From Krishna Adams, Director of Visual Arts, Craft, Media and Design –
The Master Artist Apprentice Program (MAAP) is a cooperative partnership between the Tennessee Arts Commission and Tennessee Craft. The mission of this collaboration is to encourage and invest in the continuation, advancement, and creation of craft in Tennessee by recognizing the role of the master craft artist and apprentice relationship to preserve the state’s cultural heritage. This partnership provides craft artists with relevant and alternative educational experiences, promotes, and facilitates fine craft as a viable career path for Tennessee artists, fosters deliberate mentoring, facilitates the professional development of emerging craft artists, increases the pool of craft artists, and provides craft artists in Tennessee alternative means of professional funding.
This year, Tennessee craft masters shared their significant skills and creative aptitude by providing one-on-one mentoring instruction with apprentice artists to encourage, strengthen and grow their artistic foundation. In its 12th year, the MAAP partnership continues to cultivate the traditional master/apprentice relationship by awarding selected artists a grant to ensure that craft art is nurtured in Tennessee.view the exhibit
The following partners worked together to sustain craft for the next generation:
Fiber/Textile: Jeanne Brady, Master (Smithville, DeKalb County) and Christa Schoenbrodt (Nashville, Davidson County)
Clay to Bronze Sculpture: Alan LeQuire, Master (Nashville, Davidson County, and Stephen Hutchins, Apprentice (Joelton, Davidson County)
Wood: Rick Murray, Master (Irwin, Unicoi County) and Kirk Williams, Apprentice (Irwin, Unicoi County)
Master Jeanne Brady (Smithville, DeKalb County) is a Professor Emerita from Tennessee Tech University’s School of Art, Craft & Design at the Appalachian Center for Craft, where she was head of the Fibers Studio for 19 years. Since retirement, she has continued to teach textile workshops nationally. Prior to her tenure at TTU, she taught at Appalachian State University and the University of Maine; and was a High School art teacher for six years. Brady received her B.F.A. in Printmaking & Drawing and her M.F.A. in Surface & Textile Design from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Her artwork ranges from small and large format wall hangings to uniquely designed wearables and textile goods. Her fabric wall hangings and sculptural pieces have been exhibited both nationally and internationally. She has received numerous awards for her outstanding textiles. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Evangelical Hospital Children’s Clinic in Oberhausen, Germany; Boddie-Noell Enterprises in Rocky Mount, NC; the R.J. Reynolds Corporation in Atlanta, GA; Miami-Dade College in Miami, FL; and East Carolina University in NC. Learn more about Brady’s work at www.jeannebrady.studio.
Apprentice Christa Schoenbrodt (Nashville, Davidson County)
“I’ve learned so much! I’ve been amazed by how inspired I am to design textiles with printmaking techniques and how positive the feedback has been from current and potential clients. A whole new path of design and artistic expression seems to have unfolded, which I look forward to exploring. Because of MAAP, I plan to print not only home decor and fashion products but also lamp shades and sculptural lighting with these new skills. This apprenticeship has allowed me to expand my offerings as a designer in a time when COVID-19 has inspired many artists to broaden their skills and services. I’m honored to have been part of this program, especially under the tutelage of Jeanne Brady.” – Schoenbrodt
Nashville native, Schoenbrodt is an art director, graphic designer, and illustrator with over 25 years of experience. After working in various design studios and ad agencies in Louisiana and Tennessee, she opened Studio Haus in 1996. With a strong foundation of artistry in paper and two-dimensional work, this apprenticeship gave her the opportunity to explore block printing and silk screening as a means of creating repeat patterns and motifs on scarves, bandanas, t-shirts, and more. See more of her work at www.studiohaus.net.
Master Rick Murray (Irwin, Unicoi County) stumbled into the art world after spending ten years owning and running a whitewater company. His first endeavor was to make dough bowls primarily using a hatchet, drawknife, and spokeshave. Once Rick discovered the lathe, and what one-of-a-kind production was possible, he never looked back. While at East Tennessee State University, obtaining a Liberal Arts degree, Murray studied the Greek classics, which has tempered his sense of what forms are pleasing to his eye. After 30-plus years of turning and selling his work, he is still keenly enthusiastic about making the forms he feels define his style. Find out more about Murray’s wood bowls and vases at www.woodbowlsandvases.com.
Apprentice Kirk Williams (Irwin, Unicoi County)
“Working with Murray as a MAAP apprentice taught me new ways to go about my goals as an aspiring craft professional as well as reaffirmed notions and knowledge which I already acquired. Time spent with Murray provided a window into the world of a man who takes his passion for working with wood and combines it with the drive to remain self-employed. He has been incredibly gracious, not only with his time in instruction but his willingness to allow me to stay at his property which provided me with a valuable “real world” view of his approach to the challenges of self-employment and personal goals of maintaining family life and preserving a comfortable place to create. I have learned that time management is of utmost importance as a self-employed craft artist. I would like to express my gratitude to the MAAP for providing a vehicle, which an individual with a passion for creating could establish a relationship with a mentor. The “live “setting of education and instruction from Murray has been excellent.” – Williams
A self-taught craftsman, Williams was encouraged at a young age to express and create through a variety of artistic methods and mediums. Excellent primary and secondary school art educators continued to foster this path. He has spent the better part of the last 20 years immersed in the culture of whitewater rivers and mountains. Through this culture of the river community, he found inspiration from two craftsmen brothers, Jeff Snyder a self-taught woodworker and carver, and Jim Snyder, a wood paddle maker. Williams enjoys creating forms that enhance and honor the beauty and patterns of the grain hidden within the tree.
Master Alan LeQuire’s (Nashville, Davidson County) early influences include Tennessee sculptors Olen Bryant and William Edmondson. After graduating from Vanderbilt University, he spent a year in Italy apprenticed to Milton Hebald. He then moved on to study figurative sculpture with Peter Agostini in the M.F.A. program of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. LeQuire’s Italian experience led to the commission to construct the gilded Athena Parthenos statue for Nashville’s full-scale replica of the Parthenon. His Athena, standing at forty-two feet tall, is the largest indoor statue in the United States. LeQuire has undertaken numerous commissions, including Musica, encompassing nine bronze figures, each sixteen feet high, reaching into a circular dance, and the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, both located in Nashville and celebrated Women Suffrage Memorials in both Nashville and Knoxville. Other works are in the collections of the Nashville Main Library, Country Music Foundation, Country Music Hall of Fame, Northern Telecom Corporation, Tennessee Arts Commission, Hospital Corporation of America, and Vanderbilt University, all located in Nashville, as well as Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, and the West Tennessee Regional Art Center in Humboldt. To see more of LeQuire’s work, check out his website at www.alanlequire.com.
Apprentice Stephen Hutchins (Joelton, Davidson County)
“I set out to learn more about figurative sculpture, clay modeling, and the bronze casting process. I had worked with clay recreationally before the apprenticeship, and I knew it was a challenging medium. Still, I did not expect it to be as technically challenging as it turned out to be. The biggest lesson I’ve learned about figurative clay modeling is that it doesn’t take much for the piece to look incorrect. A minute detail can be altered that entirely changes the overall composition of the sculpture. Figurative sculpture is one of the most difficult tasks I’ve ever attempted, which keeps me engrossed and humbled. There were several moments when I felt the model was so far off that I should start over but being part of this program has kept me accountable to produce a finished product. I still have a long way to go, but I consider it an accomplishment just to be learning. I look forward to incorporating clay modeling in my career.” – Hutchins
In 2004, Hutchins began his career in the stone industry at the age of eighteen, working for a masonry company in his native New Hampshire, where he learned to lay stone for various applications. In 2013 started working as an architectural carver and soon after began creating artwork. In 2016, he started Hutchins Stoneworks. Since then, he has completed architectural carvings for St. Cecilia Academy, Ensworth School, and Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. In 2019, he was commissioned to carve a large-scale free-form public art piece for an office building in Green Hills. He has maintained and restored Warner Parks and several cemeteries across middle Tennessee, including Nashville City Cemetery and Franklin City Cemetery. This apprenticeship gave Hutchins a chance to experience creating more organic figurative forms in a new medium. Learn more about Hutchins at www.hutchinsstoneworks.com.