The libraries at both Tennessee State University campuses are hosting intriguing art exhibitions this fall. One, at the Brown-Daniel Library on the TSU Main Campus, features a Jamaica-born, Nashville-based artist. The other, entitled Good Folk, in the library of the TSU Avon Williams Campus downtown, is a group show of five artists with close ties to TSU and North Nashville. Meet the Good Folk artists at an Opening Reception during TSU Homecoming Week, Thursday, October 17 from 12 Noon until 2:00 pm.
Good Folk is a group show which includes five figurative artists intimately connected with North Nashville in general, and Tennessee State University specifically. As colleagues, contemporaries and above all friends, these artists tell a collective story of Nashville that most do not see and many do not recognize. This Gathering of Artists has built careers on telling the story of North Nashville and beyond. The artists displaying at the Avon Williams Library are (alphabetically): Omari Booker, Sam Dunson, Jamal Jenkins, Joseph Love III, and Donna Woodley.
Here is more information about each of the Good Folk artists and their work:
Omari Booker is a TSU grad who embraces his process-oriented approach to art with a therapeutic modality, through which he is able to express his passion for the freedom and independence that the creative process allows him to experience. His art is his personal therapy, and his desire is that those viewing it will have personal experiences of catharsis.
Jamal (Jay) Jenkins, also known as Woke 3, was raised in North Nashville (Norf). Woke 3, who received his Bachelors of Science from TSU in 2016, is a studio artist, muralist, creator of Norf Wall Fest and founding member of the Norf Art Collective. Woke 3 creates works that on one hand seem familiar, tangible and comforting. But once you engage the work further, you become one with the gravity of his work, and you become changed by the experience.
Joseph (“doughjoe”) Love III, of the Norf Art Collective, works to impact the North Nashville community as well as Metropolitan Nashville through the arts. As an advocate for the North Nashville community, doughjoe is a member of a team that organized the Jefferson Street Community Health Fair and the monthly Jefferson Street Art Crawl. As another founding member of the Norf Collective, he can be described as no less than A Student. An Observer. A Scientist. An Artist. An Educator. An Activist. An Organizer. A Curator. A Ninja.
Samuel Dunson, an Associate Professor of Art and graduate of TSU, has been connected to Nashville since 1988. His work has a tendency to deal with accepting and then overcoming changes that occur throughout life. He strives to discern these changes through his paintings, sculptures, and videos. Samuel’s work has become a coping mechanism that allows him to express his feelings and emotions within artistic means. Though he narrates his own stories, his work attempts to be
universal in its comprehension.
Donna Woodley loves painting the figure. It is an expression of her interests in people, their background, experiences, the unknown, and the physical elements and uniqueness of each individual person. More specifically, she enjoys painting people who are important to her which is a major part of her practice. This includes photo shoots of the ladies that are fun and energetic and usually involves conversations about any number of topics. In her work, the goal is to capture a likeness of the model as well as to conjure an emotion consistent with each woman’s personality.
On the main campus, see the work of Larrie Brown, a Jamaican native, who won first place in an all island competition and earned a scholarship to attend the Jamaica School of Art (Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts) graduating with distinction in 1983. His great artistic skills was exhibited at an early age becoming the first and only student to manage the Buff Bay High School Art Department. Brown received training as an Art teacher and taught art at his local high school.
Brown hosted an exhibition at the St. Ann’s Bay Gallery after graduation and created opportunities for various assignments and commissions including forensic drawings for the Jamaica Police Force Criminal Investigation Department. He was also commissioned by the Government of Jamaica to create portraits of several prominent political figures from Jamaica’s colonial past, as well as contemporary personalities, including prime ministers, national heroes, and the Government General – all are currently housed in the Jamaica Trust.
An emigrant to the United State in the 1980’s Brown brought his passion for art and his exceptional talent. His work represents a spectrum of styles from traditional to modern, and he is equally at ease rendering landscapes, portraits, still lives, market scents, seascapes, river scents and figurative drawings. Larrie Brown’s enveloping and intense artwork will be displayed at Tennessee State University at Brown Daniel Library until December 2, 2019.