Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents BFA Thesis Exhibitions 2014, a five-part series of work by 13 graduating students in the Departments of Fine Art and Photography. First up is a triple exhibition from Michael Taylor Cribbs, Michael Hampton and Sarah McDonald, opening Thursday, March 27, with a reception from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Their work will be on display in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus through April 6.
Cribbs, a candidate for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Fine Art, seeks to transport the audience to a different world through digital painting, music, and installation with his show Ralphy and Vuppé, depicting a story that explores the ideas of imagination, freedom and adventure.
Hampton, also a BFA in Fine Art degree candidate, focuses on graphite drawings, video work, performance and soft sculpture in his show Golden Disappointment. His work follows the playful yet thoughtful mode of jokes, applying cartoons and outlandish performances to darker subtleties of common life. The exhibition also includes two short films inspired by classic cartoons,
“dumbhounded” (16 min.) and “Fraidy Cat” (16 min.), screening in a double feature in the Watkins Theater at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. “dumbhounded“ is a humorous appropriation and representation of Droopy Dog’s debut cartoon, with editing that heightens the underlying oddities within the narrative while making a new experience as a whole. Similarly, “Fraidy Cat” (from a Tom and Jerry episode) focuses on the bizarre shift of the typical cat-chases-mouse format. The episode poses a rather vulnerable Tom Cat, the usual antagonist, as victim to the haunting whims of Jerry Mouse. The amusing turns to grave as the footage is prolonged and extended, repeated and stuttered, playing with the original purposes of the episode while stretching the limits of the joke.
McDonald, a candidate for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography, presents Actual Instances, a series of photographs taken on short walks and long drives throughout her home state of Tennessee. The collection of giclée prints combines ambiguous scenarios and familiar typologies to investigate how still images often romanticize the subject.
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.
Michael Taylor Cribbs, Franklin, TN • michaelcribbs.blogspot.com
BFA in Fine Art
Show title: Ralphy and Vuppé (illustration, digital painting, installation)
Michael Taylor Cribbs is an illustrator specializing in children’s book illustrations and narrative based work through a digital medium. He explores these narrative fantasies by using historical ideas within different categories of art, which include romanticism, concepts of the sublime, aspects of cinematography, surrealism, installation, and the incorporation of music within art.
Michael Hampton, Nashville • michaelhamptonart.tumblr.com
BFA in Fine Art
Show title: Golden Disappointment (graphite on paper, video, polyester toy fabric, ink on balloons)
Michael Hampton is a fine artist focused on graphite drawings, video work, performance, and soft sculpture.
He has exhibited in various shows throughout the city including Staying the Course (2014) and Abstractions Imaginative Fictions (2013) at WAG, Pink Lemonade (2013) at Ground Floor Gallery, and Projections (2013), at Platetone Print. He is also an active council member of the Co. H artist collective at Watkins and has performed stand-up comedy at Zanies, Mercy Lounge, the High Watt, East Room and Cult Fiction Underground.
Hampton’s work explores the tropes of jokes and humor and their malleability within a critical frame. He is interested in the darker subtleties and rich actualities that can be surfaced through humorous means. Cartoon imagery lends itself to the hands of thoughtful comedy and appropriated play, offering at once something simple while also speaking to something far more complex. In his thesis exhibition Golden Disappointment, Hampton pulls at these underlying narratives through processes of stacking, stuttering, isolating and amplifying. The works also bring into question the limit of a joke and champion an acceptable futility that teaches us how to lose.
Sarah McDonald, Nashville • sarahmcdonald.net
BFA in Photography
Show title: Actual Instances (medium format photography, giclée prints)
Sarah McDonald is interested in everyday moments that make up a larger unknown narrative. Actual Instances presents a collection of images taken on short walks and long drives throughout her home state of Tennessee. McDonald combines ambiguous scenarios and familiar typologies to investigate how still images often romanticize the subject. She is thinking about repetition, desire, disillusionment and repetition.
McDonald won first place in the 2013 Currey Juried Student Show at Watkins and was a finalist in the Nashville Scene’s 2011 Photography Contest; her photography is currently on view in the annual Community Arts Program Student Exhibit in Cummins Station. Her work often focuses on travel, place and the passage of time. In addition to photography, her creative pursuits include bookbinding, sewing and collage.
The Spring 2014 Watkins BFA Senior Thesis Exhibitions will continue in the Currey Gallery April 10–20 with Crystal Petrina and Alexine Rioux; April 24–May 4 with Christopher Creasy, Jordan Martin and Hannah Taylor; and May 8–18 with Amy Clutter, Samantha Carlson and Michelle Graham. Ray Palumbo and Chelsea Wright will present their show April 18 in an offsite space.
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. Admission and parking are free.