Since 1980, the Cress Gallery in the Fine Arts Center at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has presented exhibits of work by candidates for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
"While these exhibitions are a tradition, the works created are anything but traditional," said Ruth Grover, curator of the gallery.
Opening Tuesday is the first of two shows by BFA candidates. A record number of 25 students are graduating, so staggered exhibits were scheduled to provide each person with enough representational space. Media on display will include oil painting, drawing, mixed media, collage, sculpture, video, design, photography and multiple-media installation.
The first two years of the BFA curriculum at UTC provide all majors with traditional academic training in the visual arts. The final two years offer exposure to the professional arts environment through activities, trips, visiting artists and courses within specific media concentrations.
The work of these students reflects their own determination toward a professional life in the visual arts and their commitment to their courses. They speak as well to the broad esthetic of the faculty of the art department in support of each student's individual goals.
"In this year's exhibitions, the department's BFA majors are exploring concepts and issues across a broad range of media and installation strategies," said Matt Greenwell, head of the art department. "From concrete to ephemeral, from accessible to challenging, from playful to serious, from ideas to objects, these exhibitions explore the vitality and range of the department's programs and the ambition of its student majors."
The Group 1 exhibit will continue through April 15. A reception will be held Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
Group 2 dates are April 19-29, with an opening reception on April 19 at 5:30 p.m.
Cress Gallery, 752 Vine St., is open 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call 304-9789.