Tennessee Tech University senior Brendan Mims, of Asheville, N.C., sculpts clay by hand to create cartoon-style figures that look like stuffed animals. With them, he illustrates moments from childhood that are not fun.
Mims’ senior thesis exhibition in clay, “A Sad Bunny’s Journey,” will be from April 16-20 in TTU’s Appalachian Center for Craft.
His show is in the Center for Craft’s Gallery One, which is free and open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. He will host an artist reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 19.
Mims adds mixed media elements to his clay sculptures to enhance the figures’ expressions. With his art, he says he tries to remind adults that childhood is not all fun and games and to invite the viewer to recognize that things are not always as they seem.
One of his pieces recently appeared in the Center for Craft’s annual juried student show, which included select items from each of TTU’s five art concentrations: metals, painting, glass, wood, fibers and ceramics. It was juried by the director of university galleries at Murray State University. His work has also appeared every year of his TTU career in the student-run Best of the Visual Art Society show.
To earn a bachelor of fine arts at Tennessee Tech, students are required to host a senior thesis show. The show is a culmination of all they have learned at the university, as well as a chance for them to work on developing artist statements and putting a show together at a gallery, doing everything from selecting pieces to displaying them.
The Appalachian Center for Craft is approximately six miles from Interstate 40 at exit 273, Smithville/McMinnville. Go south on state Route 56 and turn left immediate after crossing Hurricane Bridge. This drive leads to the Center for Craft.