What Remains: Melissa Newman, Jennifer Pepper, Tammy Smithers, John Warren, August 2015

August 1-30, 2015 – opening reception Saturday, August 1, 6-9pm

COOP Gallery is pleased to present “What Remains,” an exhibit featuring work by new members, Melissa Newman, Jennifer Pepper, Tammy Smithers, and John Warren. Each year COOP invites local and newly transplanted artists to join its ranks in recognition of the seriousness of their work and their commitment to fostering Nashville’s artist community. This multidisciplinary exhibition demonstrates the shared dedication of the new members to offer a unique and engaging dialogue in our local arts community.

Each artist’s work deals with acts of preservation and the exhibition offers a variety of media including 16mm film, beeswax, found object, and 3-D printing.

Melissa Newman’s work is mainly two-dimensional and is currently investigating outdated technology, the mundane and the pitiful. Jennifer Pepper combines left-over parts of beekeeping with her interest in cursive writing as a way of examining the mortality and functionality of both. Tammy Smithers’ digital photography captures fleeting moments and favorite rituals from her research stays in Rome, Italy over the last several years. Her latest work is based on events surrounding the opening of Raphael’s grave in 1833. John Warren’s video installation celebrates banal domestic life, transforming the landscape into a diary written with light.

More about the Artists:

Melissa Newman
Melissa Newman earned her BFA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and her MA and MFA from the University of Iowa. She also completed a residency with Laura Owens at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. She currently lives in Nashville and is a Lecturer of Art Foundations at Middle Tennessee State University.

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 inspired 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 .


Tammy Smithers
Dr. Tamara Smithers is Assistant Professor of Art History at Austin Peay State University. She earned her PhD in Italian Renaissance Art History from Temple University in 2012, specializing in the art and life of Michelangelo and the context in which lived and work. Her essay “‘ SPQR/CAPITOLIVM RESTITVIT’: The renovatio of the Campidoglio and Michelangelo’s Use of the Giant Order ” was published in Perspectives on Public Space in Rome, from Antiquity to the Present Day  (Ashgate Publishing, 2013). She has recently edited a volume on new scholarship on Michelangelo, which includes her own chapter “Michelangelo’s Suicidal Stone” (forthcoming with Brill Publishing, 2016). This summer she was awarded a Friends of Princeton University Library Research Grant to conduct research on the cult of Raphael in the nineteenth century. Her current book project is entitled The Cults of Raphael and Michelangelo,  16th –19th Centuries.  This fall she looks forward to teaching a Michelangelo class for adult learners at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville in conjunction with the exhibition “Michelangelo Michelangelo: Sacred and Profane, Masterpiece Drawings from the Casa Buonarroti.”

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, 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.