Watkins Collects “Monuments, Hotel Soap and Linear Progressions”

August 27, 2014

Opening reception for faculty show is September 4 in Currey Gallery

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents “Monuments, Hotel Soap and Linear Progressions,” a multiple media exhibition featuring recent work by faculty artists Mary Addison Hackett, Ariel Lavery, Robin Paris and Tom Williams, from September 4–26 in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus.

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Mary Addison Hackett, “Hotel Soap” (50″ x 39″), 2014, oil on canvas

The exhibition’s opening reception, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 4, is free and open to the public.

An adjunct instructor in Watkins’ Department of Fine Art, Mary Addison Hackett is a painter who has recently returned to the South after an extended leave of absence. The paintings for this show are the result of fieldwork and were painted from direct observation of objects in-situ around her childhood home (which is also her current studio) as well as a recent camping trip. Progressing through the seasons they capture the nuances of day-to-day life as revealed in domestic, work and leisure spaces.

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Ariel Lavery, “As We Continue to Move Forward,” 2012, found objects and mixed media





Ariel Lavery, who joined the Watkins Fine Art department this semester as Assistant Professor of Sculpture, is exhibiting two sculptures that install together: “As We Continue to Move Forward” (found objects and mixed media) and “Linear Progression of Chest, Wall Shelf, Shoe Organizer, Broiler Pan, and Napkin Rings.” Lavery’s assembled sculptures and installations reflect on a concept of Middle America as it is defined in domestic goods. She borrows from American domestic vernacular to create mutated versions of home living spaces, “sampling” from her immediate surroundings as she collects detritus found in thrift stores, at garage sales, on Craigslist, and on the side of the road.

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Robin Paris and Tom Williams, Statue of Abraham Lincoln by Adolph Alexander Weinman, Hodgenville, KY (installed 1909), 2014, archival pigment print

Associate Professor of Photography Robin Paris, in collaboration with Assistant Professor of Art History Tom Williams, will show photographic abstractions of figurative monuments made throughout the South and elsewhere. Paris and Williams set aside the lessons of “good” photography to transform the subjects into shadowy, indeterminate figures. These photographs obliterate the likenesses and context of these statues, but simultaneously emphasize their strident poses and emphatic gestures. In this way, they draw focus away from individual monuments and towards the generalized rhetoric of political monumentality, addressing the subtle persuasions of sculptures that often seem little more than props in the mise-en-scène of everyday life.

Currey Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.  Free parking is available in the campus lot.

About Mary Addison Hackett
Born and raised in the South, Hackett migrated to Los Angeles via Chicago, and has been exhibiting in commercial, non-profit and university galleries in the United States and abroad since the early 90’s. She holds an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BFA in Painting from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her work alludes to the ever-shifting construction of meaning, memory and representation in day-to-day life. In her current work, Hackett hones her focus on a sense of place by engaging primarily in the practice of observational painting while still acknowledging her roots in abstraction. Recent exhibitions include Tinney Contemporary and Leu Gallery at Belmont University (Nashville); ACME and WEEKEND (Los Angeles); Torrance Art Museum (Torrance, CA); and John Davis Gallery (Hudson, NY). Her debut solo exhibition at Kristi Engle Gallery (2008) in Los Angeles was reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, and she has been featured in numerous other publications. She is represented by David Lusk Gallery; her first solo with the Nashville gallery opens October 1, 2014.

About Ariel Lavery 
Ariel Lavery graduated magna cum laude with her BFA from the University of Colorado Boulder (2007) and received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (2013). She has exhibited nationally in Colorado, Kentucky, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington, DC. Recent solo exhibitions include Project 1 at Zephyr Gallery in Louisville, KY and Detritus In Situ at the Herter Gallery, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Recent group exhibitions include Fresh at the AVA Gallery (Chattanooga, TN), Best of the Northeast at the Helen Day Art Center (Stowe, VT), and Ice Breaker 5 at the Ice Cube Gallery (Denver). She is also a recent recipient of the Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women.

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Robin Paris and Tom Williams, Statue of Coach E.A. Diddle by Russ Faxon, Western Kentucky Univ., Bowling Green, (installed 2005), 2014, archival pigment print

About Robin Paris
Currently chair of the Photography department at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, Robin Paris earned a BA in Studio Art from the Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA) and studied visual anthropology and creative writing before earning her MFA in photography from Savannah College of Art and Design. She spent a year as a resident artist at Anderson Ranch in Aspen, where she assisted such artists as Keith Smith and Jerry Uelsmann. She has worked in marketing and as a photo editor for small publishing companies in Georgia and Colorado. She currently works in historical processes, digital imaging and book works, and exhibits them nationally.

About Tom Williams
Tom Williams, assistant professor of art history at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, is a graduate of the University of West Florida (BA, Art History), the State University of New York, Stony Brook (MA and PhD, Art History) and of the Whitney Independent Study Program. He has also taught at the School of the Visual Arts, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Vanderbilt University, and his writings have appeared in Art in America, Grey Room and other publications.