National Arts Program® exhibit at One Hundred Oaks is a showcase of Vanderbilt talent

You owe it to yourself to drop by the art exhibit at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks to see the National Arts Program’s® Third Annual Exhibit and Competition.
 
I was there one recent afternoon and spent much more time than I had anticipated walking through the exhibit, enjoying the creativity and talent of the artists, all of whom are Vanderbilt employees or family members.
 
There are categories for children, teens, and amateur, intermediate and professional artists, and there were prizes given in each category (I’ll include a list at the end here, so you can congratulate the winners you know).
 
The best in show this year was won by Amina Trotter-Lockett, the 12-year-old daughter of my friend Midori Lockett. Amina’s work is a wonderful mixed-media abstract called “A Burst of Excitement,” and I can tell you that a burst of excitement is exactly what her daughter’s success did for Midori, who works in Human Resource Services. I saw the proud mom a day or two after the winners were announced, and she still couldn’t stop smiling while she was telling me about Amina’s success, which had me smiling, too.
 
She told me that last year Amina had one of her pieces selected for the Mayor’s Arts Program Exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, so this talented young lady is clearly on a roll.
The thing I liked best about “A Burst of Excitement” is that one of the media used in the abstract is coffee. She painted with coffee!
 
“The employees and their families are incredibly grateful for the opportunity and it is clearly one of our most popular exhibits,” said Jenny Lewis, program coordinator for VUMC Arts, which coordinates the exhibit with the National Arts Program®.
 
Lewis added that many of the pieces on display are for sale, so if you are walking through the exhibit and see an artwork that want for your house or as a gift, you should call Lewis at 936-1234, and she can put you in touch with the artist.
 
The show was judged by:
 
• Roger Clayton a local artist who has had shows in Japan as well as in the U.S., and who has work in our Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
 
• Jennifer Cole, the Executive Director of the Metro Nashville Arts Commission.
 
• Miriam Bharkati of the Watkins School of Art, Design and Film.
 
Of course, one of the great things about attending an art show is you get to be your own judge.
 
One of my favorites, in addition to Amina’s work, is one titled “Tranquility on the Devil’s Stream, Prague,” painted by Bharati Kakkad of Clinical Pharmacology. While I was focusing on the orderly houses along the water (The Devil’s Stream is a short canal across the river from the Old Town in Prague), I almost missed the people dining at a table in the lower right hand corner of the canvas. And they would have hated that, because they all look like sunglasses-clad hipsters. Not the kind of folks to take kindly to being shoved to the corner of the frame, but there they were.
 
Another one I liked a lot was a photograph by Bridgett Trivette, an employee family member, titled “Blushing Angel,” which won first place in the Amateur category. At first look it was nothing special: a picture of an adolescent girl with a smile on her face. But the angle of the picture—looking down so that her closed eyes and impossibly long, beautiful eyelashes are emphasized—and the wisp of hair across her face all highlighted by that mysterious smile had me wondering what this smiling girl’s story was. It became more of a mystery the longer I looked at it.
 
Trina Adkins works at the front desk at Vanderbilt Heart right around the corner from the exhibit. She said that it’s a great thing to have such beautiful art right in her workplace.
 
“I go down there during break and look at them,” she said. “Sometimes patients comment on how they like the art or the pictures, too.”
 
Even those of us who don’t work at One Hundred Oaks should make time to go by. The exhibit is there through Jan. 3.
 
Written by Wayne Wood - November 3, 2011