Student talent, art reveals passions

UPerk, the coffee shop located at the UKirk House, showcased a wide range of student artwork April 24. As students toured the full room, UT student Alayna Cameron took the stage with a ukulele in hand.

Cameron’s setlist included a personal touch. She played songs of Tennessee natives as attendees toured the gallery.

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Students Caleb Pittenger, Caroline Rowcliffe, Maggie Stroud and Emma Vieser presented some of their favorite pieces as Cameron played. Their artwork represented different mediums – from wood to photography.

At the end of the evening, some of the artists walked away with fewer pieces than they brought, selling several pieces of art. Maggie Stroud, one of the contributing artists, elaborated on one of her favorite works.

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“This was just a simple line drawing I did, but it’s very much based on my hometown of San Antonio, Texas and the aesthetic that is so unique to Tejano culture,” Stroud said. “In the springtime, we celebrate Fiesta, and everywhere you look there are dancers with ‘halo’ flower crowns and traditional Mexican dresses. It’s so gorgeous and it reminds me of home.”

Stroud is not new to the art scene. Although she majors in English Literature, art has always had a place in her heart. Her upbringing keeps her interested in creating.

“I’ve always been drawing obsessively. My family is very creative, and my mom is an artist herself, so I grew up watching her,” she said. “But, I think more than anything, it was my love of stories. Illustration is just visual storytelling, and even before I could read, that was something I understood.”

Caleb Pittenger told his stories through spoken word. He recited poetry recently featured in UT’s Phoenix magazine.

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Through different creative mediums, students displayed their passions and character.

 

Written by Lauren Claxton

Photos by Lauren Claxton

 

Vienna Coffee Company visits campus, promotes brand

With midterms approaching, caffeine consumption is on the rise at the University of Tennessee.

The UPerk coffee shop welcomed students to partake in a free tasting provided by the Vienna Coffee Company Tuesday evening. UPerk, the not-for-profit coffee shop located in the UKirk ministry house, receives its coffee supply from the company which serves many local restaurants, churches and schools.

Students sampled both a Honduran and Costa Rican coffee and learned more about the production process.

“It was super cool,” Mary Grace Reynolds, UPerk’s hospitality intern, said. “Each coffee we tasted, we learned about where it’s from and the regions in which it was produced. It felt really special and exciting.”

Vienna Coffee Company provides samples of its new Foothills coffee at UPerk campus coffee house in Knoxville Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. Lauren Claxton/TNJN

Phillip Hatter, director of coffee and training at Vienna, discussed the distinct flavor differences in the new Foothills Series Coffee. Hatter said Vienna takes pride in its product transparency and its ability to trace the coffee back to the production farms.

UPerk’s coffee, Hatter explained, is a combination of 40 percent Ethiopian coffee and 60 percent from Papua New Guinea. Vienna offers certified organic coffee and supports direct trade.

With a new location in the downtown Knoxville Regas Building, Vienna brews close to campus until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students will receive a discount if they bring their student ID. Students can also receive Vienna coffee every weekday until 11 p.m. at UPerk.

 

Open since August, UPerk offers coffee shop qualities in the middle of campus. All students are welcome. UPerk also hosts events like open mic nights, concerts and public speakers.

 

Featured Photo by Lauren Claxton

Edited by Lexie Little