2018: Students capture the turmoil

Lindsey OwenArts 865

Toxic. Misinformation. Justice.


The definition of these three words was how the Oxford Dictionary, Dictionary.com, and Merriam-Webster, respectively, described the past year.

In 2018, social movements were at the forefront of the news with discussions on sexual assault, gun violence, and racial, gender, and sexual inequality. A year later, artwork by 14 student artists interprets the meaning of the words depicting 2018 in a collaborative student juried exhibition.

The show, Toxic. Misinformation. JUSTICE., is a collaboration by students at Fisk University, Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee.

“I think it’s important that we provide opportunities to create community and engage in discussions outside of our region,” said Althea Murphy-Price, associate professor of printmaking. “I think it’s crucial now more than ever that students see we don’t just talk about topics of inclusion and community.”

Artwork by Rachel Doub, Sarah Emory, Celine Gobert, Cole O’Keeffe and Kalyn Roberts represent UT in the exhibition.

Emory, a senior majoring in studio art, contributed photographs from an on-campus protest against white nationalists that occurred in February 2018.

“I wanted to display the contrast between how people look, dressed, appeared – between the riot-gear police and the student body and protesters to talk about how different these sides approached the situation,” Emory said. “I also think that giving a voice to others and ‘megaphoning’ the voices that are already there is really important.”

Other topics in the exhibition include racial and gender identity, self-hatred, and veteran suicide and homelessness. Doub, a studio art senior, created a performative sculpture that expresses her own experience with injustices.

“My work is raising awareness and a sense of empathy for sexual assault victims and a person undergoing an identity crisis or sense of trauma dealing with their identity,” Doub said. “The piece is dealing with the idea of tearing yourself apart and hiding yourself from others.”

The show also includes work by Nuveen Barwari, a TSU graduate and current MFA student in the School of Art at UT.

The work will be displayed at UT’s Student Union Gallery Nov. 1-22, with a reception from 4-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1. Student panel discussions will take place at 3 p.m. before the reception.

Article submitted by Lindsey Owen and the UT School of Art.

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