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TAA Featured Art Exhibitions

The Tennessee Arts Academy is proud to sponsor three visual art exhibitions each summer. In the Leu Art Gallery in the Lila D. Bunch Library, the work of a professional artist will be displayed. Two exhibitions in the Leu Art Building will showcase Tennessee’s Best of the Best Student Art Exhibition and Connections: Tennessee Art Education Association Member Exhibition. Artist talks, an art crawl, award ceremonies, and numerous receptions are held throughout the Academy week.

2022 TAA Professional Art Exhibition

Under the Rainbow by Beth Edwards

July 11 - August 5, 2022
Leu Art Gallery (Lila D. Bunch Library)

Artist Statement

My paintings are composed of small sections of the natural world represented at a magnified scale. They are usually complicated images and are slow to make. Each piece is a record of a steady, meditative painting process—hopefully imbuing the traditional subject of flowers with what the art historian, Norman Bryson termed a “meticulous particularity.” I seek to make something that is commonplace—a  flower blossom—both resonate and endure. Because of the life cycle metaphorically embedded in their representation, the flowers are vanitas images symbolizing the fleetingness of life. However, because of their exuberant color and beauty, they are also meant to communicate joy. I hope this work provides a connection to and awareness of the natural world’s vitality and vulnerability.


Visually, my paintings can be approached similar to how a person might look at a medieval manuscript or tapestry. The flowers and foliage are constructed out of myriad shapes that are intricately patterned and interwoven. I work to make all the elements contribute equally, including the more abstracted background shapes and spaces that play a peripheral role in the composition. Although as images they vary in their verisimilitude, each aspect of the flowers, foliage, and negative space is invested with the same degree of involvement. The way in which they are paintings first and believable images second is critical to my artistic concerns.

Artist Biography
Beth Edwards was born in Alabama and lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee. She received degrees from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and from Indiana University. Edwards has had an active thirty year career in painting, exhibiting, and teaching. She taught painting at the University of Memphis for twenty-one years and is the recipient of many awards, grants, commissions, and residencies. Recent awards and honors include the Distinguished Research Award and the Alumni Association Distinguished Achievement in the Creative Arts Award from the University of Memphis, and the Arts Accelerator Grant and the Emmett O-Ryan Award for Artistic Inspiration from the organization ArtsMemphis.  In 2013, Edwards was awarded a commission from the city of Memphis for her Willow Park mural and was also named artist for Memphis in May honoring Sweden. Edwards has participated in solo and group exhibitions in galleries, museums, institutions, and organizations across the United States, including the Huntsville Museum of Art in Huntsville, Alabama; the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis; the Contemporary Art Workshop in Chicago; the Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock; Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi; and the San Francisco International Fine Arts Exposition. She is represented by the David Lusk Gallery.


Under the Rainbow
by Beth Edwards
Opening Reception
Monday • July 11, 2022 • 4:30 - 6:30 PM
Leu Art Gallery (Lila D. Bunch Library)

Under the Rainbow
by Beth Edwards
Artist Talk
Monday • July 11, 2022 • 5:15 PM
Leu Art Gallery (Lila D. Bunch Library)

Under the Rainbow by Beth Edwards is co-sponsored by Watkins College of Art at Belmont University and the Tennessee Arts Academy with additional funding made possible by a generous gift from the Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation..

2022 TAA Student and Teacher Art Exhibitions

Tennessee’s Best of the Best Student Art Exhibition

July 4 - August 5, 2022
Leu Center for the Visual Arts
Gallery 121
The Tennessee Arts Academy is pleased to offer a student art exhibit as part of its summer enrichment experience. Tennessee’s Best of the Best Student Art Exhibition is a collection of the best pieces in various media by student artists from the three grand divisions of the state. The students whose work will be featured have won college scholarships for their achievements and have had their work exhibited in museums throughout the state of Tennessee.

Connections: Tennessee Art Education Association Member Exhibition

July 4 - August 5, 2022
Leu Center for the Visual Arts
Lobby Gallery
The Tennessee Arts Academy is very proud to exhibit the work of practicing artists-teachers alongside the exemplary work created by their students. Connections: Tennessee Art Education Association Member Exhibition is a juried show featuring the work of kindergarten through higher education art educators from across Tennessee. Please click here for more information on the exhibit and to submit artwork.

Tennessee’s Best of the Best Student Art Exhibition is co-sponsored by the Tennessee Arts Academy and the Tennessee Arts Education Association and is presented in partnership with the Watkins College of Art at Belmont University.

Connections: Tennessee Art Education Association Member Exhibition is co-sponsored by the Tennessee Art Education Association and the Tennessee Arts Academy and is presented in partnership with the Watkins College of Art at Belmont University.

Special thanks to Jim Dodson, the TAA Best of the Best coordinator and the founder and creator of the Best of the Best and Connections exhibitions.

2022 TAA Art Crawl and Receptions

High Tea in the Mansion

Belmont Mansion
As part of the TAA Art Crawl, participants are invited on Tuesday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. for a tour of the historic Belmont Mansion. The event features Susan Ramsay playing hammered dulcimer. Light refreshments will be served.

Frederick Hart Studio Museum and the Gallery of Iconic Guitars Museum

Lila D. Bunch Library, First Floor
Participants are invited to view the Frederick Hart Studio Museum and the Gallery of Iconic Guitars (GIG) Museum as part of the TAA Art Crawl. Both are located on the first floor of the Lila D. Bunch Library.

Under the Rainbow by Beth Edwards

Leu Art Gallery (Lila D. Bunch Library)

Tennessee’s Best of the Best Student Art Exhibition

Leu Center for the Visual Arts
Gallery 121

Connections: Tennessee Art Education Association Member Exhibition

Leu Center for the Visual Arts
Lobby Gallery

2022 Student and Teacher Visual Art Recognition Day Awards and Reception

Visual Arts Recognition Day Awards and Reception

Tuesday • July 12, 2022 • 6:00 PM
Leu Center for the Visual Arts

Tennessee’s Best of the Best Student Art Exhibition and Connections: Tennessee Art Education Association Member Exhibition are co-sponsored by the Tennessee Art Education Association.

Special thanks to Jim Dodson, the 2022 TAA Best of the Best coordinator and the founder and creator of the Best of the Best and Connections exhibitions; Belmont University Director of Galleries, Katie Mitchell; and, Watkins College of Art at Belmont University, James Pierce, Dean.

Please check back regularly for updates and information about the 2022 Tennessee Arts Academy.
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