When Sarah, our gallery director, asked me if I was attending Vanderbilt’s Senior Art Show, I will shamefully admit that my response was: “Oh, how interesting…I don’t think I’ve ever been to the show.” It was only mere months ago that I urged my peers to cultivate an interest in art collecting, or criticized the traces of sexism that still pervade our art world. While I won’t self-flagellate on this blog, I will say that I have been a bit hypocrtical and patronizing–how can I motivate the collegiate masses, while I am safely ensconced in my office chair surrounded by art, but not producing it? Perhaps I have been perched so high on my soapbox, that I haven’t been able to appreciate that young adults are not only collecting art, but starting their own art careers within Vanderbilt’s boundaries.
Just a brief background: Vanderbilt’s spring Senior Art Show–in the E. Bronson Ingram Studio Art Center–is an exhibition which provides senior art majors with the chance to showcase their portfolios to both a panel of judges, and the greater Nashville community. The exhibit opened yesterday, April 22nd, and will show until Friday, May 13th. Honors and awards include the $25,000 Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamblet award, the Allen P. DeLoach Award for Photography, and the Mid-South Ceramics and Plaza Artist Materials.The gallery also opens up wall space for works from all Vanderbilt studio art majors. One of Tinney’s very own artists–Nicole Pietrantoni–was honored with a merit award in 2003. For a glimpse of past winners, click here.
The most exciting aspect of the Hamblet Award? In 2008, it provided the winner with the chance to travel the world, and make artwork for a full year. I know that we hesitate to think that artwork is invaluable, and we don’t care to imagine budding artists pitted against one another for a financial prize; however, it is undeniable the window of opportunities this award opens up. As the neuroscience student gets the chance to pursue his/her research through XYZ Fellowship, the young artist should also have the chance to travel off the beaten path, and expand his/her anthology. What better way to get inspiration, than by wandering under the twinkling lights of Tokyo streets, or careening through Calcutta’s famed Kolkata district? And all this through a university-run competition? Now, I definitely have to make a pilgrimage to the Ingram Studio Art Center.
Vanderbilt’s Senior Art Show will be showing until Friday, May 13th. Gallery hours are Monday thru Friday, 9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M., and Saturday and Sunday, from 12:00 – 4:00 P.M. The E. Bronson Ingram Studio Art Center can be found at 1204 25th Ave. South at Garland, Suite 240.