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School of Art Alumni Juror Milestone Student Art Competition


This year, the Ewing Gallery of Art and Architecture is pleased to present the 70th Annual Student Art Competition. The competition was begun in 1947 by C. Kermit “Buck” Ewing, the founder of UT’s Art Department. The Ewing exhibition has become one of the oldest competitions in the country and is one of the highlights of the Ewing Gallery exhibition season.

For this year’s competition, we have invited 6 talented alumni of the School of Art to jury our exhibition and award prizes in fine art, graphic design, and academic papers. The Exhibition will open on Monday, February 27 from 6-8PM with the award ceremony to take place at 7pm. The exhibition will be on display at the gallery through March 19.

Jeff Baxter and Paul Schlacter will give a public lecture in McCarty Auditorium (room 109 of the Art + Architecture Building) at 7:30 PM on Thursday, February 23 at 7:30PM

Rob Tarbell and Mike Calway-Fagen will give a public lecture in McCarty Auditorium (room 109 of the Art + Architecture Building at 7:30PM on Tuesday, February 21 at 7:30 PM.

Our juror for art history and architecture papers is Dr. Charissa Terranova. She received her BA in art history from UT in 1992 and went on to earn an MA (2001) and PhD (2004) in architectural history and theory from Harvard University and an MA (1996) in art history from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Terranova is author of Art as Organism: Biology and the Evolution of the Digital Image (2016) and Automotive Prosthetic: Technological Mediation and the Car in Conceptual Art (2014), and coeditor with Meredith Tromble of TheRoutledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture (2016). She also edited a two-volume issue of the journal Technoetic Arts on “complexism” (2016). Associate Professor of Aesthetic Studies, she lectures and teaches seminars at the University of Texas at Dallas on modern and contemporary art and architectural history and theory, the history of biology in art and architecture, and media and new media art and theory.

Our co-jurors for the design category are Jeff Baxter and Paul Schlacter. Both graduated from UT in 2005 with degrees in graphic design. Jeff & Paul met in Graphic Design 201 at the University of Tennessee. They were probably randomly assigned to a group project, it was their first collaboration. In 2005, after graduation, they both headed to NYC where they’ve been designing, animating, coding, illustrating, directing, and collaborating ever since.

After graduating from The University of Tennessee in 2005, Paul Schlacter moved to New York to join Trollbäck+Company as a designer and animator. A weekend collaboration with Jeff Baxter lead him to the Google Creative Lab, where he worked on everything from banner ads to major product launches. Today, Paul works in-house on the Google Design team, focusing on and the annual SPAN conference.

Jeff has created brands, products, and services, from the ground up, for a wide range of clients. After his graduation from The University of Tennessee in 2005 he designed and launched the original Nike+ Platform at R/GA. He was then the founder of a small design studio where he worked with cultural institutions such as Rhizome and MoMA, and consumer brands like GE, VH1, and Mercedes. Before founding Cord Project in 2014, he was leading design teams at Google’s Creative Lab working across nearly all of Google’s products and brands. Cord Project was acquired by Spotify in 2016 where Jeff is currently a Product Design Manager.

Our co-jurors for the fine arts division are Mike Calway-Fagen and Rob Tarbell.

Mike Calway-Fagen is an artist, writer, and curator based in Athens, GA. He received a BFA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. Recently he opened solo exhibitions at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Ditch Projects in Oregon, and the Soo Visual Arts Center in Minneapolis. Mike has attended residencies at the

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, The Fine Arts Work Center, and Sculpture Space in Utica, NY. Mike has lectured at a number of institutions including the Universities of California, Tennessee, Oregon, Nevada, SAIC, Bowdoin College, MCAD, Auburn, and others. Mike's work has been reviewed in Art Papers, World Sculpture Magazine, Art F City, and is the focus of a chapter in a soon-to- be-published book, The Phenomenology of Art and Animals (Routledge Press). Mike is Head of the Sculpture Department at the University of Georgia, Athens.

Rob Tarbell began his education at Auburn University receiving his BFA in Painting and Graphic Design. At the University of Tennessee, Rob earned an MFA in Painting and Drawing and an MS in Curriculum and Instruction.

Over the past ten years, Rob Tarbell has shown in twenty solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions throughout the United States, Korea, China, and England. During this period, Rob has developed unique and unorthodox processes involving the indirect manipulation and exploitation of inherent material properties of smoke and porcelain. The resulting work balances chance and control while fostering preservation and permanence through transformation and loss.

Since 2000, Rob has taught art and design at Limestone College, James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and most recently at Ringling College of Art and Design and New College of Florida in Sarasota, Florida.

Currently Rob’s work is represented by Claire Oliver Gallery in New York City.