Eight Artists of the Vacuum Shop Studios

July 7-28, 2017
Eight Artists of the Vacuum Shop Studios
Opening reception: Friday, July 7, 5:00-9:00 PM

Exhibition hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

The Vacuum Shop Studios (VSS) was founded in January 2013 between the Old North Knoxville and 4th & Gill neighborhoods. Occupying the former location of a vacuum repair shop at 1326 N. Broadway, VSS is a collaborative work space for artists. While the space is primarily used as private artist studios, VSS opens their doors to the public three times a year for open studio nights annually on First Fridays in February, May, and October. VSS has exhibited at Bagwell Gallery (Pellissippi State Community College) and Catron Gallery (Walters State Community College). The exhibition at the Emporium Center marks VSS’s third group exhibition. The Vacuum Shop Studios were voted “Top Artists Workshop/Studio” in the Knoxville Mercury’s “Top Knox 2015 Reader’s Poll.”

Currently, VSS houses eight artists: Eleanor Aldrich, Heather Hartman, Kelly Hider, Ashton Ludden, Erin Mullenex, Chelsie Nunn, Deborah Rule, and Jessie Van der Laan. The exhibition will include works by these artists in a variety of media such as painting, collage, mixed media, printmaking, and fiber work. For more information, please visit https://vacuumshopstudios.wordpress.com/.

Individual Artist Bios:
Eleanor Aldrich was born in Springerville, Arizona. A participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, she also holds an MFA in Painting & Drawing from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she currently lives. She earned her BFA in Painting & Drawing through the Academie Minerva (Groningen, the Netherlands) and Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff. She was a participant in the Drawing Center’s first Open Sessions. Her work has been shown at Saltworks Gallery (Atlanta, GA), the Drawing Center (New York, NY), Grin (Providence, RI) and Ortega y Gasset (New York, NY), and is published in New American Paintings and on Artforum.com. More of her work can be found at eleanoraldrich.com.

Heather Hartman was born in Los Angeles, California. In 1989 her family moved to Tennessee, and Hartman was deeply impacted by the atmosphere, weather, and constantly changing skies in her new home. She attended Auburn University and received her Bachelors of Fine Art in 2005. She earned a Master of Fine Art with a concentration in Painting and Drawing at the University of Tennessee in 2009. Her work has been featured in various solo and group shows throughout the country. Recently she was selected for inclusion in New American Paintings Juried Exhibition in Print, South, Issue 124. Hartman’s work was included in the 28th Annual McNeese Works on Paper National Exhibition, has been written about by Dr. Jerry Cullum of Art Papers, and is in Fidelity Corporate Art Collection, the collection of 21c Museum Hotels and the collection of Auburn University. Hartman lives and works in Knoxville, Tennessee where she is a member of the Vacuum Shop Studios Artist Collaborative, and is an Adjunct Instructor of Art at Carson-Newman University and Walters State Community College. More of her work can be found at heatherhartmanart.com.

Kelly Hider was raised in Rochester, NY. She received her BFA from SUNY Brockport in 2007, and an MFA from the University of Tennessee in 2011. She has had solo exhibitions at the University of Rochester, (Rochester, NY), Blackberry Farm Gallery at the Clayton Arts Center (Maryville, TN), and the Central Collective (Knoxville, TN). Hider’s work was recently featured on the cover of Number Inc. Issue Number 85. She is a founding member of the Vacuum Shop Studios, Chair of the Dogwood Regional Fine Art Exhibit, and the Gallery Coordinator at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. More of her work can be found at www.kellyhider.com.

Ashton Ludden is a printmaker, educator and sign artist. She received her MFA in Printmaking from the University of Tennessee in 2013 and her BFA in Engraving Arts and Printmaking from Emporia State University in 2009. Ludden’s prints have been exhibited in galleries nationally and internationally as well as at animal education and welfare conferences. Currently, Ludden teaches art at Knoxville’s Community School of the Arts, is an artist member of the Vacuum Shop Studios Artist Collaborative, and the full-time sign artist for Trader Joe’s in Knoxville, TN. More of her work can be found at www.ashtonludden.com.

Growing up on an abandoned dairy farm in Newport News, Virginia, Erin Mullenex developed a fascination with the past that inhabits all her work. Using a wide variety of ephemera as a starting point, her collages explore how society categorizes knowledge and memorializes our lived experience. Mullenex received a BA in Printmaking and Art History from the University of Virginia and a MFA in Studio Art from the University of Tennessee. Her work has been shown in various galleries throughout the United States. In addition to her studio practice, Mullenex is a committed educator, striving to teach studio skills and critical thinking in her elementary school classroom. She currently lives, works, and teaches in Knoxville, TN. More of her work can be found at www.erinmullenex.com.

Chelsie B. Nunn is originally from Morristown, TN. She earned a BFA in Painting and a Masters of Science in Art Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is a studio artist at the Vacuum Shop Studios. Nunn has taught visual art for Knox County Schools for five years and currently teaches at Sequoyah Elementary School. Recently, her work was awarded First Place in the ARTSOURCE 2017 exhibit, which celebrates the work of Knox County Educators.

Deborah Rule received her BFA in Studio Art/2D from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Upon graduation, Rule was awarded a Studio Assistantship with Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, where she continued to expand her studio practice. Her work consists of layers of various textures, colors, and sometimes text or image, in order to illustrate human connection and disconnection. More of her work can be found at https://debelirule.wordpress.com.

Jessie Van der Laan is an interdisciplinary artist, living in Knoxville, TN. She received her B.F.A in Printmaking and Drawing from Washington University in St. Louis (2002) and her M.F.A in Studio Art from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2009). Her work is informed by her training as a printmaker, and a childhood spent knitting, sewing, drawing, and daydreaming. She is an Instructor of Art at Walters State Community College in Morristown, TN. She has shown her work in numerous national and regional exhibitions, including solo shows at Lindenwood University and Moberly Community College, of Missouri, the Rose Center for the Arts in Morristown, TN, and a recent collaborative show at The Central Collective in Knoxville, TN. She is a co-founder of the Vacuum Shop Studios. More of her work can be found at jessievanderlaan.com.


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