By Bradley Hanson, Director of Folklife –
The Tennessee Arts Commission Folklife Program will host a public reception to mark the opening of its new exhibition celebrating the inaugural year of the Tennessee Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program on Thursday, June 1 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery. Artists from the program will be on hand to demonstrate and discuss their work and experience. Everyone is invited to attend.
The exhibit runs until July 16 and presents photographs, videos, and objects documenting the eight Master and Apprentice Teams. Participants include fiddle maker Jean Horner from Westel and apprentice Austin Derryberry; broom maker Jack Martin from Selmer and apprentice Jack Tipton; flatfoot buck dancer Thomas Maupin from Murfreesboro and apprentice Courtney Williams; Ghanaian drummer Kofi Mawuko from Chattanooga and apprentice Dean Demarland; Puerto Rican conguero Billy Ramirez from Murfreesboro and apprentices Rachel Rodriguez and Kata Rhe Crutcher; Choctaw beadworker Sally Wells from Smyrna and apprentice Madison Dean; white oak basket maker Sue Williams from Morrison and apprentice Brenda Kucharski; and fiddler and guitarist James Wood from Shelbyville and apprentice Ben Ayers.
The Tennessee Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program is designed to encourage the preservation of our state’s diverse folklife traditions, especially those that are rare or endangered. Each master artist is recognized by his or her community as an exceptionally skilled tradition bearer representing the best of their cultural heritage. Their chosen apprentices are talented students who desire to strengthen their abilities. The teams embarked on one-on-one training for a 6-month period in late 2016.
The Commission Gallery is located at 401 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN 37243. Contact Bradley Hanson for more information: 615.5329795.