Two new faculty members are showcasing the wide scope of their careers at a newly opened art exhibit in the Leu Center for the Visual Arts.
The exhibit, “Greetings and Salutations,” features several works from assistant professors Casey Schachner and Brandon Williams, both of whom were present to discuss their work at a reception in Gallery 121 Thursday afternoon.
Schachner’s work primarily consisted of mixed media sculptures, with various materials working in tandem to create striking visuals. Several pieces involved environmental themes and evoked the sort of nostalgia that Schachner feels for her Florida home.
“I think, probably, Nashvillians can relate to that tourist versus toured, sort of, dynamic,” Schachner said. “There’s this reality and there’s this fantasy where the two come together, and so that’s kind of the space I was investigating.”
One of Schachner’s standout works was a sculpture of a seashell. It’s simple and effective upon first glance, but the shell contained a speaker. Instead of the serene sound of waves, though, the speaker plays persistent chatter and the white noise of a bustling crowd — a more realistic soundscape for a coastline packed with tourists.
Even Schachner’s more straightforward pieces, like the glass lawn chairs featured in the exhibit, showcase an impressive level of expertise and serve the themes Schachner used in her work well.
Williams’ work approaches comparable themes, but from a very different angle. Williams showcased a series of monochromatic prints depicting abandoned homes slowly being consumed by overgrowth.
“So these, at one point, sort of dominated over nature,” Williams said. “When the humans are taken away from it, it’s just that battle between the built environment and the natural environment.”
Prints like “Moving On” and “Not That Simple” stood out as particularly poignant, featuring stark black-and-white environments rendered with sharp, etched lines and grainy textures.
Williams discussed how he titled his work as well, calling it “collaborative.” He would ask his friends what they thought a particular piece conveyed, and then title it based on what they brought up, he said.
“Greetings and Salutations” will be on display and free for students to visit in the Leu Center for the Visual Arts until Dec. 6.
This article written by Justin Wagner. Photos by Chloe Eberhardt.