UT alumnus and nature photographer Paul Hassell will have a selection of his photographs featured in the UC Gallery throughout the month of September.
Hassell's work has been featured in National Parks Magazine, Time/Life and National Geographic.
"Paul has been amazing to work with," Shannon Herron, senior in studio art and Vice Chair of Exhibitions, Visual Arts Committee, said. "While the majority of our communication has been done via email, his genuine personality and humility has definitely been evident throughout the entire process. Paul hand-delivered his work to the gallery tonight and was such a pleasure to meet in person. He and his wife helped us unload his car and stayed long after they were expected to help us lay out the show."
Hassell graduated from UT four years ago with a degree in freelance photography and writing for the natural environment, a degree which he designed.
When the Visual Arts Committee looks for artists to participate in exhibitions, alumni are not always at the forefront.
"In the past, our committee has set its sight on more local/regional artists, mainly because it's easier to coordinate shipping and/or work drop-off if the artist is within a reasonable distance from campus, but we don't typically look at UT alumni first when choosing exhibitions," Herron said. "However, we do like to spotlight our recent MFA graduates with an alumni exhibition which is held May-July every other summer."
Planning for the Visual Arts Committee begins months in advanced. Each spring the committee holds a retreat to brainstorm a list of regional artists they would like to invite.
After all the artists have been named, the committee then votes on who they would like to invite and then invitations are sent.
"We go through a voting process within our committee meetings that require presentations of artists and subsequent contact of these artists to see if they are interested," Morgan Hardy, junior in theater and chair of the Visual Arts Committee, said.
In addition to the exhibition, which takes place throughout the month of September, there will also be a reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the UC Concourse Gallery on September 20.
Following the reception, Hassell will give a lecture in Arts and Architecture building's Room 109, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
"Paul hasn't given me a run-down of speaking topics for his lecture on the 20th, but I'm sure he will cover his recent trips to Alaska, as well as several other trips he has taken this year around the world," Herron said. "I'm excited to hear more about how he has become such an accomplished photographer in the short amount of time since he left UT. It must be amazing to be able to travel the world doing the thing that you love, and be able to make a career out of it."
Currently, the Visual Arts Committee is accepting applications. Students can sign up at www.activities.utk.edu/cpc/vac. Applications are due by Friday, September 14 at 5 p.m.
Besides Hassell's exhibition and lecture, the Visual Arts Committee will co-host Fall Fest with the Issues Committee on Friday, September 21.
"Our next exhibition in the UC concourse gallery, which will run October 1-31st, will feature the winners from the Student Art Show 'Untitled No. 65' this past fall, so stay on the lookout for that as well," said Herron.