nashville.

Click to enlarge evite

Click to enlarge evite

The one-night-only portfolio showcase, which is free and open to the public, will introduce to the community four outstanding graphic designers and illustrators through a showcase of print and multimedia projects in advertising, packaging, branding and identity, digital publishing and illustration.

Each graduating class of graphic designers at Watkins chooses a presentation theme for their group BFA show, and this year’s concept reflects that “Just like pinball, excellent design requires a careful balance of luck, skill and wizardry.”

“The Spring 2015 class is a small but potent group of designers, said Jim Valosik (Watkins ’07), award-winning art/creative director and adjunct instructor in senior portfolio. “In addition to being amazing people to enter the workforce, they come with some serious design and Illustration chops — their talent level is as high as their professionalism.”

Holly Carden (Smyrna, TN) – hollycarden.com

Holly Carden, “Sad Turtle”

Originally from Buckley, North Wales, Holly will present high-detail illustrations (pen & ink, watercolor, pencil) used in packaging design, hand-constructed product mockups, advertising campaigns, and more.

Over the course of her experience at Watkins, Holly’s illustration work has been juried into multiple exhibitions and recognized with honors such as the Robb Swaney Prize for Visual Excellence and a National Student Addy Award. Upon graduating, Holly intends to focus on growing her freelance illustration business and becoming a bigger part of Nashville’s thriving art and design community.

Jay Greer (Collierville, TN) – jaynebulae.com

R_Is_For

Jay Greer, “Robo-Rabitt”

Bizarre branding meets face-melting illustration in my fun and freaky portfolio; low-brow meets high-culture, so there’s a little something for everyone. Illustration, advertising, typography, and brand storytelling will all share the spotlight in this particular show.”

Recognized and exhibited in a number of shows throughout his time at Watkins, Jay is as busy in the business of the design world as he is in the local low-brow art scene. Jay enjoys wielding the digital pen when it comes to illustration and typography, although he has a passion for the old school with ink, paint, and markers always on hand. After graduation, Jay hopes to give the advertising world a shot while also growing his freelance design business.

Melissa Mayhew, Student Addys poster

Melissa Mayhew, Student Addys poster

Melissa Mayhew (Lawrence, KS)

Driven by color and inspired by nature, Melissa is excited to collaborate with other designers and help people achieve their creative vision. When she isn’t painting or drawing, Melissa loves to read, learn, and travel.

Jill S. Thompson (Pulaski, TN) – jillsthompson.com

jillthompson_REMGigPoster Wweb

Jill S. Thompson, R.E.M gig poster

Jill is a graphic designer who incorporates illustration and printmaking into her work. She has experience managing all aspects of production, from concept-generation to coordinating with vendors for creation of the final product. Jill has designed logos, flyers, email blasts, digital conference materials, infographics, and even large-scale banners.

For more information, visit show website SkillShotShow.com.

The award-winning creative agency Anode Inc. is located at 926 Main Street/37206 in East Nashville (near the corner at McFerrin Avenue).

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 2015 Nashville Student ADDYs,

Holly Carden, "Groaty"

Holly Carden, “Groaty”

Watkins won more top awards than any other school competing (for the third consecutive year), this year claiming 12 Golds, 11 Silvers, two of four Judge’s Choice honors and Best in Show. In the next-level District competition, against schools from five states, Watkins students again won big, claiming four Golds and four Silvers.

Jill S. Thompson, "Ken"

Jill S. Thompson, “Ken”

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.

About the program
The Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design at Watkins College begins with a strong foundation in the basic principles and elements of design and typography. The curriculum then builds incomplexity until students graduate with a professional, high quality, entry-level portfolio. Coursework effectively covers art, design, typography, technology, professional practices and the history of art and design. Small class sizes allow for each student to have individual consultations with faculty at every stage of assigned projects. Graphic design electives, including internships with area advertising and design agencies, enhance each student’s education.

Melissa Mayhew, "Dazed"

Melissa Mayhew, “Dazed”

The curriculum culminates in the capstone course, Senior Portfolio Development, where each graduating senior works with senior faculty to polish his/her portfolio. Finally, the graduating class, as a team, puts together a senior exhibition that features their portfolios.

Watkins Has “Designs on You” for The pARTy 2015!

Posted on: March 30th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

 

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Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will host The pARTy, the school’s annual fundraising event, on Saturday, April 25, with the 2015 edition returning to the striking contemporary art space OZ Arts Nashville.

pARTy chairs Kandace Wigington and Cathy Holland, Metro Nashville Airport Authority’s Rob Wigington and Watkins President Ellen Meyer

Leading the planning are event chairs Cathy Holland and Kandace Wigington. The pARTy, which celebrates the creative in Watkins students and the Nashville community, includes a 6 p.m. cocktail reception, dinner from The Chef and I, and a silent auction as well as a live auction segment featuring travel packages to Italy, Santa Fe, and New York.  Chef and I hires logo WwebReflecting the art and design theme, The Chef and I’s gourmet menu will include a chARTcuterie display and an elaborate dessert station with truffles and tARTs.

Teri Reid

Teri Reid

Acclaimed pianist/vocalist/bandleader Teri Reid — renowned for her vast and eclectic range of material — will provide music for The pARTY, thanks to sponsorship by Arts at the Airport.

The pARTy benefits the education and outreach programs of the independent, nonprofit, four-year baccalaureate college, now in its 130th year of service and inspiration to the community. Part of an elite consortium of 41 art and design colleges across the country and Canada, Watkins is a regionally and nationally accredited college of the visual arts, granting BFA degrees in film, fine art, graphic design, interior design and photography, a BA in art, and certificates in film and in interior design. Watkins also offers affordable classes, workshops and camps for youth and adults through its Community Education department.

Tickets to The pARTy are $250 per person, and invitations will be mailed in early March. To learn more or request an invitation, visit this page or WatkinsTheParty.com or contact Michelle Klaes,  615.277.7402.

Thanks to:

  • Gold Program pARTner: SunTrust Foundation;
  • Silver sponsors: AmSurg, HCA/TriStar Health and KPMG LLC;
  • Bronze sponsors: McCarthy Jones & Woodard LLC; Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority/Arts at the Airport; Nashville Carpet Center/Hunt Oliver; Neal & Harwell, PLC; OZ Arts Nashville and Studio 8 Design/Matt Taylor, Architect;
  • Pewter sponsor: Beth Scott Clayton Amos, LUTCF, CLTC, Insurance & Financial Services.
  • Lipman Brothers, LLC and R.S. Lipman Company for wine, spirits and beer.

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Click to learn more about these incredible adventures!

az110525lc-798.jpgArt and Gastronomy Along the Via Emilia 

Enjoy the glorious art, wine and cuisine of Emilia Romagna in Northern Italy: Bologna’s Morandi Museum and the Market District  ● Tour and tasting at Parmigiano Reggiano factory ● Guided tour of Parma including the frescoes of Correggio ● Modena’s Ferrari Museum • Ravenna’s glorious Byzantine mosaics • Four-star palazzo hotels in Bologna and Ravenna • Read NY Times’ Ravenna feature

Santa Fe mountains WwebSanta Fe: The City Different

Accommodations at La Posada de Santa Fe Resort and Spa ● El Rito Studio Tour ● Behind-the-scenes tour of Georgia O’Keeffe’s House and Studio in  ●  Santa Fe Railyard Farmers Market and Artisans Market ● Museum of International Folk Art ● Car rental for one day

New Whitney WwebNew York City Art & Design

Hotel Carlton ●  Stunning new Whitney Museum of America Art (opening May 1) ● Private guided tours of the Art Galleries of Chelsea and the Frick • Dinner at Chef Chris Jaeckle’s All’onda in Greenwich Village

New York Times feature on the Whitney: “Made for America”

 

Support and sponsorship from these businesses and individuals are truly the “Life of the pARTy!”

Gold Program pARTner:

SunTrust horiz logo Wweb

 

 

Silver sponsors:

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Bronze sponsors:

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Pewter sponsor:

BethScottClaytonAmos_logo cr Wweb

 

 

Wine, spirits and beer courtesy of Lipman Brothers, LLC and R.S. Lipman Company

Lipman Brothers logo Wweb

 

 

 

Oz_LogoFinal_6.30.14 smallOZ Arts Nashville is located at 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle, near the John C. Tune Airport (OZNashville.com). The venue, boasting a grand salon, patio lounge, several gallery and garden spaces, and one of the world’s largest walk-in cigar humidors, has established itself as a magnet for world-class talents through its innovative visual and performing arts programming.

Spring BFA Thesis Series Continues April 23 with Heather Barrie, Jill Schumann and Robin Sinnett

Posted on: March 30th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film’s Spring 2015 BFA Senior Thesis Exhibitions continues with work from Heather Barrie, Jill Schumann and Robin Sinnett. Third in a four-part series from 12 graduating students in the Departments of Fine Art and Photography, their triple exhibition opens Thursday, April 23, with a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and will be on display in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery through May 4.

Heather Barrie

Heather Barrie

Heather Barrie, Blountville, TN
BFA in Fine Art
Milk (fabric sculpture, found objects, video, sound and installation)

A multimedia artist with a current focus on video and sculpture, Heather Barrie investigates notions of female sexuality and motherhood as informed by culture and religion in her show Milk.

“My work is informed by the convergence of female sexuality and an ambivalent relationship to Christianity. By using transformational conceptual processes, both physical and spiritual, these artworks begin to juxtapose the female identity of mother and sexual being. By exposing notions of subordination, while simultaneously constructing personal symbols of anti-conformity, I can begin to escape my place within cultural and religious systems.”

Jill Schumann

Jill Schumann

 

 

Jill Schumann
BFA in Photography
Objects to Burn (disposable cameras, digital, and video)

A native of Ohio, Jill Schumann is a multimedia artist specializing in photography. Her work aims to reclaim and repurpose gender, identity, sexuality and various forms of control. “Through consensual collaboration/play, my work negotiates our own hierarchies of power.”

Robin Sinnett

Robin Sinnett

Robin Sinnett
BFA in Fine Art
delta (graphic novel, digitally created pages)

Robin Sinnett’s graphic novel delta is set in an original fantasy world where souls are physical objects, bestowed by one of the world’s three deities, and dictate a person’s traits and identity. This work examines the differences between behaviors and traits that are learned and those that are innate, how culture and society effect both parts of a personality, and ultimately how one’s identity is formed.

The exhibitions and reception are free and the public is invited. Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in MetroCenter; free parking is available in the campus lot. For more information, visit Watkins.edu or call 615.383.4848.

The Spring 2015 Watkins BFA Senior Thesis Exhibitions will conclude in the Currey Gallery May 7–18 with Zack Rafuls, Luisiana Mera, Weng Tze Yang.

The Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery is located in the main academic building on the Watkins campus. Regular Currey Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.

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

Posted on: March 27th, 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 Music, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, 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).

‘Watkins on Paper’ YART Sale Unfolds April 29

Posted on: March 27th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins’ popular YART Sale of original, affordable artwork by students returns on Wednesday, April 29, from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Cecy Reed Student Center.

“Watkins on Paper” will focus on original drawings, prints, collages, photographs and design work, priced at $50 and under.

All proceeds will benefit participating student artists and the student government association. Cash, check and credit cards will be accepted.

charcoal-drawing-image-2 WwebFor more information on the YART Sale, contact the Office of Student Life at 615.383.4848 or Patrick DeGuira at pdeguira@watkins.edu.

Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in Metro Center; free parking is available in the campus lot. From the Heart Café, located in the student center, will be open for snacks, sandwiches, salads and homemade baked goods.

 

Kevin Dietz Draws Swaney Prize 2015

Posted on: March 26th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Fine Art major Kevin Dietz, a sophomore from Memphis, was awarded the 2015 Robb Swaney Prize for Excellence in Visual Expression during judging held on March 12. Established in 2006 by Mary Jane Swaney in memory of her husband, noted Nashville architect Charles Robb Swaney, the $1,000 cash prize honors a student who produced “visual designs and patterns that spoke to others.”

Jurors Martin Shofner of Shofner Buck Architects/Architectsure and Walter Crouch of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, former associates of Mr. Swaney, praised Dietz’s charcoal and graphite drawings and woodcut and poly-litho prints; in particular, they cited the power of two charcoal drawings which were based on the mythological figure Silenus. Dietz explained, “[Silenus’] archetype has been transferable through out literature and in popular culture without too much representation to his deeper philosophical manifestation. I wanted to play on the classical representation of this character and experiment with eroding this drawing until he became a series of lines and distortion. I’m fascinated with imagery of history and power and all I want to do is deflate them or find those figures whose potency and story is not that of fame and glory.”

Students were selected by their department chairs to participate in the annual competition, and brought examples of their work to display and discuss.

Congratulations to all the 2015 Swaney Prize nominees!

Fine Art:
Kevin Dietz
Kay Kennedy

Film:
Alex Mattingly

Graphic Design:
Yanet Mireles
Sara Schork

Interior Design
Laurabelle Chytrowsky
Thera Barnes

Photography:
Joe Nunez
Alanna Styer

Alanna  Styer

Alanna Styer

Swaney 2015 Thera Barnes edit

Thera Barnes

 

Laurabelle Chytrowsky

Laurabelle Chytrowsky

Kay Kennedy

 

Kevin Dietz

Kevin Dietz

Yanet Mireles

Yanet Mireles

Sara Schork

Sara Schork

Joe Nunez

Joe Nunez

Alex Mattingly

Alex Mattingly

 

 

 

 

Swaney judging 0042 edit Wweb

NEW DATE FOR MARTHA ROSLER LECTURE: APRIL 16!

Posted on: March 24th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins Continues Visiting Artists Series on APRIL 16 with Preeminent Contemporary Artist/Writer Martha Rosler

 

The artist and writer Martha Rosler–one of the leading figures in contemporary art during a four-decade career–will speak at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film on Thursday, April 16 as part of the Watkins Visiting Artists Series. Please note: April 16 is a re-scheduled date for her appearance (lecture was originally set for March 12).

The presentation, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Watkins Theater, is free and the public is invited. The Watkins Visiting Artists Series (VAS) is funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

(Photo: Gabinete de Comunicación de la Diputación de Granada)

(Photo: Gabinete de Comunicación de la Diputación de Granada)

Through work that includes video, installation, performance and text, Martha Rosler has been an incisive critical voice in almost every debate in the art world for the past 40 years. She has been the subject of several high-profile solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Dia Art Foundation, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and other institutions, but early in her career was considered an underground artist for combining different media like photography, video, installation and performance in innovative ways.

from "Bringing the War  Home"

“The Gray Drape” (2008)

As part of the “San Diego Group” (along with Fred Lonidier, Allan Sekula and Phel Steinmetz), she was instrumental in reshaping the discussion around documentary photography. She is best known for a series of photomontages entitled House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home (1967-1972) and for her early explorations of video as a medium, especially her famous Semiotics of the Kitchen (1975). Her photo-conceptualist project The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems (1975-1976) offered an important critical perspective on documentary photography in light of conceptual art.

Martha Rosler Semiotics of the Kitchen still WwebRosler is also a prolific author (15+ books and dozens of essays, many published internationally) and, in both her work and writings, has contributed immensely to discussions about feminism, art and politics, and gentrification. Her collected essays, Decoys and Disruptions, was published by MIT Press in 2004. Her work has appeared in exhibitions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the International Center for Photography, and numerous other institutions. Rosler has been included in the Venice Biennale and several Whitney Biennials, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City hosted her Meta-Monumental Garage Sale in 2012. Based in Brooklyn, she has taught at Rutgers University and at Städelschule in Frankfurt, Germany.

“Martha Rosler offers an indispensable critical voice,” said Tom Williams, assistant professor of art history at Watkins and chair of the Watkins Gallery Committee, which oversees the VAS. “Any account of the art world today that ignores her work and writing will almost inevitably be hopelessly narrow and foolishly naïve.”

VAS title WwebNow in its fifth year, The Watkins Visiting Artists Series (VAS), with support from the Humanities Tennessee Grant Program, 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, 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 Chris Sickels, Deborah Luster (2013 Guggenheim Fellow) and Natalia Almada (2013 MacArthur Fellow).

The 2015 Watkins VAS is a three-lecture initiative: the series kicked off with letterer/illustrator Jessica Hische on January 22 and will continue with artist/activist Ashley Hunt in a rescheduled appearance [TBD].

About the Artist
Martha Rosler body beautiful_sm
Martha Rosler works in video, photography, text, installation, and performance. Her work focuses on the public sphere, exploring issues from everyday life and the media to architecture and the built environment, especially as they affect women. Rosler has for many years produced works on war and the national security climate, connecting life at home with the conduct of war abroad, in which her photomontage series played a critical part. She has also published several books of photographs, texts, and commentary on public space, ranging from airports and roads to housing and gentrification.

A retrospective of her work has been shown internationally, and her writing is published widely in publications such as Artforum, e-flux journal, and Texte zur Kunst.

Essay from e-flux, 2010: Take the Money and Run? Can Political and Socio-critical Art “Survive”?

Martha Rosler_garagesale WwebIn 2012, she presented a new series of photographs, taken during her trip to Cuba in January 1981, and the Meta-Monumental Garage Sale at MoMA in New York. In 2013, her book of essays, Culture Class, which deals with the role of artists in cities and gentrification, was published by e-flux and Sternberg Press. Most recently, she produced the exhibition and public project Guide for the Perplexed: How to Succeed in the New Poland at the CCA Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, Poland.

Rosler lives and works in Brooklyn. For more information, visit www.martharosler.net.

RECOMMENDED READING & LISTENING

Creative Times Reports — Making Art in a World of Ferment: A Conversation with Martha Rosler (2013)

Art Pulse interview with Martha Rosler: “Feminism is a viewpoint that demands a rethinking of questions of power in society and thus has undeniable potency.”

Rear Window interview (2014)

Martha Rosler Discusses Art, Politics, and the Social Life of Photographs (2014)

Meta-Monumental Garage Sale (2012): MoMA event and MoMA exhibition site

New York Times article and New Yorker article

Culture Class part 1 (2010)

Semiotics of the Kitchen video and Semiotic of the Kitchen clip

ArtNet News Q&A (2013)

House Beautiful exhibition at Worcester Art Museum and Boston Globe article on House Beautiful

Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in MetroCenter; free parking is available in the campus lot. For more information, including updates to programming and future series guests, visit Watkins.edu or call 615-383-4848.

HumanitiesTN logo smFounded in 1973, Humanities Tennessee is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting lifelong learning, civil discourse, and an appreciation of history, diversity, and community among Tennesseans. Statewide programs include the annual Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word℠, the Appalachian and Tennessee Young Writers’ Workshops, a variety of History & Culture programs, Grants & Awards for teachers and community organizationsChapter16.org, among many others.

Mission: Humanities Tennessee nurtures the mutual respect and understanding essential to community by enabling Tennesseans to examine and critically reflect upon the narratives, traditions, beliefs, and ideas—as expressed through the arts and letters—that define us as individuals and participants in community life.

Click to enlarge evite

Click to enlarge evite

WAG Does Time at April 4th Downtown Art Crawl

Posted on: March 13th, 2015 by Caroline Davis

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will present “The Video Show,” an exhibition of video work by current Watkins students, at its downtown gallery WAG during the April 4 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl.

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.

Click to enlarge evite

Click to enlarge evite

The 18 participating artists are

  • Caleb Adcock
  • Mika Agari
  • Sharyn Bachleda
  • Andrew Cox
  • Meghan Daughdrill
  • Ryan Duncan
  • Lisa Harless
  • Rebecca Lindley
  • Luisiana Mera
  • Upreyl Mitchell
  • Joseph Newsome
  • Carly Piccione
  • Christopher Robertson
  • Joshua Ungurait
  • Alexander Uselton
  • Hayley Vanhoy
  • Glen Vollmer
  • George Wise

“The Video Show” is curated by Assistant Professor of Fine Art Morgan Higby-Flowers, who teaches 4D design and digital imaging and is responsible for developing the curriculum for all Time-Based Media courses. He graduated with an MFA from the Electronic Integrated Arts program, NYSCC at Alfred University (Alfred, NY) and with a BFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, and served as visiting faculty at Austin Peay State University and Ball State University (Muncie, IN) before joining Watkins in 2013. He is a member of COOP and his work—notably, new media projection art with a specific interest in discarded technologies—has been performed and exhibited extensively in Chicago and New York as well as in Mexico City, Barcelona and Cairo.

(photo by Jess Williams for Native)

(photo by Jess Williams for Native)

Check out this recent article about Higby-Flowers in Native|Nashville’s Culture Magazine

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

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 logo Watkins color rsz WwebWAG is dedicated to supporting the educational and cultural mission of the College by encouraging students to think independently and creatively about their art practice and role as critical thinkers within the cultural landscape. The venue will present shows year-round featuring work by Watkins students, alumni and other professional artists. For inquiries, contact WAG@watkins.edu. WAG is the second Watkins-run gallery space, joining the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery, the primary exhibiting space on the College’s campus in Metro Center.