Best Beginnings of Old News: Tennessee Best Of Art Competition 2001

by Virginia L. Hughes

Lost In Bama
Lost In Bama

NASHVILLE, September 17 - An exhibition of artworks from 76 Tennessee artists chosen through a juried competition will be on display at the Tennessee State Museum October 26, through December 30, 2001.

The exhibition, Best of Tennessee, contains more than 70 works of art including paintings, photographs, sculptures and fine craft. The exhibit is the culmination of a statewide art purchase competition held this summer, a collaboration between the Tennessee State Museum and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

By the competition deadline in May, 555 artists had entered more than 1,400 works of art. A five-member panel narrowed the exhibit to 79 pieces. Purchase awards totaling more than $50,000 were given to 25 artists selected in the following categories: painting, mixed media, prints, sculpture, photography and fine crafts. The purchased works are now part of the Tennessee State Museum’s collection, with the majority of the remaining pieces of the exhibited works to be for sale during the exhibition with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the museum’s foundation.

Chair of the competition’s Juror’s Panel, John E. Buchanan, Jr., executive director of the Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon, is former director of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, and the Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences in Peoria, Illinois. A native Nashvillian, Buchanan holds a masters degree in art history from Vanderbilt University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of the South in Sewanee.

The Millennium Collection consists of 10 works acquired for the State Museum, representing some of the artists working in Tennessee at the end of the millennium. The collection was assembled by a panel of judges and purchased with funds from the Tennessee Arts Commission.