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Shuptrine scholarship winner
Phyllis Shuptrine and Brittany Wilkins

Shuptrine scholarship awarded

Art major Brittany Wilkins is the recipient of the Hubert Shuptrine Memorial Scholarship, established by family and friends of the late Hubert Shuptrine, internationally recognized visual artist.

“Brittany is an outstanding young woman in every way,” said Phyllis Shuptrine, the late artist’s wife. “She is a dedicated art student. Her work was quite worthy. Hubert would be pleased,” Shuptrine said.

In fall 2007, Wilkins will be a senior in the art department. She will continue to pursue an ambitious body of works begun this year exploring the inherent contradictions in consumer culture, according to Matt Greenwell, head of the Department of Art.

“The Shuptrines recognized Brittany's work a ‘spark,’ a kind of raw vitality in the work that set it apart from all other students in this year's scholarship exhibition.,” said Greenwell. “Brittany's work is, at this stage in its development, intensely material driven and highly experimental in probing the relationship between image, picture plane, canvas, and (literally) paint as a metaphor for material compulsion.

Recognition from the Shuptrine family was encouraging to the young artist. “It was wonderful to hear,” Wilkins said. “More than anything, it was reaffirming to me. Earlier in the semester, I had some self-doubt because the nature of my work had become more abstract.”

Reflecting upon the excesses in American culture, Wilkins said she incorporates discarded items in her art, a technique that creates texture and interest.

Wilkins is a framing assistant at Art Creations on Frazier Avenue. Saying art supplies are expensive, she welcomes the financial support the scholarship brings.

“We do not have the option to just go to school,” Wilkins said. “I have a job which creates a small income, but the cost of living is high. I am thankful the family and friends of Hubert Shuptrine have created this scholarship.”

Hubert Shuptrine was known for his works in watercolor. The Tennessee Arts Commission awarded Hubert Shuptrine the 2005 Governor’s Distinguished Artist Award. A 1959 graduate of the University, Shuptrine was the recipient of the 1976 Distinguished Alumnus Award. He also received an honorary membership in the UTC Alpha Scholastic Society.

“The Shuptrine Scholarship will support Brittany as she continues to explore and stretch boundaries in her final year in the program and the department is extremely grateful for the recognition and support of the Shuptrine family through the Hubert Shuptrine Memorial Scholarship. We look forward to many years of working with the family to capture that "spark" that so defined Hubert Shuptrine's work in life,” Greenwell said.

Brittany Wilkins's art Brittany Wilkins's art
Art by Brittany Wilkins

May 11, 2007