The Department of Art & Design is pleased to present our APSU Graphic Design Senior Show 2016

Austin Peay Art and Design

Students in Professor Kell Black’s drawing classes visit Ajax Turner Senior Citizens Center to draw portraits

Austin Peay Art and Design

Trahern will be closed for the summer of 2016


APSU professor Tamara Smithers publishes academic book on Italian Renaissance painter Michelangelo


Everyone has a reason for why they do what they do, and for Dr. Tamara Smithers, associate professor of art history at Austin Peay State University, the reason she has devoted her passion to the study of art history is the work of Italian Renaissance sculptor and painter Michelangelo.

“To speak candidly, I’ve been obsessed with Michelangelo – his artwork, his life and his legend – ever since I can remember,” Smithers said.

Recently, the APSU professor channeled a bit of her expertise on the massively influential creator into serving as editor and contributor for the volume “Michelangelo in the New Millennium: Conversations about Artistic Practice, Patronage and Christianity,” a new scholarly book published by Brill, a major publisher of academic publications.

“Michelangelo in the New Millennium” presents six paired studies in dialogue with each other that offer new ways of looking at Michelangelo’s art. The three sections address the literal and metaphorical flexibility of Michelangelo’s artistic intentions, delve deeper into his early religious works, and take a new look at papal patronage of Paul III and IV.

But before she could begin the process, Smithers said she had to answer one question – was there anything new to say about Michelangelo?

“The answer, of course, is yes,” Smithers said. “In the introduction of his 1995 series of collected essays, ‘Michelangelo: Selected Scholarship in English,’ Washington University in St. Louis professor William E. Wallace asked, ‘Has the Bull Been Milked?’ Decidedly he answered, ‘There are still many cows to milk.’

“The field of Michelangelo studies is thriving. However, since the turn of the millennium, only a few edited volumes have been published on Michelangelo-related topics and they focus on specific themes or artworks,” Smithers continued. “This volume offers complementary-paired essays that utilize a variety of approaches on a wide range of topics on Michelangelo and the culture in which he lived.”

Each of the six essays in “Michelangelo in the New Millennium” is penned by someone new to publishing on Michelangelo in the new millennium. Hoping to offer a unique look at the influential creator, the collection as a whole re-explores the life, art and myth of Michelangelo’s early career in Florence to his last works in Rome through the eyes of a new generation of scholars.

“While the authors employ an assortment of methodologies, each chapter offers something new by presenting an alternative iconographic reading of familiar works, offering different contextual insights, exploring an innovative theme or presenting fresh observations from close visual analysis,” Smithers said.

Smithers herself contributed to the collection, providing a student-friendly essay titled “Michelangelo’s Suicidal Stone,” an anecdotal portrait, which explored not only Michelangelo’s reactions to his peers and friends, but also the reactions of others—patrons, collectors, art writers, artists, and stones alike—to him.

More information on “Michelangelo in the New Millennium” can be found by visiting The book, which is now available, can be purchased on, as well as and other retailers.

For more information on the APSU Department of Art and Design, visit

Don't miss Heather Spalding's senior exhibition in Gallery 108

Don't miss Heather Spalding's senior exhibition in Gallery 108

Professor Barry Jones to exhibit “Lesson 2” at the Rebecca Randall Bryan Gallery at Coastal Carolina University

Austin Peay Art & Design

APSU Art Students Take their Place Among the Best in Nashville’s Cummins Station Exhibit


Austin Peay Art & Design

“Elmo is Dead” by Sophia Eisenbart


For the first time ever APSU will join Vanderbilt University, Watkins College of Art and Design and MTSU in showcasing Middle Tennessee’s finest undergraduate artworks in the heart of Nashville as part of Cummins Station and Track 13’s Annual Student Exhibition in the heart of Nashville. This exhibition will feature the fine work of 8 APSU Studio Art students and showcase a wide range of media. Located next to the Frist Center for Visual Arts in the heart of Nashville, this exhibit is organized by the Cummins Station’s Community Arts Program

The opening reception for this exhibition is next Friday, April 22nd from 4-7pm and the exhibit will be on display for the next year.

Address: 209 10th Ave South, Nashville, TN 37203

Participating students:

·      Sophia Eisenbart – Large-scale collage

·      Zach Felts – Drawings

·      Amber Briggs – Sculpture

·      Kelli Rohling – Sculpture

·      Khari Turner – Sculpture

·      Sara Straussberger – Photograph

·      Amy Dean – Drawings

·      Josh Hooper – Oil paintings

For questions contact:
Paul Collins:

Professor Susan Bryant has two photographs included in “Wet Plate” at the A Smith Gallery

Austin Peay Art and Design

Two of Professor Susan Bryant’s images have been selected into A Smith Gallery’s “wet plate” national juried exhibit May 6 – July 3, 2016. This is one of the two accepted photographs. It is titled, Italian Gesture #41, 2015. It is a digital print made from a scan of a wet plate collodion tintype.

APSU Art Students Nicole Santoyo, Macon St. Hilaire, and Matt Watkins present at NCUR

NCUR Art 2016

Nicole Santoyo, Macon St. Hilaire, and Matt Watkins (pictured from left to right) present their research and creative projects at the National Council on Undergraduate Research held in Asheville, NC April 7-10, 2016.

The Department of Art & Design is pleased to present “The Saponification of the Soul”, Josh Evans’s Senior Exhibition

Austin Peay Art and Design

The Department of Art & Design is pleased to present “Breathing Room”, Heather Spalding’s Senior Exhibition

Austin Peay Art and Design

Dr. Tamara Smithers presents research in Boston

Austin Peay Art and Design

Dr. Tamara Smithers presents aspects of her current research project on the cult of Raphael in a paper entitle “The Artistic Apotheosis of Raphael” at the annual Renaissance Society of America conference in Boston March 30-April 3. Upon Raphael’s premature death in 1520, humanists penned countless letters and poems celebrating his otherworldly creative capabilities. In the decades and centuries to follow, interment near the master and renovations made to his tomb in the Pantheon solidified real or desired connections to Raphael’s artistic legacy as “Pictorum Principis,” Prince of Painters. Further illustrating the power of proximity and physical association with the artist, members of the Roman art academy, the Accademia di San Luca, lined up each year on the celebration day for St. Luke, patron saint of painters, to ceremoniously touch their brush to the most venerated relic in their possession: a skull believed to be Raphael’s. The cult-like commemoration of Raphael positioned him as a divine figurehead for the Academy from its foundation in the late sixteenth century to his exhumation and reburial in 1833. The veneration of Raphael exhibited a new type of admiration for an artist, an artistic apotheosis.

The 48th Annual Student Juried Exhibition is now open. Pictured is a detail of "Manage Well" by Amber Briggs

The 48th Annual Student Juried Exhibition is now open. Pictured is a detail of "Manage Well" by Amber Briggs

Seed Space and APSU’s Department of Art & Design present “Personal Geographies”

Austin Peay Art and Design

Silo Room at Track One
1201 4th Ave South
Saturday, April 2, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Seed Space and Austin Peay State University’s Department of Art and Design are pleased to present Personal Geographies, a group exhibition featuring work by APSU students enrolled in printmaking and sculpture courses. Personal Geographies is an installation that opens a public discussion concerning the relationship of place to memory. We invent the world we live in based on our unique sensory perceptions, our experiences, our attitudes, and our biases. The need to record a spatial relationship to the known world – to locate oneself both geographically and metaphysically in the universe – is intrinsic to the human condition.

Through writing exercises and in-class discussions, students identified meaningful internal and external spaces. The landscapes and signage exhibited represent visual translations of personal geographies. The students then constructed the landscapes from handmade pulp. The posted signs were printed on handmade paper using wood type from the Goldsmith Press and Rare Type Collection at Austin Peay State University.

This show is curated by art professors Cynthia MarshVirginia Griswold, and the students at APSU, and is part of the Nashville Fine Arts collaborative initiative between Seed Space and middle Tennessee cultural institutions and university fine art departments.

This exhibition will be open April 2 – April 9. See it during regular Seed Space office hours (Monday and Wednesday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.) or by appointment.

New exhibit in Nashville showcases APSU graphic design and animation students and faculty

Austin Peay Art & Design

The Austin Peay State University Department of Art and Design will showcase the work of its students and faculty during April’s First Saturday Art Crawl in Nashville. The Department of Art and Design will present the exhibition, “Where the Wild Things Are,” on April 2 in Nashville’s L Gallery, in the heart of Nashville’s art district.

The exhibition will highlight the contributions of first year faculty Patrick Gosnell (graphic design), Rachel Bush (graphic design) and Scott Raymond (animation). The presentation will feature a variety of graphic design installations, including new work by APSU graphic design students. The exhibit will also present multi-projection animations featuring creature explorations and a celebration of the guiding principles of animation by current APSU animation students.

The reception and viewing hours for the exhibition will be from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, in Suite 73 of Nashville’s Arcade, located between 4th and 5th avenues, off Church Street in Downtown Nashville.

This show is made possible through generous support of APSU’s Faculty Senate Student Academic Success Initiative Award program.

For more information on this exhibition, which is free and open to the public, contact Paul Collins, APSU associate professor of art, at