Coop is Nashville’s longest established, artist-run project space and curatorial collective, established in 2010.
Alejandro T. Acierto
Alejandro T. Acierto is an artist and musician whose work is largely informed by the breath, the voice, and the processes that enable them. He is the Mellon Assistant Professor of Digital Art and New Media at Vanderbilt University, a 3Arts awardee, and has shown his work internationally at the Film Society of the Lincoln Center, MCA Chicago, and the Art Institute of Chicago among others. A founding member of Ensemble Dal Niente, Acierto holds an MFA from University of Illinois at Chicago, an MM from Manhattan School of Music, and a BM from DePaul University.
Currently residing in Nashville, TN, Blythe Colvin traversed to the southern heat far from her hometown of Minneapolis, MN to study design and photography at Belmont University. Now with her degree, she builds brands and provides creative direction to clients, and spends her free time painting and hanging out with her cat, Rigatoni.
Find her on Instagram at @busyblythe and blythecolvin.com.
Ellen Dempsey is an artist and educator based in Nashville, TN. She earned her MFA in Sculpture from the University of Memphis and her BFA in Sculpture and Printmaking from Middle Tennessee State University. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at Side x Side Contemporary and the University of North Alabama, as well as a two-person show at Versa Gallery in Chattanooga, TN. She has exhibited in multiple group shows across the country including Mana Contemporary in New Jersey and A1 Lab Arts in Knoxville, TN. Dempsey was born and raised in Nashville and has recently moved back to teach 3-D Design at a local high school. Her work challenges the seemingly neutral spaces human bodies occupy by making everyday debris act out or misbehave.
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.
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 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 at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN.
Kristi Hargrove has been teaching at the collegiate level for over 20 years and is currently Professor of Practice at Watkins College of Art at Belmont University. She is a founding member of the Coop Collective, a curatorial group made up of artists, curators, thinkers and professors who are committed to expanding Nashville’s dialogue with contemporary art. With an interest in philosophy and literature, Ms. Hargrove’s work considers the physical and psychological places of seepage—between language, bodies, and relationships. Her work has been shown in numerous juried shows and invitational exhibitions nationally and internationally. Ms. Hargrove received her BA from Vanderbilt University and her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Art.
Nature is transformed into more abstract patterns in the videos of Morgan Higby-Flowers, who taught time-based media at Watkins College of Art, Design and Film before becoming an application developer at Vanderbilt University’s Department of Biomedical Informatics. Higby-Flowers employs complex coding and cutting-edge software to create sequences in which geometric forms and glitchy landscapes undergo constant formation and dissolution. On virtual journeys through his pulsating worlds, nature and technology are integrated, with a sense of energy and sublime mystery flowing from their uneasy alignment. Higby-Flowers earned an MFA from the Electronic Integrated Arts program at Alfred University and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Mandy Horton – Co-President
Earning her MFA from American University in Washington D.C. and Italy, Rogers Horton also studied at Anderson University, IN, The Queen’s University of Belfast, The Chautauqua Institute, NY and a residency at The Vermont Studio Center. Mandy’s work has been written about in The Nashville Scene, The Tennessean, and Nashville Arts Magazine. She is represented by Chauvet Gallery in Nashville, TN, where she lives with her husband and their four young children. For more than fifteen years, she has taught a variety of Art and Art History courses at universities including Lipscomb University, Belmont University, and MTSU. Mandy is a founding member and current co-president of COOP.
You can follow her on Instagram @m.rogershorton or #mandyrogershorton
Rocky Horton – Co-President
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.
Sara Lederach she/her
Sara Lederach is a big believer in creative expression and the power of community. A fiber artist, curator, and the co-captain of Gallery Luperca, Lederach collaborates with creative minds of all kinds to build unique opportunities for learning and connection.
Jonathan Rattner holds MFAs 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, NYU. Rattner has screened work at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, Walker Art Center, Centre of Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, Anthology Film Archives, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Currents New Media Festival, The European Media Arts Festival and galleries, microcinemas, festivals and universities in Europe, Australia, Iceland, and the United States. Most recently his film The Interior won best documentary at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. He is the recipient of a 2019 Individual Artist Fellowship award from the Tennessee Arts Commission and holds the position of Assistant Professor in Cinema & Media Arts and Assistant Professor of Art at Vanderbilt University.
Beth Reitmeyer is a visual artist based in Nashville, TN who likes to make people happy with her colorful installations. Her work investigates landscapes and the joy of unexpected yet beautiful spaces and
places that are discovered as one explores the land and structures within it: clouds, rivers, caves, geodes, stars. These environments allow viewers to explore the land and get to know one another in a more profound way, providing a space for renewal and hope for persevering.
Beth attended Northwestern University (MFA), The School of the Art Institute (Post Baccalaureate program), and the Pennsylvania State University (BFA). Her work has recently been exhibited at the Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN; The Elizabeth Foundation, New York, NY; OZ Arts, Nashville, TN; 1708 Gallery/Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA; FIGMENT, Chicago, IL; The Downing Museum, Bowling Green, KY; Kindling Arts Festival, Nashville, TN; Ground Floor Gallery, Nashville, TN; Zg Gallery, Chicago, IL; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; BOX13 ArtSpace, Houston, TX. Beth has been an artist-in-residence at The Studios at MASS MoCA, The Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, IL, Mineral House Media, and CONVERGE, Nashville, TN. Recently awards include grants from Metro Nashville Arts Commission/National Endowment for the Arts and a finalist for a Burning Man grant.
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.
Patrick Vincent’s works in print, paper, and book media to explore human’s symbolic relationship to ecology and place; using animal symbolism and metaphor as a way to suggest a psychic and emotional disconnect between humans and their environments. This symbolism also relates the history of graphic works that satirize and critique contemporary issues. Current projects engage print and installation in response to the impact of climate change.
Patrick Vincent was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN; presently lives in Nashville, TN. He received his B.F.A. from the University of Minnesota and his M.F.A. from Arizona State University. He has worked for Studio on Fire, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and Pyracantha Press. Vincent was the artist in residence at the Lawrence Art Center and at the Black Church Print Studio. His work has been exhibited in international and national exhibitions juried and group exhibitions, as well as solo and two-person exhibitions. Currently, he is the Associate Professor of Printmaking at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN and is currently acting as Secretary for COOP.
Yanira Vissepo is a multi disciplinary artist focusing on printmaking and textile art, her woodblock designs reflect time studying traditional techniques in Japan. Vissepo merges traditional with new utilizing mokuhanga as the translator. Yanira has worked with various mediums implementing printmaking; including free form tapestries, block printed textiles, soft sculptures, as well as works on paper. She attended The International School of Mokuhanga in
2019 and was the Artist-in-Residence at Coop Gallery in 2020.
I’ve always enjoyed my creative side, so I finally took it super serious after high school in my pursuit for a degree in graphic design. During my college days at Austin Peay State University, I found myself in love with collage and illustration as I tried to marry the two into my future artworks. Today, I’m happy to be an artist exploring many challenges and streaming art and design on Twitch.
Moses Williams works at the intersection of performance, sculpture, video, and sound to explore the inseparable nature of cognitive and material experience as it is lived both in and through the body, establishing a kind of emotional anthropology. Ideas of sensuality, ritual, memory, intimacy, empathy, suffering, and loss are examined through sculptural objects and his own body implying our personal and collective experience. He has exhibited and performed throughout the US and Europe and has collaborated with The Nashville Ballet and Alias Chamber Ensemble. His work includes collaborations with the residents of Unit 2 (the Death Row unit) at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution. Williams is presently a Professor at Watkins College of Art at Belmont University.