Given the artistic talent that so often represents ETSU; it comes as no surprise to see the 2017-18 Tennessee Artist Fellowship Award go to ETSU’s own Andrew Scott Ross.
An associate professor that has been with ETSU for 7 years, Ross describes being with the college as “inspiring.” Ross loves his students as well as their drive to work; expressing that “The whole school is very supportive,” and “We have a great community here at ETSU.”
Andrew Scott Ross earned his B.F.A. from the Atlanta College of Art and his M.F.A. in sculpture from the Art Institute of Chicago. The professor primarily teaches drawing, but expresses his personal work through many forms of media.
As a cross-disciplinary artist, Ross’s current interest is working with paper sculpture. Ross claims working with paper’s lightness and fragility can make a powerful impact for both artist and viewer. The artist also works with various paints and even mud as tools.
“In using mud, earth is kind of everywhere. It is a democratic medium everyone can use,” said Ross.
It is this unique style and immense creativity Ross possesses that amazed the judges behind this award. The Fellowship Award came as a complete surprise to Ross who had no intentions of receiving the award or even know that he had been nominated.
“It was wonderful,” said Ross in response to receiving the Fellowship “It made me feel a lot closer to Tennessee. I just felt very welcomed as an artist here.”
The honor constitutes of a total of $7,000 dollars. $5,000 of which, Ross plans to invest into his current project entitled “Muum.” $2,000 dollars will be used for a lecture he will be presenting at the Frist Center in Nashville on March 2 this year.
“MuuM,” Ross’s most expansive piece has been crafted for the past fourteen years. These works represent a continuous roving museum of Earth’s natural history. Much as time and history itself, the art fluctuates and moves from place to place. The pieces of this work are mostly paper sculpture that depict intense scenes from evolution onward; each with Ross’s own personal touch. Ross is literally putting his mark on history.
“I am interested in how professionals such as art historians and museum curators integrate their own imaginations into the display of art and culture. In the end, the museum tells a story that represents their own dreams and convictions. Artists do this as well, we all do,” Ross said.
A portion of “MuuM’ will be on display at the Hunter museum starting September 2018 as part of the Hunter Invitational. It is clear that through all of Ross’s hard work, the Tennessee Fellowship award went to the right place.
“The best thing [for aspiring artists at ETSU] is to learn how to be confident in your ideas,” said Ross.
In winning this award, Andrew Scott Ross represents not only the spirit of ETSU; but also demonstrates the quality that can arise through only dedicated hard work; A true fellow.
More information about Andrew Scott Rodd and his pieces, including the “MuuM’ project, can be viewed at http://andrewscottross.com/home.html.