Artist-in-residence exhibition currently at the Appalachian Center for Craft

SMITHVILLE – Tennessee Tech University’s Appalachian Center for Craft artists-in-residence exhibition, “The Center Will Not Hold,” is currently on display in the Dogwood Gallery until March 30.

The exhibition features the works of artists Sarah Davey, Kevin Dotson, Ian Mabry, Lexie Moore, Tate Newfield and Rebecca Smith.

Davey is a contemporary ceramic figure sculptor from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2005 and her Master of Fine Arts in ceramics from the School of Art and Art History at the University of Florida in 2019. Her work explores personal mythology within her ceramic figures to discuss our connection to the environment and physical manifestations of chaotic, internalized spaces. Black and white surfaces layered with acrid greens create a dark and surreal, moody current that runs through her narrative work. She has presented her work in group and solo shows nationally and internationally, National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, art fairs, Urban Nation Contemporary Museum and Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia. 

Dotson received his Master of Fine Arts from Southern Illinois University of Carbondale in 2020 with a focus in blacksmithing and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Florida in 2016 with a focus in sculpture. While working for various shipyards and machine shops all around Florida, his fascination for metal peaked. Blacksmithing and metalsmithing opened up a new realm of possibilities for material manipulation. 

Mabry is a ceramic artist whose sculptural work has ranged from figurative to non-objective. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2009 from the Appalachian Center for Craft and his Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Dakota in 2015. He served for two years as assistant professor of art and gallery director at Dickinson State University in North Dakota. He returns to the Appalachian Center for Craft as the artist-in-residence in clay and is exploring functional pottery along with sculptural forms. 

Moore is a contemporary artist, woodworker and furniture maker from Chattanooga. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in wood from the Appalachian Center for Craft at Tennessee Tech University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in studio art from the Maine College of Art as a low residency student. Her work is informed by traditional craft practices and displays an intricate investigation of dichotomies of form, color, pattern, texture, scale and function. Moore’s work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions across the country. 

Newfield assembles blown glass to create light and amorphic shapes that are simple and coherent. After assembly, each sculpture is painted and becomes a model of movement and flow that denote rhythmic patterns and spatial awareness. In 2018, he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in glass from Rochester Institute of Technology and was awarded first place at the Glass Art Society Student Exhibition in Murano, Italy. In 2019, he received Top Three at the Glass Art Society Members Exhibition in St. Petersburg, Florida. Newfield hopes that those who have feelings or thoughts that are difficult to comprehend can utilize his sculptures to confirm their imagination. 

Smith is an interdisciplinary artist with a practice that spans scale and media. Using textiles as her viewfinder, she investigates chaos, tension and “states of becoming” by abstracting traditional craft and experimenting with memory holding materials. She obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts at The Maryland Institute College of Art in 2012 and her Master of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2020. Her career has traversed industry, television, fine craft and entrepreneurship. Shifting between traditional and non-traditional methodologies, she investigates the collapse and resilience of structure, endured action, allegory and mythic thinking. Smith views craft as a tool for agency, problem solving, and societal progress and commits to life as an artist, educator, student and citizen.

The Dogwood Gallery is open Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 12-5 p.m.

The Appalachian Center for Craft is located at 1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville.

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