Art Exhibitions

TAA Featured Exhibitions

Information and Related Activities

In 2021, the Tennessee Arts Academy is proud to sponsor three virtual visual art exhibitions.


In co-sponsorship with the Watkins College of Art at Belmont University and the Leu Art Gallery, the Tennessee Arts Academy is proud to present a virtual professional art exhibition entitled, Through the Achromatic Lens: GARY CHAPMAN. This exhibition will be made available for viewing to all TAA participants during the 2021 Tennessee Arts Academy in July. The artist will also present a virtual “Artist Talk” on Monday and Wednesday during the Academy sessions.

Through the Achromatic Lens: GARY CHAPMAN

May 24–September 03, 2021
Watkins College of Art at Belmont University

Gary Chapman
Artist Statement

Working in black and white has been a part of my repertoire for more than thirty-five years. However, as a primarily conceptual-based, figurative painter, I have typically regarded this black and white work as peripheral to my main body of work. 

For the last ten years, I have been teaching charcoal workshops at various universities, galleries, and museums. It has only been in the last three or four years that I have allowed these experiences and processes to bleed over into my main work—particularly in my CONSTRUCTIONS and Black Metal series.

I was intrigued and excited when the Tennessee Arts Academy and Belmont University’s Watkins College of Art invited me to create a virtual exhibition with a focus on my black and white work. The exhibition highlights five distinct bodies of work:

            The Charcoal Drawings

            The Black Metal Series

            The Firmament: Falling Floating Flying

           108 Black Paintings and the COTA Project

            The CONSTRUCTIONS Series

Gary Chapman


Artist Biography
Gary Chapman is an artist and professor of painting and drawing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Chapman has had more than seventy solo exhibitions with institutions including the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, the Arts Center of St. Petersburg in Florida, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Georgia, and the Indianapolis Art Center. He has also participated in numerous group and invitational exhibitions with regional, national, and international venues. Chapman was awarded and named a Joan Mitchell CALL Legacy Artist in 2013 and has received numerous grants and fellowships, including a 1996 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Painting from the Southern Arts Federation. His work has been reviewed extensively and is published in more than twenty catalogs and books, including the four editions of New American Paintings.

Artist Talk

Monday • July 12, 2021 • 4:30 - 5:00 PM
Wednesday • July 14, 2021 • 3:00 - 3:30 PM

The artist talk will be made available to all Tennessee Arts Academy participants over the TAA virtual platform.

Through the Achromatic Lens: GARY CHAPMAN is co-sponsored by Watkins College of Art at Belmont University and is made possible by generous gifts from the Watkins College of Art at Belmont University; Solie Fott; Kem Hinton, in honor of Solie Fott; and the Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation.


During the 2021 Tennessee Arts Academy, student and teacher artwork will be exhibited online in virtual exhibitions. Each afternoon at 4:30 PM (July 12th-16th) various student artist winners will present their work during the TAA Interlude period.

Tennessee’s Best of the Best Student Art Exhibition
The Tennessee Arts Academy is pleased to offer a student art exhibit as part of its summer enrichment experience. Tennessee’s Best of the Best Student Art Exhibition is a collection of the best pieces in various media by student artists from the three grand divisions of the state. The students whose work will be featured have won college scholarships for their achievements and have had their work exhibited in museums throughout the state of Tennessee.

Connections: Tennessee Art Education Association Member Exhibition
Connections features artwork created by Tennessee art educators who are members of the Tennessee Art Education Association. The juried exhibition offers teachers the opportunity to display their talents and to be honored for their accomplishments. The Tennessee Arts Academy provides the venue, encourages its visual art particpants to submit artwork, and incorporates the exhibition into its annual summer programming.

The art educator exhibition also serves as an excellent way to highlight the many “Connections” that help make this show so special. Of particular importance is the relationship between exemplary student artwork and the creativity and skill level of the teachers, who are the ones providing ongoing instruction, mentorship and guidance to aspiring young artists on a daily basis.


Best of the Best student artist winners will be interviewed online and will have an opportunity to display and comment on their artwork each day at 4:30 PM during the Tennessee Arts Academy. The sessions will be hosted by Jim Dodson and Patricia Hudson. Time and Dates: July 12-16, 2021 at 4:30 PM over the TAA virtual platform.


A recognition ceremony will be held during the Tennessee Arts Academy to honor the teacher participants whose work will be seen in the Connections exhibition.

Time and Date: TBA

Tennessee’s Best of the Best Student Art Exhibition and Connections: Tennessee Art Education Association Member Exhibition are co-sponsored by the Tennessee Arts Education Association.

Special thanks to Jim Dodson, the 2021 TAA Best of the Best coordinator and the founder and creator of the Best of the Best and Connections exhibitions; Belmont University Director of Galleries, Katie Mitchell; and, Watkins College of Art at Belmont University, James Pierce, Dean.