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CECA announces 2021-22 Tennessee Artist Fellow – Ashton Ludden

Ashton Ludden

(Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2022)

Ashton Ludden

The Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts (CECA) is pleased to announce that artist Ashton Ludden of Knoxville, Tennessee, has been selected as the recipient of the 2021-2022 Tennessee Artist Fellowship.

The CECA Tennessee Artist Fellowship was created to celebrate contemporary art and to support the continued creative work of exceptional Tennessee artists. Unlike other fellowships, nominations and applications from artists are not solicited. A committee of Austin Peay State University faculty compiles a list of outstanding artists from across the state and selects the fellowship recipient.

“We were highly impressed with the versatility of Ludden’s practice and how she uses her work to engage with her community as an artist, educator and ambassador,” a statement from the committee reads. “Ludden combines humor and cynicism with quality illustrations and hand-lettering in her work.”

Ludden’s imagery first captured the committee’s attention.

“Her imagery alerts us to the wild world around us and urges us to consider our everyday actions that affect it directly or indirectly,” the committee said. “Her work aims to evoke a renewal of attentiveness, conversation and respect to other living things in the wild – this is a concept that we had not addressed with our previous fellows and encouraged us to look closer at Ludden’s body of work.”

Ludden’s reach extends throughout the state as an educator. She teaches at the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, serves as the 2D Artists Coordinator for the Pentaculum Artist Residency at the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts and is a 2022 mentor for Tennessee Craft Master Artist Apprentice Program. As an ambassador, Ludden is in the process of building community studio spaces with a community print shop in Knoxville, Tennessee.

“These three factors make her more than deserving of this year’s fellowship and support from the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts,” the committee said.

In addition to an artist lecture, which will be presented this fall, the Department of Art + Design is commissioning a new work from Ludden for the Art + Design building on the Austin Peay campus. The commissioned work will be installed this summer.

Ashton Ludden

About the fellowship

Through CECA’s generous support, the selected artist receives $5,000 to aid in the creation of new artwork, and additional funding for an artist lecture.

“Since APSU is the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts for the entire state of Tennessee, we wanted to find a way to support artists statewide,” said Barry Jones, dean of the College of Arts and Letters at APSU. “There is an incredible number of amazing artists here, but unfortunately there isn’t much financial support for them. We hope that this fellowship helps a Tennessee artist maintain their practice and to know that we support what they are doing.”

Past recipients of the CECA Tennessee Artist Fellowship include Maysey Craddock of Memphis, Alicia Henry of Nashville, Andrew Scott Ross of Johnson City, Bryce McCloud of Nashville, Carl E. Moore of Memphis, Benjy Russell of Dowelltown and Karen Seapker of Nashville.

For more information on the fellowship, please contact Janice Crews, director of CECA, at crewsj@apsu.edu.

To stay informed of upcoming CECA events, including Ludden’s upcoming artist talk during the fall, please visit www.apsu.edu/ceca or follow CECA on social media.

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