Pellissippi State moves annual student art exhibition online, faculty featured in downtown gallery 

Charcoal drawing of skeleton
Pellissippi State student Rebeca Ortiz‘s charcoal drawing Macabre Royalty is Best in Show at this year’s Juried Student Art Exhibition.

Those who never have made it out to Pellissippi State Community College for an art exhibition have a unique opportunity to view a variety of works from the comfort of their own home this year. 

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Pellissippi State is offering its Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition online through May 3. This is the first time the exhibition has been held virtually. 

Art Professor Jennifer Brickey built the exhibition in Microsoft Sway, which allows viewers to see the student works as a slideshow, with the ability to choose whether the works stay on screen anywhere between 3 and 60 seconds. Viewers also can take the exhibit off loop and click through the works manually. 

The options are visible to viewers by moving the computer’s cursor or mouse to the lower righthand corner of the screen. 

“This annual exhibition exemplifies the hard work of both the students and the Art faculty,” Brickey said. “This exhibition is even more unique because it demonstrates the hard work and perseverance of both our Art faculty and students during one of the most trying years. I am very proud of this exhibition. It is truly a testament to the strength of the Art department. 

Any Pellissippi State student who had an Art class during the last two years was welcome to apply for the exhibition. The works were chosen this year by Pellissippi State’s Art faculty: Professor Brickey, Professor Jeff Lockett, Associate Professor Caroline Covington and Professor Herb Rieth. 

Thirty-one works were selected for this year’s exhibition. Rebeca Ortiz was awarded Best in Show and $500 for her charcoal drawing Macabre Royalty. As is the tradition, the winning artwork was purchased by Pellissippi State for its permanent collection that is displayed on campus. 

While Pellissippi State Art students have their works displayed online this year, all four Pellissippi State Art faculty have works on exhibit at the UT Downtown Gallery through April 30. 

Lockett, Covington, Rieth and Brickey are featured in Community of Eight with full-time Art faculty from Roane State and Walters State community colleges. 

“Pellissippi State and University of Tennessee Art faculty have always had a strong partnership, and both institutions play a significant role in cultivating the next generation of artists in our region,” said Covington, who serves as the Art program coordinator for Pellissippi State. “The Community of Eight exhibition demonstrates that we’re not just faculty — we’re also working artists. The skills we teach are integral to our own artistic practices, and I am so grateful to be a part of a show that showcases all of those skills in one place.” 

The UT Downtown Gallery is a contemporary art gallery exhibiting professional work through funding and support from the University of Tennessee. The gallery is located at 106 S. Gay Street, and all events are free and open to the public. Hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. 

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