Renaissance Center selects 2 artists for 2nd annual Graduate Exhibition
Release Date: 9/24/2008. Expired: 11/15/2008
The Renaissance Center has chosen two artists to feature in its 2nd annual Graduate Exhibition Oct. 2-Nov. 15 in the North Wing Gallery.
The exhibit began last year as a way of showcasing the work of an emerging artist who has just completed or will soon complete degree requirements at a university or art school located within the state. An opening reception for the 2008 Graduate Exhibition will be 6-7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3.
Gallery curator Amanda Dillingham announced that Heather Hartman and Charlesey Charlton were selected by juror Christopher Tarpley, a professional glass artist who also served as juror for the 10th annual Renaissance Regional Art Exhibit.
“This exhibit specifically targets universities and art schools that have a Fine Arts program granting degrees within the boundaries of Tennessee,” said Dillingham. “Students who are completing or just have completed the art degree requirements at those institutions have the opportunity to submit work and have it juried for the chance to display in a solo exhibition at The Renaissance Center.”
The annual exhibit is designed to provide an exhibition opportunity for new and emerging artists. Jaime Raybin, last year’s featured graduate, is an alumnus of Watkins College of Art in Nashville.
“This year’s graduate portfolios were so impressive that we have included two artists whose work is complementary,” Dillingham said. “Both work in a similar atmospheric style but using different materials.”
Los Angeles native Heather Hartman attended Auburn University and received her Bachelors of Fine Art in 2005. Her work has been featured in shows throughout the Southeast. Most notably, Hartman’s work was included in Fresh Blood at Mason Murer Fine Art of Atlanta in 2005 and in Dreams Bright and Dark at Studio Swan in 2007. Her work has been written about by Dr. Jerry Cullum, senior editor of Art Papers, and is included in the Dreams Bright and Dark catalog. Hartman is currently working on her Masters of Fine Art at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
“My paintings deal with liminality. They address the uniquely human sensations of perception and cognition,” said Hartman. “I am interested in things that happen on the periphery of recognition, the nearly invisible. They are visual clues to the vast realm of the intangible, the things that are beyond our sensory understanding. Each morning as I wake up, I see the subtle play of light upon my wall. It flickers and moves indicating activity beyond the realm of my sight. As I stare, the light and shadows slowly pull me from my sleep into cognition. In the quiet stillness of that vibration resides the sensation of experience. This nearly invisible poetry on my bedroom wall is the link between the ephemera of dreams and the awareness of existence.
“The paintings are pulled from my own awareness and experience of light, color, atmosphere and other visual phenomena that hint at the existence of the invisible. These sensory passages strike me as beautiful and strange. They seem to immerge from another realm as reminders that there is something more, and I often find myself haunted by them. I feel compelled to recreate these visual experiences through my painting process, both as a means of analytical understanding and the expression of pleasure and wonder at their existence. Constructing the paintings is a form of meditation. My energies are focused on the process of creating. I act upon the painting until there is some transference of that energy, and the painting then begins to act upon me by recreating some part of that experience of the nearly invisible.”
Charlesey Charlton is a native of Greeneville, Tenn., an only child of an otherwise large extended family. She began pursuing her degree at the University of Tennessee, then transferred to Middle Tennessee State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a minor in Art in December 2004. After taking a couple of years off to assist her husband with his blacksmith shop, she was accepted on full scholarship at East Tennessee State University where she is working toward her Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking and is expected to graduate next year.
“I have decided to enrich my life by teaching and making art,” Charlton said. “I live in a small community, not far from where I was raised, with my husband and our three dogs, three horses, and several chickens. My life is simple. Simplicity is at the core of my world and work. I continue to work at developing my work to reflect the natural world that surrounds me.
“My life as a child has had a profound influence upon my work. Growing up in the Appalachia Mountains, the culture is rich and deeply ingrained in my life and work. My work is an interpretation of my memories and life experiences; they serve as rich sources in composing a piece of work. The connection to the land and the consumption of natural resources from this area is the cornerstone in my imagery.
“I work primarily with printmaking techniques and mixed media drawings. My process is straightforward. I start with an idea and then begin layering my composition onto the surface, be it canvas, paper or plate. I use mostly natural materials, such as native plants, that I collage onto the surface with gel matte medium, gesso and glue. After I achieve a desirable surface texture, I draw back into the image using coffee, ink wash, color pencil or gouache. By layering these materials I am attempting to undo the act of consumption. I am deeply influenced by the work of Anselm Kiefer and Mark Rothko.”
For more information on the Graduate Exhibition and other displays at The Renaissance Center, call (615) 740-5600 or visit www.rcenter.org. Galleries at The Renaissance Center are open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and exhibits and all receptions are free.
The Renaissance Center is a fine arts education and performing arts center at 855 Highway 46 South in Dickson, just 35 miles west of Nashville on Interstate 40 at exit 172.
Visit the Visual Arts Gallery page for more about the gallery.
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