An opening reception will be held at the Allison Gallery in Rankin House at Tusculum College for an exhibition of the work of Deborah Bryan, assistant professor of art at the College. The reception will be held on Friday, October 2 from 4-6 p.m.
The exhibit, “Detritus: Recent Work by Deborah Bryan,” will open Friday, October 2 and run through October 29.
In regard to art work in the exhibit, Bryan stated, “People have noticed that when I walk, I often look down at the ground. Far from a sign of shyness, this actually represents a fascination with discarded, unwanted, lost, misplaced, faded, trampled and frayed objects.”
Bryan added that as a college art professor, she teaches her students that a large part of art is learning to look at the world around them with the eye of an artist, and thus to notice things that others often ignore.
The print series in the exhibit, according to Bryan, takes that philosophy to a logical conclusion, one in which objects that would normally be overlooked, or even thought of as debris, are portrayed as worthy of consideration. The subject matter includes old blossoms, dried and curled leaves, trash, pieces of lichen and a shred of a bird’s nest.
“To contribute to the overall look of the series, I sometime use the backs of old, previously etched copper plates, which often include scratches and odd marks where the etching process for the original print crept onto the back,” said Bryan.
“While my larger work usually involves a narrative, in smaller work, I like to celebrate the structure and intricacies of natural objects such as gumballs in the gutter, beechnut shells discarded by squirrels or saved objects found hiding in boxes in my studio.”
Many of the objects in the Detritus series are specific to or somehow representative of the East Tennessee region, whether they are red bud pods (collected on campus from the Niswonger Commons parking lot), rhododendron blossoms, poplar spears or magnolia pods.
“The beauty of the area is not just what is immediately visible, but what often lurks in the gutter,” said Bryan.