Art Exhibt at One Hundred Oaks shows Vanderbilt Talent

By now most of us know that VUMC has transformed One Hundred Oaks into a really snappy-looking place to go to the doctor. But I don’t want you to miss the fact that that One Hundred Oaks also has one of the most interesting art exhibits of 2009 in Nashville.

And here’s the kicker: every artist exhibited at the “Vanderbilt Employee and Family Art Show” has a Vanderbilt connection—either an employee or a family member of an employee.

The exhibit is incredibly diverse, featuring 70 artists and 124 pieces, and is sponsored by the National Arts Program®, which was founded in 1983 to encourage and identify artistic talent in the U.S., and which provided prize money.

The program partners with other organizations for its exhibits, and this show at One Hundred Oaks is a partnership with Vanderbilt through VUMC’s Office of Cultural Enrichment. Well, if the goal was to find artistic talent, I would say that goal was met. I spent way too much time one recent afternoon wandering through this amazing show, all the more amazing considering that much of the work was done by our co-workers.

There were watercolors and oils; portraits, landscapes and abstracts, even some sculpture; there was work by professional artists and children artists. So many worlds as viewed through so many personal prisms and talent.

The show was judged by Roger Clayton, a local artist whose work is familiar to Vanderbilt people because it’s in Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital; Stefanie Darr, Educator for Public Programs at the Frist Center for Visual Arts; and Alexis Leaneave, Assistant Director of Community Education at Watkins College of Art, Design and Film.

And they came to the conclusion that the Best of Show was “Manic Garden,” an abstract painting by W. J. Cunningham of the Department of Biostatistics.

Given that I am comically devoid of artistic talent—Sharon can find amusement decades later recalling some drawings I made for a college project—the sheer talent of this One Hundred Oaks show leaves me in awe.

Written by Wayne Wood

Vanderbilt University Medical Center