THE FOCUS

Amelia Briggs: So you maintain a studio here and at school? McLean Fahenstock: Right now I’m working a lot at Austin Peay because I’m doing a lot of building and a lot of stuff that’s too toxic to do in an environment like this, because this is the base floor of a three story building and there are other people in here that probably should be breathing what I’m working with. But when school starts, I will hav...

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Carrie Hull: So, you mentioned that you grew up in Tennessee, in the Nashville area, and you studied in Mississippi and then Chicago. Has returning to Tennessee affected your work in a significant way? Molly Barnes: Oh, drastically. So, I was in Mississippi, I met my husband there, and I had really just gotten my feet wet in trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I made these big white pieces that were Agnes Martin inspired, and was...

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Recently, David Onri Anderson and I sat down and discussed his work over a cup of coffee. I first discovered David’s work when he showed at Fluorescent Gallery in Knoxville where I was the Assistant to the Director. Since then, I’ve been invested in his work and also his ideas as an artist. David is also a curator at Mild Climate in the Packing Plant building in Nashville. He helps promote contemporary art in the city and also keep...

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Rachel Bubis: You describe yourself as “a hunter and gatherer of images.” Are these both digital and physical? Where do you keep them? Jered Sprecher: Yes, both digital and physical images. A good friend of mine, who is also an artist, talks about being in the studio even when you are not physically in the studio. I really take that to heart. I am always looking for things that are engaging to the eye and the mind. I take a lot...

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Ashley Layendecker: How long have you been making this type of work and why? Dwayne Butcher: I used to spend so much time thinking about color; the right color. I would think about the color and the color matching the phrase. Then some people didn't like the color but liked the phrase. When we moved to Baltimore, I was working on a show and we moved across the street from the Baltimore Museum of Art, the BMA. They had a...

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Clare Grill was the Artist in Residence at the School of Art in Knoxville Tennessee this past semester. As a working artist in NYC, she came to UT to teach classes for undergrad and graduate students. I first heard Clare Grill talk about her work at a artist lecture held by the university. I was intrigued by her willingness to be vulnerable about her process in making her work as well as her journey to where she is now. This...

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Rachel Bubis: As a TN native who has been living and working here many years as an artist and curator, how do you take the temperature of the current art scene in TN? Do you notice any similarities or differences between the Memphis and Nashville communities? Hamlett Dobbins: I haven’t been able to travel as much as I used to when I was working as a curator. I think the energy and activism in the Memphis art community ebbs an...

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Rachel Bubis: You’re a Painter. But you seem to approach painting in a very specific and deliberate way, with the intention of re-contextualizing the medium. Would you say this is accurate? John Tallman: Yes, that’s right. If we unpack this specificity in terms painting, I would say it started with [Jackson] Pollock. Pollock took paint as it was, he didn’t try to falsify the characteristics of the paint. He put the liquidity in the center of his wo...

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