The Tennessee Soybean Festival, with the help of the UTM Department of Visual and Theatre Arts, is hosting the fourth annual Guitar as Art show from Sept. 3 to Sept. 16.
The guitars are displayed in the Fine Arts art gallery on the first floor. The gallery will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. everyday until Sept. 16.
Amber Gentry’s work “The Mountains” won Best in Show and a prize of $500. Gentry is a UTM Department of Visual and Theatre Arts alumni, and her guitar will be displayed in the city of Martin town hall after the gallery closes.
The Hometown Award, which is the award that embodies the essence of the Tennessee Soybean Festival, was awarded to Jody Stokes-Casey.
Other award recipients were Kalen Simone, for her work, “Mississippi Goddam” and Violet Durden for her “Strummin’ on Sunshine.” They were the two winners of the People’s Choice Award. Both artists are UTM Department of Visual and Theatre Arts students.
Simone’s piece depicts singer, songwriter and activist in the Civil Rights Movement, Nina Simone, in her younger years of being an activist. Simone said she wanted her guitar to look different from all the others that had been presented. Out of all the guitars that are on display, Simone’s stands out because it is turned neck down and has the strings broken and braided while woven down the frets. Her reasoning behind this is that she did not want the strings the get in the way of her focal point, which is Nina Simone. On the neck of the guitar, Simone has some of the lyrics of Nina Simone’s song “Mississippi Goddam.”
“Though the song was produced 30 years ago, I feel like that the lyrics still apply today, ” said Simone. She added aspects of a photo of co-founder of the Black Panthers Huey Newton as background to her piece.
After the Guitar as Art exhibit closes, the next opening in the art gallery will be Sept. 19 and runs through Sept. 30.
Best in Show went to Amber Gentry for her guitar ‘The Mountains’ (Pacer Photo/Bre Rudolph).