Jessica Clay and Robert Grand offer Fine Art and Photography shows
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents BFA Thesis Exhibitions 2013, a four-part series of work by eight graduating students in the Departments of Fine Art and Photography. First up is a double exhibition offering from Jessica Clay and Robert Grand, opening Friday, Nov. 8, with a reception from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Their work will be on display in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus through Nov. 12.
Clay, a candidate for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Fine Art, presents My House Has 351 Beds, which revisits her childhood home, a Christian commune in southern Alaska called the Calvary Life Fellowship. Through the manipulation of found sculptural objects and painterly materials, she examines how personal histories affect daily life. The exhibition also includes a film (40 min.) that will be screened on Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in the Watkins Theater (and will show on a monitor just outside the gallery for the remainder of the run).
Grand, a candidate for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography, explores colloquial forms of photography and how they shape and effect our everyday life, and his Fantasy Team features sculptural works as well as photography. By “queering up” common memorabilia objects in baseball culture and reinterpreting their intended meanings and uses, Grand emphasizes where queer culture and baseball fandom intersect.
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.
Jessica Clay • www.jessicalynnclay.blogspot.com
BFA in Fine Art, with emphasis in painting and sculpture
Show title: My House Has 351 Beds
painting, sculpture and film
Jessica Clay was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and grew up near Greensboro, North Carolina. She has exhibited in Tennessee and Alabama including The Line In Between (2011) with Watkins alumna Courtney Ann Greenlee. While at Watkins she has been a part of student art collectives including Co. H which has produced numerous group shows, artist talks and student led community art initiatives. In 2011 she founded an art magazine titled Fulcrum, which features writings from Watkins students, alumni and local and national artists.
My House Has 351 Beds finds Clay investigating her childhood home, The Calvary Life Fellowship, a Christian commune in southern Alaska. Through the manipulation of found sculptural objects and painterly materials, she traces the history of this place via her memories, found photographs and memorabilia. With this work, which includes a 40-minute film, “have you ever been back?,” Clay examines how personal histories affect daily life, and how they reflect the specific historical reality of the past.
Image: Jessica Clay, film still from have you ever been back?, 2013
Robert Grand • www.robertalangrand.com
BFA in Photography
Show title: Fantasy Team
photography and sculptural works
Robert Grand, from Greenville, SC, has been featured in numerous exhibitions in Nashville, Knoxville and Minneapolis, MN. Throughout all his works, Grand explores colloquial forms of photography and how they shape and effect our everyday life. While at Watkins, Grand has been a part of Co. H, an artist collective that seeks to provide opportunities for students and professionals working in the arts. He also participated in the Nashville Ballet’s collaboration series “Emergence” in 2012, working with choreographer Christopher Stuart and the ALIAS Chamber Ensemble.
Fantasy Team seeks to make a place for the queer viewer in relation to baseball culture. By “queering up” common memorabilia objects and reinterpreting their intended meanings and uses, Grand emphasizes where queer culture and baseball fandom intersect. He hopes to convey that maybe, just possibly, the two aren’t as diametrically opposed as one stereotypically imagines.
At right: Robert Grand, Perfect Catch, 2013
The Fall 2013 Watkins BFA Senior Thesis Exhibitions will continue in the Currey Gallery November 15–19 with Drew Claiborne; November 22–December 2 with Moses Williams and Danielle Wright, and December 6–13 with Connie Hutchison and Caroline Rawson. Details on an exhibition by Corey Rossen are TBD.
Updates to programming will be posted to the Watkins website.
At left: Robert Grand
At rIght: Jessica Clay
An assembly of works, 2013