Craft center faculty member wins Cheekwood show

Graham Campbell, assistant professor of wood at Tennessee Technological University's Appalachian Center for Crafts, took first place at the fine crafts exhibit "A Show of Hands" at the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art in Nashville.

Robert Coogan, assistant professor in metal, and Curtiss Brock, assistant professor of glass, also participated in the invitational, juried exhibit. Coogan earned a merit award for his metal vases, jewelry and knives.

In all, 26 crafts artisans representing not only Tennessee but seven other states and the District of Columbia displayed works in metal, wood, glass, ceramics, photography and fiber. Lloyd Herman, former director of the Renwick Museum, the craft museum of the Smithsonian Institute, judged the competition. Herman is considered an authority on America's contemporary craft movement.

Cheekwood began its annual fine crafts exhibit in 1993 as an educational forum on contemporary crafts and the people who make them. Campbell also took first place in the inaugural exhibit in 1993.

The 1995 show, which ran from Nov. 45, focused on using contemporary craft in home decor. Interior designers Katie Chudacoff and Jim Mees created a living room set in the exhibit space incorporating pieces from each artist. They hoped to demonstrate how fine crafts can complement any decor style, including antique and period pieces.

Campbell's highly decorated and richly colored furniture embodies a studied blend of function and style. Campbell, who joined the Craft center faculty in 1990, studied and taught at the Wendell Castle School in New York. Campbell's work has been included in numerous national and international exhibits and collections, most recently including the Craft National exhibit at Penn State University.

"Cheekwood's 'Show of Hands' brings together a lot of craftspeople who don't do crafts fairs," said Campbell. "It's a good opportunity for people to see their work, and it's also an opportunity for us on the faculty to raise awareness about the Appalachian Center for Crafts."

Works by all of the art faculty of the Craft Center and Tennessee Tech are currently on display at the Nashville International Airport through Jan. 29. For more information about the Craft Center, call 615/372-3051 or 615/597-6801.

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