Barbara Yontz, Instructor Fine Art, Watkins College of Art at Belmont University
A former Professor Visual Art of Visual Art at St. Thomas Aquinas College, New York, with an MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College, teaching primarily studio classes in painting, drawing and photography. Additional Master's degrees in Art History from Vanderbilt University and Art Education from the University of South Florida expand interests and teaching to those disciplines as well. Splitting time between Manhattan and Nashville, art practice in sculpture, installation, performance and video work yielded to an interest in Art and Social Justice.
Since 2013 a project with a group of men living on Death Row at Riverbend Maximum Security Prison in Nashville, TN has shifted artistic interests. The project has yielded a number of exhibitions including, Unit 2 Voices: Artwork from Death Row, at St. Thomas Aquinas College in September of 2015. Recent individual work includes a group of drawings, The Love Letter Series, conceived as individual letters to each of these 11 men of Unit 2.
Previous exhibitions include: Vanderbilt University and the Frist Museum, Nashville; the Phoenix Gallery, New York; the Jose Marti National Library, Havana; the Boston Museum School; and the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, NJ.
PRISON ART PROJECT
Collaborative Projects with men in prison
These pieces represent collaborations with different individuals living in Unit 2, the death row unit, at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Tn.
Over a period of weeks one person would begin a drawing or sculpture and pass it off. We would then respond to each other through drawing.
Names of those incarcerated have been abbreviated at the request of TDOC and victims services.