The Nashville Scene’s 2012 “Best of Nashville” issue [Oct. 11-17] is full of praise for Watkins’ students and programming — check out these accolades in the Writers’ Choice section of the Arts, Music & Culture category.
BEST SUPPLEMENTARY ARTS PROGRAMMING: QUILTING EXTRAS AT THE FRIST
The way the Frist handled their Gee’s Bend quilt exhibition programming is a prime example of what separates it from lesser arts institutions. The Frist folks brought heavy-metal quilter Ben Venom to Nashville to speak about his work and lead a workshop at Watkins, invited the Zuri Quilters Guild to give hands-on demonstrations of their African and African-American quilts, and developed a fantastic iPad gallery guide app — just a few reasons we love the smart, innovate Fristians. —Laura Hutson
BEST VISUAL ART SERIES: WATKINS’ VISITING ARTIST SERIES
Artist talks come and go, but rarely are they as well-rounded and intelligent as last year’s series at Watkins. Artemio Rodriguez charmed a packed house with his mythical punk-rock prints and animated videos, photographers Alec Soth and David Hilliard shared engaging stories about their work, and recent MacArthur Fellowship winner Natalia Almada screened two of her documentaries during her stay — El Velador (The Night Watchman) might have been the best film I saw all year. —Laura Hutson
BEST STUDENT EXHIBITION: WATKINS STUDENTS AT CHEEKWOOD
Just when you thought there was no better function for Cheekwood’s horse stalls than their amazing video art exhibits, Ron Lambert upped the ante with this exhibit of art by his students at Watkins. The work was based around Mathilde Roussel’s installation, and ranged from parlor-style portraits to labyrinthine stacks of boxes to intricate embroidered webs. —Laura Hutson
In fact, Watkins talent was on display throughout the entire publication (their largest ever) as Graphic Design student Aaron Johnson, under the art direction of Joel Anderson of Anderson Design Group, illustrated the issue — cover, six sections and more! Read about them here.
More congratulations to Aaron: Anderson Design Group has offered him a full-time position as illustrator/designer upon graduation in December!
Pictured: Aaron Johnson and Joel Anderson
Also, in the Home, Goods & Services Readers’ Poll, Watkins alumna and Interior Design adjunct instructor Shonna Sexton of Shonna Sexton Studio was named a finalist in the Best Interior Designer category, for the third year in a row!