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Art + Design News and Events


Dr. Tony Morris to Present a Lunchtime Lecture on December 7 at 10 a.m.

Dr. Tony Morris Lunchtime Lecture 


Professor Rachel Bush Presents "Humor is No Laughing Matter" at the Customs House Museum on December 13 at 12:15 PM

Professor Rachel Bush - Humor is No Laughing Matter

Free Admission to Program; In the Turner Auditorium

Rachel Bush is currently an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN. In this presentation, Rachel will be talking about using humor in graphic design and its influence on creativity in visual communication. She completed her undergraduate studies in Graphic Design at Morehead State University in 2008, and obtained her Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the University of Memphis in 2014. 

Prior to obtaining her masters, Rachel was the sole graphic designer at the University of Charleston in Charleston, West Virginia. Rachel’s clients include the Nashville Zoo, Young Life, United States Department of Agriculture Conservation Department, The Salvation Army, Kroger Helping Hands, University of Memphis Art Museum, Prime Fitness, and the City of Clarksville. Rachel continues to study humor as an effective method of visual communication and its influence on creativity in the graphic design classroom. She completed her thesis on the subject of humor, entitled “Humor is No Laughing Matter.”



Professor Barry Jones included in Art as Information at The Delaware Contemporary

Newsbreak by Professor Barry Jones

Art as Information
Group Video Exhibition
The Delaware Contemporary
November 21, 2017 — January 26, 2018

Video art is a genre that has moved in the last thirty years from the margins of contemporary art to its mainstream. As a result, the moving image has equally become ubiquitous in daily life. Through the points of tangency in television screens and the internet we have come to trust these conduits of reality as fact. Media has built that trust from the early days of Walter Cronkite to the boom of independent documentaries in the 90s and 2000s. The 24-hour news cycle changed the way journalism gets presented on television, and as such challenged the establishment of trust in information.

Art As Information looks at our relationship with video, the screen, and the information generated by them. All art is informative of something, but this exhibition focuses on the televisual experience of creating and transmitting knowledge through mass media. The artists included in the exhibition have either built on the established means of information in the screen century, or they have subverted the traditional conveyance of information. Art As Information will mix these two approaches together and challenge the viewer’s sense of what is true and what isn’t in our “post-fact” society.


The New Gallery Presents the Faculty Triennial

The Faculty Triennial in the New Gallery

Next month, Austin Peay State University’s The New Gallery, with support from the APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts and the APSU Department of Art + Design, will present the Faculty Triennial, an exhibition celebrating the artwork of current Art + Design faculty.

This year has brought many celebrations to the Department of Art + Design. In August, the new Art + Design building opened its doors to students with new studio classrooms and new exhibition spaces. This February will mark the department’s 75th anniversary. The department was formed when Austin Peay Normal School became Austin Peay State College, making it one of the oldest departments on campus.

“Visual art has shaped and expanded the minds of the Austin Peay student and surrounding community for nearly eight decades – a feat that is impossible without the research, talent and dedication of the art faculty, and the support of the University and the Center of Excellence,” Michael Dickins, gallery director for The New Gallery, said. “Continuing one’s art practice is essential. It is how the faculty of Art + Design further define their craftsmanship and skills that they then can pass along to the students in the classroom. The Faculty Triennial exhibition gives the students, University colleagues and the community a chance to experience recent work created by the APSU Art + Design faculty.”

The list of faculty in this year’s triennial include: Rusty Barwick, Kell Black, Susan Bryant, Rachel Bush, Paul Collins, Dawn Martin Dickins, Michael Dickins, McLean Fahnestock, Jessica Fife, Patrick Gosnell, Virginia Griswold, Barry Jones, Desmond Lewis, Cindy Marsh, Scott Raymond, Billy Renkl, Karen Seapker, Ken Shipley, Dr. Tamara Smithers, Dr. Jennifer Snyder, AJ Sutton, Patrick Vincent, David Walker and Donna Woodley.

The exhibit opens Nov. 6 at The New Gallery, located in the APSU Art + Design building, and runs through Dec. 6. There will be a closing reception 5-7 p.m. on Dec. 6, and that event is open to the public. As part of Clarksville’s First Thursday Art Crawl, The New Gallery will be open from 5-7 p.m. on Nov. 2, with a special preview of the work. All are welcome.

Hours for The New Gallery are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on weekends and holidays, and the gallery follows the university’s academic calendar. For more information on this exhibition, which is free and open to the public, contact Dickins at dickinsm@apsu.edu.


The Department of Art + Design and CECA annouce Andrew Scott Ross as the 2017-18 recipient of the Tennessee Artist Fellowship

Andrew Scott RossThe Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts (CECA, or “seek-ah”) is pleased to announce that Andrew Scott Ross, of Johnson City, is the 2017-18 recipient of the Tennessee Artist Fellowship.

The CECA Tennessee Artist Fellowship was created to celebrate contemporary art and to support the continued creative work of exceptional Tennessee artists. Unlike other fellowships, nominations and applications from artists are not solicited. A committee of APSU faculty compiles a list of outstanding artists from across the state from which the fellowship recipient is selected. Through support from CECA, the selected artist receives $5,000 to aid in the creation of new artwork and $2,000 for an artist lecture at a future date.

“Since APSU is the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts for the entire state of Tennessee, we wanted to find a way to support artists state-wide,” Barry Jones, chair of the APSU Department of Art and Design, said. “There is an incredible amount of amazing artists here, but unfortunately there isn’t much financial support for them. We hope that this fellowship helps a Tennessee artist maintain their practice and to know that we support what they are doing.”

Ross received his BFA from the Atlanta College of Art and his MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He subsequently studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and is currently an associate professor in drawing at East Tennessee State University. 

“We were highly impressed with Ross’ work,” a member of the selection committee said. “His gritty, yet refined, work is conceptually layered and rich with texture, and his drawings transcend the two-dimensional surface we associate with drawing media. His manipulation of the drawing surface into large-scale installations, along with his dedication in constructing a personal visual language, is what made him the top choice for this year’s fellowship. We’re excited that contemporary drawing is alive and well in Tennessee.”

Ross has exhibited throughout the United States and abroad, including The Museum of Arts and Design in New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in Atlanta, The Guggenheim Museum in New York, The Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, The Knoxville Museum of Art and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

His work has been reviewed in publications such as Art in America, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Sculpture Magazine and the Village Voice. Recently, his work was included in the 2017 Atlanta Biennial (ATLBNL) at the Atlanta Contemporary, and the curated section of the Art on Paper exhibit at the Weatherspoon Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Past recipients of the CECA Tennessee Artist Fellowship include Alicia Henry, Nashville, and Maysey Craddock, Memphis. For information on the CECA Tennessee Artist Fellowship, contact Janice Crews, director of CECA, at crewsj@apsu.edu. To stay informed of upcoming CECA events, including Ross’ upcoming artist talk, please visit www.apsu.edu/ceca or follow it on social media.




Professor Billy Renkl is the 2017 Recipient of the Richard M. Hawkins Award

Professor Billy Renkl

The Richard M. Hawkins Award is Austin Peay State University's highest faculty award for scholarship or creative activity. 










Previous News + Events 


Where have APSU Art + Design alumni gone?
Lorilee Rager
Meet Lorilee Rager

Lorilee Rager is founder of and Chief Creative Problem Solver at Thrive Creative Group, LLC. Her passion for design began at a young age. As a farmer’s daughter raised in Allensville, KY, Lorilee found a creative outlet in drawing and photography. Eventually, she would grow up to attend Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN where she would earn her BFA in Graphic Design.

Robb Fladry
Meet Robb Fladry

Robb currently serves as the Dean of Students at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. Robb is an established designer, artist and filmmaker, working professionally for over 15 years. Robb has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, including the First Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, the BEA Festival for Media Arts in Las Vegas and the Electronic Language International Festivals in Rio de Janeiro (2009) and Sau Paulo (2008).

Alexander Wurts
Meet Alexander Wurts

Alexander Wurts is a digital and interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Eugene, OR. He graduated from Austin Peay State University’s Bachelor of Fine Arts Program in 2014. After graduating, he went on to receive his Master of Fine Arts from University of Oregon. He is a currently a Co-Director at artist-run installation space Ditch Projects in Springfield, Oregon. His work can be viewed online at http://alexanderwurts.com/

Young Kim
MeetYoung Kim

Young Kim received a BFA from APSU and a MFA from the Univeristy of Kentucky. He is currently Associate Professor of Photography at Elon University.

Chris Downes
Meet Chris Downes

Christopher Downes graduated with a BFA from Austin Peay in 1996 and later received a Masters Degree in Fine Art & Design from the Tasmanian School of Art in 2002. He currently works as an editorial cartoonist for The Mercury Newspaper in Hobart, Tasmania as well as regularly contributing illustrations for Crinkling News, an Australian newspaper for children. In 2015, he was awarded the Stanley Award for best editorial/political cartoonist by the Australian Cartoonists Association.