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

April 13, 2015

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.