Dr. Tamara Smithers Awarded Princeton University Research Grant

Dr Smithers has been awarded a Friends of Princeton University Library Research Grant for 2015. She will travel to Princeton this summer to access several rare books from the 18th and 19th-centuries for her Cult of Raphael project.

APSU Art and Design Tammy Smithers

Amber Briggs and Amy Dean awarded APSU Art & Design’s first Student Summer Research Award

The Student Summer Research Award is sponsored by the Austin Peay State University Department of Art & Design and the Center of Excellence in the Creative Arts. It was established to create opportunities for selected art students to conduct studio research during the summer when they might not be registered for classes. The award provides $2500 to two students who propose a well conceived and intriguing body of work. The award will culminate in an exhibition on the campus of APSU in the fall after the award. This is the first year of the award.

The 2015 Summer Research Awards were granted to Amber Briggs and Amy Dean.

The jury was delighted with the quality of the applications! This is the first year for this award, and we didn’t know what to expect; every one of the submissions had merit. A broad range of techniques and sensibilities was represented – from classic documentary photography to performance art, from paintings based on ancient techniques to collaboration as a contemporary art practice. The applications were of a professional level, and ratified for us that our advanced students are already transitioning into their lives as professional artists.

– Professor Billy Renkl, Chair of the Summer Research Award Committee

Amber Briggs will  use the funds to create a body of collaborative works based on her family dynamic. In her proposal she stated “Truly at the heart of this motivation are motherhood and my relationship with my four year old son, Parker”.  She is inspired by her son’s creativity and way of looking at the world.

Amber Briggs APSU Art & Design

Amber Briggs, “Wax Blanket Reprise”, Photograph



Amy Dean will use the award to travel to New York City to gather images to advance her work. Experiencing a crowded, urban, multicultural environment will help put her paintings and drawings into a specific context. In her work, Dean explores her emotional experience of life and the particular way that she sees the world.

Amy Dean APSU Art & Design

Amy Dean, “At the Beach” 27″ x 20″, india ink, gouache, and watercolor

Three APSU art students received Presidential Research Scholarships

APSU art students Macon St. Hilaire, Matt Watkins, and Nicole Santoyo each received Presidential Research Scholarships. Details on their projects are below.


Macon St Hilaire received a scholarship to complete research for her art history project “<Opus Anglicanum>: The Work of the English, Preserving the Bequest of Medieval Embroidery and the Craftswomen Who Made Them.” As an artist, Macon’s artwork has explored legacy and success using the study of Art History and historical studio practices. Research into the Bayeux Tapestry, an example of 11th-century embroidery illustrating the events leading to the Norman Invasion of England, led her to other embroidery works collectively called <Opus Anglicanum>. Translating to the “Work of the English”, <Opus Anglicanum> were expertly crafted embroideries that became highly sought after in church collections creating an economic commodity for the crafters. Her research will uncover the role women had in the creation of <Opus Anglicanum> and how they were exposed to the aesthetic they utilized in the creation of the embroidery that closely resembles other examples of surviving Medieval and Gothic artwork. She plans to travel to London next year to conduct first-hand object and archival research.






Matt Watkins intends to make sculptural models of knots for his PRS project. Knot theory is a field of mathematics that he has been researching independently. Through the process of sculpting knots Matt will be able to visualize mathematical data currently being developed by knot theorists in three dimensions. Courses specializing in knot theory are not currently offered at Austin Peay State University and the opportunity to participate in the Presidential Research Scholar program allows him to further investigate this field.

Matt’s project also gives me an opportunity to work collaboratively with Dr. Ramanjit K. Sahi
​ in the Mathematics Department. We will be co-mentoring him on this project


Nicole Santoyo‘s project “Southern Epic” attempts to examine the peculiarities and strange beauty of Tennessean life without resorting to romanticized cliches and stereotypes. This project aims to be the antidote to the sanitized works of the American Regionalist artists of the 1930s, and provide a fresh and dynamic look at the contemporary South. A series of paintings will be presented as the result of exploring the community and gathering visual imagery and experience.

APSU student Macon St. Hilaire is the Artist of the Month at Yeast Nashville

APSU Art and Design

From the artist…

I am searching for my own place and how the work that I do and the person I am will fit into the wider world. The restless urge I have to travel is combated by my strong desire to understand where I have come from and what traits I have inherited. My artistic practice explores the connections between ancestry, traditions, legacy, and place.

This series of work, icons of the 27 club, came about when I realized after turning 28 that I was now older than Jim Morrison when he died. This realization spawned personal reflection in to my own successes, failures, and legacy. I found a connection in the way that we revere pop cultural figures and skew their lives while living or in death, and the use of Icon paintings of martyrs and saints in medieval and byzantine ecclesiastic settings, this led me to research the art historical tradition of icon paintings and look for a way that I could translates them to reflect contemporary subjects and materials.

As an artist with a strong connection to the past, Marcel Duchamp’s concept of ready-made art reflects the modern availability of artist materials. I am interested in understanding how the material components of an artwork are created. I have conducted and continue to research art historical practices used to manufacture art materials such as pigments, binders, and painting supports. There is an artistic tradition in making all aspects of an artwork that is lost when using manufactured art supplies. I am interested in preserving the inherent traditions of artists and being closer to my work through all steps of art production. I have worked to manipulate the techniques of art tradition with contemporary suburban materials and found objects; this was most successful in my work utilizing Kool-aid drink mix as a pigment for egg tempera paint.

For more information how I made these paintings, please visit: www.maconststudio.com

The Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts presents “Still in Motion”

APSU Art and Design

Allison Hamilton presented on Tlingit war objects at the state Honors Conference

APSU Art and Design

Art Education major Allison Hamilton presented a paper “Objects of Beauty and Destruction: The Art of Tlingit Warfare” at the Tennessee Collegiate Honors Council Conference on Saturday April 18, 2015 hosted this year at APSU (here pictured at the Q&A with two artifacts on loan from Ashley McClelland). She also exhibited a poster on the topic.

Drawing Marathon – April 17, 10:10 a.m. until 10:10 p.m. in Trahern 211

APSU Art and Design

The Department of Art & Design is pleased to present “Other Side of the Mirror”, Jennifer Bayer’s Senior Exhibition

APSU Art & Design Jennifer Bayer

Jennifer Bayer, a BFA degree candidate, will present her senior exhibit, “Other Side of the Mirror” at the APSU Art Department in the Trahern Building, Gallery 108.

This one-week show, opening Monday April 20, 2015 and running through Friday April 24, 2015, is a display of human emotion captured in her sculptures of ceramic rabbits. These rabbits individually mirror an emotion and feeling exhibited during a tumultuous and poignant time in her life where she experienced the fight of cancer that led to the loss of her husband due to cancer.

Jennifer Bayer, otherwise known as JB, illustrates the spectrum of human emotion, where each spectator can personally identify with and relate to a singular moment of their life. Many of her sculptures will be available for purchase during the exhibit, and ready for pick up at the conclusion of the week.

Gallery 108 will be open daily throughout the week from 9:00am – 5:00pm. An opening reception will be held Monday April 20, 2015 from 5:00pm – 8:00pm with refreshments, where the artist will be present to talk about the work.

Art History Projects Showcased at the APSU Presidential Inauguration

APSU Art and Design

Heather Spalding and Macon St. Hilaire showcased their recent art history projects at President White’s inauguration on Monday March 23 in UC (Jenkins Ballroom). Heather’s poster project “Handcrafted Time: Pomo Basketry” was a curation project that brought together 10 different woven art objects made by the Californian Native American tribe from 8 different world museums. Macon’s poster “Suburban Studio: Creating Contemporary Medieval Icons” exhibited her art history research and studio art project which utilized traditional the tradition medium of egg-tempera.

The Department of Art & Design is please to present “Interact” the senior design exhibition of Kaleb Brannan, Amber Coley, Rebecca Fernandez, Kelly Jo Petersen, Alexis Jones, and Michael Shepherd

APSU Art and Design

Six Clarksville graphic designers will be presenting their work in their group show “INTERACT” at APSU’s Trahern Gallery from April 27-30 10am-5pm. An opening reception will be held on April 27th from 5-8pm, and refreshments will be served. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Kaleb Brannan uses design and illustration to present a positive biblical message to the audience. His comic books are inspired by bible stories with a twist of humor and modern elements geared towards a younger audience.

Amber Colley  is featuring a set of books and posters pertaining to learning and encouraging children to read, write and learn. They all contain copious amounts of illustrations to make it visually pleasing while encouraging learning about different languages.

Rebecca Fernandez is presenting hand written motivational sayings with a twist. Each piece is hand-rendered with love and a dose of reality.

Kelly Jo Petersen will be showing her exhibition which includes her full re-branding of a Nashville based bar. Her designs are a mixture of vintage inspiration and modern Americana. Her work will envelope everything from glassware to serving dishes to custom screen-printed t-shirts.

Alexis Jones will be displaying a mock up launch of 3d printed geometric animal puzzles and other promotional items. Her aesthetic is geared towards bold use of color and strong geometric shapes.

Michael Shepherd will show a rebranding project for a game review website for his final exhibition.

For more information about the show, contact the APSU Department of Art at (931) 221-7333

Terminal Announces the Launch of Eclipse by Paul Catanese

Terminal APSU Paul Catanese

Terminal and the Center of Excellence in the Creative Arts at Austin Peay State University are pleased to announce the launch of Eclipse by Paul Catanese. Catanese is a recipient of a 2014 – 2015 Terminal Award. The Terminal Award is granted annually to aid in the creation of new internet based artworks.

Eclipse is an open series of meditative, auto-generative drawing experiments intended for online viewing.

Paul Catanese is a Hybrid Media Artist, Author, Associate Professor, Director of the Interdisciplinary Arts & Media MFA Program at Columbia College Chicago, ISEA International Board Member, and President Emeritus of the New Media Caucus. His artwork has been exhibited widely including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, SFMOMA Artists Gallery, La Villette and Stuttgart Filmwinter. Catanese has received numerous grants and awards, including commissions for the creation of new artwork from Turbulence as well as Rhizome.

Launch Eclipse

Visit Terminal

Terminal is a space sponsored by the Department of Art and the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at Austin Peay State University to showcase and examine internet and new media art.

The site is directed and maintained by Barry Jones, Professor of Art at Austin Peay State University

The Department of Art and Design is pleased to present “Cartoon Life”, Saling Taylor’s Senior Exhibition

APSU Art and Design Saling Taylor

Saling Taylor will be displaying her animated cartoons in the show, “Cartoon Life” at APSU’s Trahern Gallery 108 April 27–30, 2015. The opening reception will take place on Monday, April 27 from 5-8 PM. The exhibition and opening event are free to the public.

Saling uses the computer program Adobe Flash to create her animated cartoons. She sees her cartoons as a form of communication – a type of performance art that does not actually involve speaking or performing in front of a crowd. In Saling’s words, “It’s a way of expressing myself and being able to show others the things I daydream about.”

Saling Taylor is currently a senior in the Studio Art Program at Austin Peay. She will be graduating on May 8 with a BFA Degree. Her focus is Digital Media.

APSU student Amber Briggs has two pieces included in “Artists of the 21st Century”

Amber Briggs APSU Art and Design

Artists of the 21st Century
A Juried Exhibition of Collegiate Student Art
West Tennessee Regional Art Center, Humboldt, Tennessee (WTRAC)
March 30, 2015 – April 24, 2015
April 09, 2015 Opening Reception 5 pm – 7 pm, Juror Talk at 6 pm

The Department of Art welcomes Cedar Nordbye for a visiting artist lecture on April 8

APSU Art and Design

Cedar Nordbye holds M.A. and M.F.A degrees in Drawing and Printmaking from the University of Iowa. He is currently Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee. Nordbye’s work has been shown across North America in exhibitions at Dynamite Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan; NFA Space, Chicago; and the Center for Contemporary Arts, Oakland, California, among others. His work is in the public collections of Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan; the Alma College Print Collection, Alma, Michigan; and the University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, Iowa.

This event is free and open to the public.

The Department of Art & Design and Nashville Fine Arts welcome Paddy Johnson on April 1

APSU Art and Design

Johnson will be speaking at 12:20 in Trahern 420A.