The University of Tennessee faculty art show, "Professional Practices," opened Monday, Sept. 13, 2021 at the Ewing Gallery in the Art and Architecture building. The exhibited art includes work by faculty members Joshua Bienko, Paule Lee, Christopher McNulty, Althea Murphy-Price and Koichi Yamamoto among many others.
The UT School of Art and the Ewing Gallery have done the faculty art show either fully or partially for the past few years, bringing faculty and students together. Because of several changes within the last few years — including a new department head, Christopher McNulty — the School of Art has not been able to truly put on a full show for several years now.
The last full exhibition premiered in 2014, making this year's exhibition an important milestone for the School of Art. Sarah McFalls, a staff member at the Ewing Gallery, works to install and bring the exhibit together. She also makes and designs the catalog to document the faculty’s art presented in the show. McFalls explained the purpose and motive of Professional Practices.
“Professional Practices showcases the recent work produced by tenured studio faculty working in the School of Art,” McFalls said. “Each faculty member's art is a visual culmination of their personal, ongoing research, and is akin to writing a book or article, or making a presentation on their work.”
“Faculty art exhibitions are important because they give the students an opportunity to see the work of their teachers in person. It is also an opportunity for faculty to see (the) new work of their colleagues.”
Faculty member Althea Murphy-Price described her work, a printed piece, on display in the gallery.
“A combination of both analog and digital technologies, which results in a number of different visual outcomes. The role that variation plays in black-American hair culture is a subject I often consider in my research,” Murphy-Price said.
Murphy-Price also shared her ideas on the importance of the exhibit.
“Our practices are so diverse, this exhibit provides a great survey of contemporary fine art,” Murphy-Price said.
The show not only allows teachers to showcase their artwork, but also allows students to see their teacher’s talents on display. Exhibitions like Professional Practices can draw in new students and faculty by showcasing the wide variety of talents both students and staff possess at the University of Tennessee.
“This exhibition is a visual presentation of the research of our faculty,” McFalls said. “The faculty catalogue and exhibition installation images will be used as a publicity and recruiting tool for the School of Art.”
Along with the overall benefit the produced art has on the university, the catalog McFalls works to produce is also important for research in the art history department.
Professional Practices will be on display in the Ewing Gallery — located on the first floor of the Art and Architecture building — until Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.