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Collection Connection

Presented by Tennessee State University Department of Art and Design at Hiram Van Gordon Gallery - Tennessee State University, Nashville TN

Aug 09 2021
Sep 10 2021
Collection Connection

The TSU Department of Art and Design presents Collection Connection, artwork, and stories from the TSU Department of Art and Design’s Art and Artifact Collection. The show invites you to consider the many connections formed over the years between students, professors, and artists. The exhibit looks at those that passed through the University’s walls and contributed to the growth and development of the department. Art and artists build on the imagery and ideas before and around them, taking styles and nuances from each other to create something new.

Artists like Art Eubanks and William ‘Bill’ Johnson donated modest collections of work to the department; they were Alumni who realized the importance of creating an impact and legacy for Art and Design for years to come. Professors Samuel Dunson and Michael McBride have spent the majority of their careers as TSU faculty members, influencing others while building their distinct styles. Frances E. Thompson also served the University and taught/influenced untold numbers of art students from 1923 to 1969, even creating the University seal and many reliefs you might see around campus. 

Student work makes up a large part of the Art and Artifact Collection. While at TSU, Nuveen Barwari copied a picture from the archives of students in a classroom dating 1940/50, similar to her taking images from her family and cultural heritage, adding paint and fabric. The work becomes an honor of those that came before and contributed to the University’s story. In viewing the show, you will learn a little about each piece and how they might connect to the next. 

Greg Ridley is known for his copper repoussé, influencing many at TSU and Fisk alike. He is most noted for his depictions of Nashville’s history housed at the public library in the Grand Reading Room and his teaching career that lasted from 1951 until his death in 2004. You see artist Art Eubanks working in multiple mediums, including honoring his instructor, Ridley, with his repoussé studies. 

They have included items from the African artifacts donated by Dr. Richards and Mrs. Sharon Edwards and The Ruth Witt Collection. These collectors and benefactors wanted to expand the information and purview of our students, generously gifting masks to musical instruments from different times and regions. How do these items impact and spark for years to come. Connection Collection looks at who left their mark on the Department of Art and Design, how to build on what comes before, and what can be learned through art viewing and narrative. 

The show will be on view in the Hiram Van Gordon Gallery August 9 to September 10, 2021.

Visit here for directions.

Source: TSU Department of Art


Free Admission

    Official Website


Additional time info:

Reception Thursday, September 2, 6pm-8pm. 

Gallery Hours (Beginning August 16th, 2021) Monday through Thursday 8am - 2pm.

* Event durations (if noted) are approximate. Please check with the presenting organization or venue to confirm start times and duration.


Hiram Van Gordon Gallery - Tennessee State University

3500 John Merritt Blvd, Elliott Hall, Room 118, Nashville, TN 37209

Full map and directions

CONNECT WITH Tennessee State University Department of Art and Design


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