Student Art Exhibition to Open at the Parthenon

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Art by Annabelle Mullenix/Nolensville High School

The Parthenon, Centennial Park Conservancy and Tennessee Art Education Association announced that the 16th annual Middle Tennessee Regional Student Art Exhibition will return to the Parthenon in 2024. Selected works in Drawing, Painting, Mixed Media, Printmaking, Photography, Ceramics, Sculpture and Digital Media will be on display in the Parthenon from January 21 to March 3. An awards ceremony honoring the selected artists will take place on January 25 at the Parthenon from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

More than 600 works were submitted for consideration by Middle Tennessee public, private and home-schooled students in grades 6-12. A panel of three judges evaluated the submissions in a blind process, selecting First, Second and Third Place winners and Honorable Mentions for every grade level in each artistic category. Overall winners were chosen as well, in the categories of Best of Show, Best of High School, Best of Middle School, Best of Painting, Best of Mixed Media, Best of Printmaking, Best of Drawing, Best of Digital Media, Best of Sculpture, Best of Ceramics, and Best of Photography. All works were judged blind, based on criteria including originality, technical skill and emergence of a personal vision or voice. Winners were notified of their selection on December 11.

This is the 16th year the Tennessee Art Education Association has held the regional competition and exhibition, and the second year it has been hosted at the Parthenon.
“It is so important to us at The Parthenon and Centennial Park Conservancy to support, encourage, and inspire young artists,” says Parthenon Curator Jennifer Richardson. “Showcasing student artwork harkens back to the Nashville Parthenon’s original function as the Fine Art Building at the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. We felt that this was the perfect opportunity to welcome families and young artists from Middle Tennessee into the museum.”

Belle Kinney, the sculptor of the pedimental sculptures and maquettes on the Parthenon building, exhibited one of her sculptures in the Parthenon during the exhibition in 1897, when she was only 7 years old.

“For young visitors, seeing artwork created by people of the same age can have such a strong impact,” continues Richardson. “Artwork created by their peers can speak to them in a way that is different and more direct than many of the works made by more established, mature artists. These young artists are putting forward images, ideas, and issues that are important to them, and we all can benefit from their insights.”

In addition to being displayed as part of the Parthenon exhibition this winter, the Best Of winners will also be displayed at Belmont University in the Best of the Best Statewide Exhibition, which will be on display during the Tennessee Arts Academy program in July 2024.

The Awards Ceremony will be held at The Parthenon from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on January 25. Admission is free, and guests may RSVP via the website.
For more information on the exhibit, visit nashvilleparthenon.com/events/mtrsae2024.