July 18, 2024

Tracy Thomason speaks at McCarty Auditorium about her work

Tracy Thomason, UT artist resident, lectures at McCarty Auditorium in the Art and Architecture building about her work.

Artist in Residence, Tracy Thomason, gave a lecture on Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the McCarty Auditorium of Art and Architecture. Her lecture showcased several of her artworks on a powerpoint, and she was able to speak in depth about each piece and the process that goes into them.

The Artist in Residence program was initiated in 1982 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The program invites a resident artist to teach each semester. The resident artist teaches both undergraduate and graduate level courses in the painting and drawing curriculum. 

Thomason displayed many powerpoint slides of both paintings and sculptures; even a mix of both. She works with many materials to create her work such as dust, fur, human hair, marble and so much more.

Each piece she discussed had meaning behind it and told a story.

“I think of my work not only as shallow sculptures and these tablets of stone but as something that should be read and in addition that should be felt,” Thomason said.

Additionally, Thomason talked about how magical it is when she is able to incorporate the trifecta effect into her pieces. For example, she showed a picture of the movie “The Blob,” a human brain and a book. The relation is they all have spines.

“I’m always making sure to look for these overlaps,” Thomason said. “There is at least two in one for each painting.”

Many of her current students attended her lecture.

Reilly Bonner is a UT senior and one of Thomason’s students. Bonner tries to come to as many of these lectures as possible.

“I think it’s important if I have these artists as teachers not only to listen to her direction in class but then to also see her talk about her work in a way that I don’t get in our studios,” Bonner said.

Additionally, UT senior and Thomason’s student Nicole Gentry discussed what it was like to see Thomason’s work as well. 

“I didn’t expect it to be so materialistic,” Gentry said. “It creates an interesting dynamic between her work and who she is in the studio and what we see her as.”

The School of Art offers many opportunities to students, such as studying abroad, peer mentoring, work study and Artist Residencies and internships.


Edited by Grace Goodacre and Ciera Noe

Featured image by Stephen D’Onofrio, courtesy of Creative Commons