Studio Visits

Alex Blau

Alex Blau recently moved from Aspen, CO to Nashville. She has an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design and works primarily in painting. Alex’s geometric paintings draw from a variety of sources and have unexpected associations. By variously utilizing graphic languages associated with things like disposable consumer goods, computer generated architectures and unfolding mandalas, Blau’s work both points to abstraction’s open-ended possibility and highlights its incorporation into mass culture. Alex has had solo shows at several venues, including Firecat Projects in Chicago, Gallery Seomi in Seoul, Mark Moore Gallery in Santa Monica, Kevin Bruk Gallery in Miami, Barbara Davis Gallery in Houston and the New Britain Museum of American Art. She is currently teaching art at APSU and working in her studio.


Paul Collins

Paul Collins is a multidisciplinary artist and curator from Nashville, TN. Paul makes drawings, paintings and sculpture that combine humor, tactility and observation to examine the world around us. Paul has an MFA from Yale and has been a resident at Skowhegan, Anderson Ranch Arts Center and the Vermont Studio Center. Paul is an enthusiastic collaborator and has curated shows or organized artist projects for a wide range of artists including James Surls, William Pope.L, Dahlia Elsayed, Betty Woodman, Paul Jacobsen, Mala Iqbal, Kenny Scharf, David Humphrey, Charles Long, Michael Kreuger, Jason Rogenes, Kim Dickey, and Takashi Nakazato. Paul lives in Nashville, TN.



Michael Dickins

Dickins is an exhibiting interdisciplinary artist whose current work engages political and social concerns with a variety of media including drawing, sound, installation, photography, printmaking and video. He holds an MFAIA from Goddard College in Vermont and a BFA from Georgia Southern University. Dickins has exhibited around the Southeast as well as Portland, Oregon, Augusta, Maine, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Denver, Houston, San Diego, and Berlin. He has also received commissions from the Pittsburgh Playhouse and the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company for original sound score and projection design, and was recently a featured artist at ArtFields in Lake City, SC and {Re}Happening at Black Mountain College, NC.

McLean Fahnestock

McLean Fahnestock is a media artist who works in video, sound, sculptural installation, and photographic prints. McLean reclaims material from the media and institutions, seeking out footage, images, and items that carry the weight and specificity of their prior lives and ties to history. Her works intermingle truths and fictionalizations in order to question our ideas of greatness, singularity, and who and what make “history.”

McLean received a BFA from Middle Tennessee State University and MFA from California State University Long Beach. Her work has been exhibited and screened across the United States and Internationally in Ireland, Canada, Belgium, Germany and Japan. She has received an ARC Grant from the Durfee Foundation, two Hoff Foundation Grants, and was awarded a Professional Artist Fellowship from the Arts Council for Long Beach. Her work was included in a DVD compilation of short videos by the LA Film Forum. She was a finalist for a 2012 Vimeo Video Award and was recently named “Most Promising New Artist” at MADATAC 05, in Madrid, Spain.


Member slideshows

Richard Feaster received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from Birmingham Southern College and a Master of Fine Arts in painting from Tulane University’s Newcomb College. In 1993, he attended the Skowhegan summer program in Skowhegan, Maine. He has shown his work widely in the US, including exhibits at the City University of New York, National Academy of Design, and the Cheekwood Museum of Art, and his artwork is included in many private and corporate collections. Most recently, he exhibited artwork in Magdeburg, Germany as a part of the exhibition Herbstsalon ’15. Feaster is represented in Tennessee by Nashville’s Zeitgeist Gallery.


Jessica Fife

Jessica Fife recently moved from Long Beach, California to Nashville. Jessica received her MFA from California State University Fullerton. Jessica’s work is primarily in figurative painting. Her work is an amalgamation of both Surrealism and Symbolism.  A collection of the ‘classic’, reinterpreted with a modern narrative.  Simultaneously vulnerable and invincible, sacred and profane. Jessica has exhibited nationally and internationally. Jessica currently teaches at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN.

Tina Gionis

Tina Gionis is an artist working primarily with photography and video. Her work investigates the continuing evolution of cities. She is also interested in memory, especially how it influences the present. She received her BA in Creative Writing and Psychology from the University of Toledo. After graduating, she spent ten years in Asia working as a travel photographer and ESL Writer. After repatriating to the States, she received a certificate in Documentary Photography from the International Center of Photography in NYC and an MFA in Digital Arts from Bowling Green State University. She is currently based in Nashville.

Virginia Griswold

Virginia Griswold is an artist based currently in Tennessee. She received an MFA in Sculpture/Glass from Alfred University, Alfred, NY in 2011 and a BFA in Glass/ Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA in 2004. She has also studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Pilchuck Glass School, and the Penland School of Crafts. In 2011, Virginia was included in exhibitions at S12 Galleri og Verksted in Bergen, Norway and the Horowitz Center for the Visual Arts in Columbia, MD. Her solo exhibition,Here and Back, opened at the COOP Gallery, Nashville, TN in December of 2012. In 2009, she received a Brooklyn Arts Council Re-Grant to fund the project: What it is, What it will be: Objects Found and Altered in Brooklyn, as well as, a fellowship in Sculpture from the New York Foundation for the Arts. In 2011, she was awarded a residency fellowship to study at the the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France for March/April 2012. She works as an Assistant Professor of Sculpture and 3D Foundations at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN.

Mary Addison Hackett

Mary Addison Hackett received her MFA in Studio Art/Video from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her BFA in Painting from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Hackett’s interdisciplinary practice, which spans painting, video, drawing, installation, and performance, examines the construction of meaning, memory, and representation in day-to-day life. She has exhibited with the Torrance Art Museum, Daniel Weinberg at Acme., Weekend, and Kristi Engle Gallery, all in the Greater Los Angeles Area, and the Amelia Museum of Archeology (Amelia, Italy); John Davis Gallery (Hudson, New York); SUGAR (Brooklyn, NY); and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, (New Orleans, LA). Her videos have screened at The New York Underground Film Festival, Aurora Picture Show, and The Prague Independent Film Festival. She is the recipient of several professional grants and honors. After working for close to 25 years in Chicago and Los Angeles, Hackett currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee. An overview of her work from the past decade opens in in 2016 with her inaugural solo show at Marcia Wood Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia.

artist lectures

Kristi Hargrove

Kristi received her B.A. from Vanderbilt University and MFA from Vermont College of Fine Art. With an interest in philosophy and literature, Kristi’s work considers the physical and psychological places of seepage—between language, bodies, and relationships. Kristi’s studio practice is primarily drawing but includes investigations into other media (photography, sculpture, and installation). Her work has been shown in numerous juried shows and invitational exhibitions across the country. Kristi has studied with Laurie Palmer (of HaHa), Jeanne Dunning and Faith Wilding in Chicago, Mira Schor in New York, and Steve Kurtz of Critical Art Assemble. She is currently Chair and Associate Professor of Fine Art at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film.

Jana Harper – President

A native of Washington D.C., Harper taught for 13 years at Washington University in St. Louis before moving to Nashville in June, 2013. She teaches part time in the Vanderbilt Department of Art. Her work has been shown in group and solo shows both nationally and internationally and is held in several public collections including the Library of Congress, the Sackner Archive for Visual and Concrete Poetry, Proyecto Ace Print Collection, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the Janet Turner Print Collection at California State University. Her most recent exhibit in Nashville was called You Call it a Cloud, shown in February, 2014 at Vanderbilt’s Space 204 Gallery. &

Aaron Sanders Head

Aaron Sanders Head is a curator, critic, and visual artist based in Nashville, TN. His past work includes acting as Gallery/Exhibitions Coordinator at Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment in Huntsville, AL, acting as Gallery Director/Artist Liaison for the Kentuck Museum Association and acting as preparator and assistant curator at the Paul R. Jones Gallery. He has been a resident at Andrea Zittel’s A-Z West in Joshua Tree, CA. His curatorial work focuses on presenting honest depictions of the complex southern cultural climate through the lens of Southern artists.

Mandy Horton

Mandy Rogers Horton studied at Anderson University, IN, The Queen’s University of Belfast, The Chautauqua Institute, NY, and earned an MFA from American University, Washington D.C. Growing up in a military family, frequent moves and travel in the US and Europe, left her with a fascination of culture and languages. Drawing and painting function as language through which to search, contemplate, and respond to the world around her. Rogers Horton now lives in Nashville, TN with her husband, artist, Rocky Horton, and three young children. She is a founding member of the Coop Gallery, a curatorial collective in Nashville. She teaches studio art and art history courses at local universities including Lipscomb University and Belmont University.

Rocky Horton

Rocky Horton was born in Arlington, Tennessee. Then, he attended college at Harding University in Arkansas. He graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Art. He received an M.F.A. in studio art from WVU in December of 2003. Since that time he has served as an Associate Professor of Art at Lipscomb University in Nashville.


International partnerships

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 extensively nationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Open Drawer at the Packing Plant in Nashville, TN, Afterward at the River Campus Gallery at Southeast Missouri State University and Project 1 at Zephyr Gallery in Louisville, KY. Recent group exhibitions include Fresh at the AVA Gallery, Chattanooga, TN, The Best of the Northeast at the Helen Day Art Center, Stowe, VT, and Ice Breaker 5 at the Ice Cube Gallery, Denver, CO. She is a recent recipient of the Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. She is currently Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Watkins College of Art, Design, and Film.


Christopher M. Lavery

Christopher M. Lavery is a sculptor who lives in Murray, KY and Nashville, TN. His work explores themes of mythology, hoaxes, and environmental destruction and ranges from installation, public art, sculptural objects, sound, video, and digital technology. Christopher’s work has been exhibited nationally/internationally and his project Cloudscape was recently recognized by The Americans for the Arts Public Art Network.

He is a practitioner of a profession that is able to ask questions, as a basis for its objective reality, creating works that reflect his personal questionings/observations of the world. Christopher is an artist who puts into his practice visual art as a philosophical way of living, stating that an “Art practice in the postmodern era is questionable and undeniably dysfunctional due to the nature of equal sensibilities developed towards undefined or lost humanitarianism.” &


Alex Lockwood

Alex Lockwood makes abstract sculpture from colorful material, often repurposed or recycled. He builds with one primary component which is repeated to create patterns and structures. Alex Lockwood is a self-taught artist from Seattle, WA. He has exhibited in various group shows across the US. Alex had his first solo show at Curtis Steiner Gallery in Seattle in 2013.


Duncan McDaniel

In 2006 I graduated from SCAD with a BFA in Painting. Since then, I have embarked on a creative journey through the exploration of my own personal aesthetic and how it spontaneously influences my interpretation of the world around me. Ranging from oil paintings, drawings, public art, and site specific installations my techniques are varied and whimsical. Through these multiple avenues I am always searching for the better artist within myself. This open ended journey always leads me somewhere new and uncharted, and hopefully with a plethora of exciting objects and images to show for along the way.


public events

Jennifer Pepper

Jennifer Pepper earned her BFA from University of Tennessee, Knoxville and her MFA from University of North Texas. The past 9 years of living in rural Tennessee has caused her to meld the technological with the botanical. Her work draws from elements of landscape that she comes in contact with daily ~ like the rapid growth of invasive plants, loss of honeybees, and the weather. She teaches at Lipscomb University. She lives in Franklin with her husband and two young sons.


Jonathan Rattner

Rattner has exhibited work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the University of Iowa Museum of Art, the World Social Forum in Brazil, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the Live Herring Festival in Finland, Emergeandsee Media Art Festival in Germany, as well as at other colleges, festivals, and galleries in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, and Russia.

Rattner holds MFA’s in Film and Video Production and in Intermedia Art from the University of Iowa, and a BFA in Film and Television from Tisch School for the Arts at New York University. For five years he was the creative director of Iowa City Senior Center Television, a television station for and run by older adults. Rattner is currently an active member of the lens-based collective Wildland Urban Interface, and holds the position of Assistant Director/Assistant Professor of Film Studies and Assistant Professor of Art at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.


Christine Rogers

Christine Rogers is an artist from Nashville, Tennessee. She is compelled by the use and function of photographs and how they inform and structure our ideas about how to live. Most recently she has been interested in middle class ideals and imaginaries. She received her BA in Anthropology from Oberlin College in 2004 and her MFA in Studio Art from Tufts University in 2008. She has exhibited across the United States and was in a two-person show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago, Chile in the fall of 2012. From 2012-2103 Christine was a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Scholar in India. Her first solo show in India was in the spring of 2013 at 1 Shanthi Road Gallery in Bangalore, Karnataka. She has since shown again in Mumbai at Clark House Initiative, Project 88 and Chemould Prescott. Her work has been written about in The Hindu, Hyperallergic, Dazed Digital, Burnaway, The Tennessean and the Nashville Scene. She is an Assistant Professor of Photography at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.


KJ Schumacher

KJ Schumacher is a multidisciplinary artist working in Nashville, TN.  He received a B.A. in Fine Art from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and studied at Parsons School of Design in Paris.  His praxis consists of making and collecting marks and objects, and re-presenting them in made and found situations – inside and outside the studio. These works elaborate on the studio process and build upon a belief that the physical mark holds an intrinsic importance in human experience.  He is currently engaged in an MFA at the Transart Institute in New York and Berlin, to be completed in the summer of 2016.  Recent and upcoming exhibitions include: Aran Cravey Gallery, Los Angeles, Somos Gallery, Berlin, and David Lusk Gallery, Nashville.


Robert Scobey

Robert Scobey is an interdisciplinary artist who grew up in Nashville, TN. He earned a Bachelors degree in Graphic Design from Lipscomb University and an MFA from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. While in Philadelphia, Scobey worked as an assistant to Osvaldo Romberg and was a founding member of SHIFT video art collective. For three years he worked as an art handler…highlights include: packing and moving the entire zillion-dollar Barnes Foundation collection and also transporting the Dead Sea Scrolls cross-country under the darkness of night.

His videos have been exhibited at juried shows in the States and at festivals and gallery exhibits in France and the UK. His two solo exhibitions have focused on an eclectic studio practice of overlapping media and also highlighted a series of carved books that has now been ongoing for fifteen years.

Thomas Sturgill

Thomas Sturgill was born and raised in Pound, Virginia, a rural company town whose heyday had long passed. In 2002 he received his undergraduate degree in sculpture from the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, Tennessee. Sturgill received and MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Carnegie Mellon University in 2006. He has exhibited domestically and internationally. He works both solo and collaboratively. Sturgill is a founding member of the artist collective, Pulled Resources. Thomas Sturgill currently lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee and is presently an Assistant Professor in Foundations at Middle Tennessee State University.

Alexandra Jo Sutton

Alexandra Jo Sutton received her MFA degree in studio art from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Her work includes sculpture, experimental photography, installation, and video. Centering on memory, time, nature, and the body, her work involves a sensitivity to materials and includes experimental practices from growing crystals to body casting. Alexandra has recently had noteworthy exhibitions at Mixed Greens Gallery in Chelsea, NYC and Marginal Utility in Philadelphia, PA. She is originally from the small town of Clanton, Alabama where she grew up eating peaches and loving animals. She lived in Philadelphia for four years while earning her MFA and working in arts administration. Now, she lives in Nashville, TN and teaches studio art/art history at Belmont University and Austin Peay State University.

Terry Thacker

Terry Thacker has been an artist and educator for over thirty years, receiving the title of Distinguished Professor in 1985. He is currently Professor of Fine Art at Watkins College of Art and Design where he was department chair from 2006 to 2011. Prior academic positions have been, Professor of Art at Savannah College of Art and Design and Associate Professor of Art at Middle Tennessee State University. Also active as a lecturer and reviewer he has written for Art Papers, lectured at the Southeastern College Art Association, and spoken at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

Mr. Thacker received his B.F.A. from Austin Peay State University and his M.F.A. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He later studied at Long Island University. His most recent educational experience was as an associate at the Atlantic Center for the Arts with resident artist Alice Aycock.

Mr. Thacker has shown in numerous national and regional exhibitions including exhibitions at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Brooks Museum, Hunter Museum, Dulin Gallery, and Cheekwood as well as solo installations at Vanderbilt University, Western Kentucky University, Murray State University, Alexandria Museum, and the Memphis Center for Contemporary Art.

John Warren

John Warren is a time-based media artist and professor. He has completed many short films that seek to question, to interpret, and to express that which transcends language. Over the past decade, his films and have been included in the BFI London Film Festival, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Images Festival in Toronto, Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, REDCAT, Other Cinema in San Francisco, New York’s Anthology Film Archives, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Echo Park Film Center, Antimatter Film Festival, Iowa City Documentary Festival, and the Black Maria Film Festival. Warren earned an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and he currently teaches Video Installation and Fundamentals of Film & Video Production at Vanderbilt University.

Donna L. Woodley

Donna L. Woodley works and resides in Nashville, TN.  She is a painter whose recent works explore black culture within the context of American culture.  The presence of humor and absurdity in her work is used to disarm the intensity that seems inherent when engaging in the discourse of black culture.  As a Master of Fine Arts candidate at Lesley University in Boston, Massachusetts, she decided to pursue an education in fine arts after twenty years as an accountant.  This journey has sparked her passion for painting specifically informed by discourse concerning black women and black experiences in American society.  She has shown at the Tennessee Art League, Cummins Station, Tennessee State University’s Hiram Van Gordon gallery, Spreadluv, and Lesley University.