Andrew Saftel

Andrew Saftel was raised in Rhode Island. He received a B.F.A. with an emphasis on Printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute. In the mid 1980s, he relocated to Knoxville, TN, set up a studio and continued making paintings on wood panels that were inspired by the carved and stained woodblocks left from printing projects. He has since had over forty-five solo exhibitions of paintings, sculptures, prints and collages in galleries and museums across the country. He is the recipient of an Individual Artist Grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission and was selected to travel to Israel as part of a Tennessee/Israel Art Exchange. He divides his time between the Sequatchie Valley in East Tennessee, Northern California and Patzcuaro, Mexico.

Artist Statement - Ours Days (2015)

My work has always referenced how history has made us and how we all move through time together. I am increasingly aware of the flow of time, motivated to make the best of my days--to learn, grow, and do the best I can. These thoughts have come more into the foreground as I have worked on this exhibition in the last year.

The title of the exhibition, Our Days, and the title painting point out the obvious: these are our days, going by fast in our culture of busy.  The function of art is to get us to slow down, contemplate, think and act differently than we do in the world outside of art.  We lose track of every day miracles. Tiny bones in our ears collect sound vibrations and send those to the brain for processing; plants come from seeds growing in sun, water and soil; we are floating in a huge dark space spinning and circling the sun. Our days are numbered on the calendar; each year we live is time we never get back.

Reaching for fruit, a metaphor that has become a dominant theme in my work, originated several years ago when I was in Mexico doing printmaking and works on paper and designing tapestries to be woven by local artisans. It is a simple, positive metaphor: reach for the fruit and you will find it. Over the past several years I have split my time and studio work between Pikeville, TN and Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, Mexico. The open-air market in Pátzcuaro, which possesses the wildest array of fruits imaginable, has been a major inspiration. Some of the works on paper in this exhibition were used as designs for the tapestry project, an ongoing collaboration begun in 2010.




B.F.A. 1981, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA

Solo Exhibitions

2015    Tew Galleries, Atlanta, GA

            Cumberland Gallery, Nashville,TN

            Bennett Galleries, Knoxville,TN

2104    The Front Gallery, Chattanooga,TN

2013    Central Cultural Antiguo Colegio Jesuita, Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico

            Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis,TN

2012    Bennett Galleries, Knoxville, TN

2011    Lanoue Fine Art, Boston, MA

2010    Cumberland Gallery, Nashville,TN

2009    Bennett Galleries, Knoxville, TN

2008    Lanoue Fine Art, Boston, MA

            Bennett Galleries, Knoxville, TN

2007    Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN

            Lowe Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

            Bennett Galleries, Knoxville, TN

2006    Lanoue Fine Art, Boston, MA

2005    Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA

            Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL (catalogue)

            Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA

2004    Bennett Galleries, Knoxville, TN

2004    Lowe Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

University Art Gallery, The University of the South, Sewanee, TN

2003    Gallery Camino Real, Boca Raton, FL

Bennett Galleries, Knoxville, TN

Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA (catalogue)

Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN

2001    Bennett Galleries, Knoxville, TN

Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA

2001    Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN (catalogue)

2000    Tennessee Arts Commission (Fellowship Exhibition)

Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA

St. Andrews-Sewanee School, Sewanee, TN

Cleveland State Community College, Cleveland, TN

1999    Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, TN

1998    Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA (catalogue)

Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN

1997    Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Albertson-Peterson Gallery, Orlando, FL

1996    Spirit Square Center for the Arts, Charlotte, NC

            Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI

Bennett Galleries, Knoxville, TN

Tennessee Performing Arts Center/Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN

1995    Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN (catalogue)

1994    Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN

1993    Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA

1992    Bennett Galleries, Knoxville, TN

Lowe Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

1991    Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN

1990    Carlton Cobb Gallery, Atlanta, GA

1989    Kyle Belding Gallery, Denver, CO

1988    Carlton Cobb Gallery, Atlanta, GA

1985    Artifacts Gallery, Bozeman, MT

Selected Group Exhibitions

2018    Collaborations, Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN

2017    Transcending the Medium, Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN

2016    Unexpected Surfaces, Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN

            Local Fare, Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN

2013    People, Places and Things, Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL

2009    Works With Words, Nashville Public Library, Nashville, TN

2007    The Hunter Invitational, Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN

The Art of Tennessee, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN (catalogue)

2003A Century of Progress: Twentieth Century Painting in Tennessee, Cheekwood

Museum of Art (traveling exhibition with catalogue: West Tennessee Regional Art Center; Knoxville Museum of Art; Carroll Reece Museum, East Tennessee State University; Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA)


2014   U.S. State Department ,Visual Arts Initiative, Dhaka, Bangladesh

2010   U.S. State Department, Visual Arts Initiative, Dhaka, Bangladesh

            Professional Development Grant, Tennessee Arts Commission, Printmaking in Mexico

2003    Artist Residency, Spring Concentration, Penland School of Crafts

1999    Individual Artist Fellowship, Tennessee Arts Commission

1998    Tennessee-Israel Visual Artists Exchange

1988    Purchase Award, Dulin National Works on Paper Competition, Knoxville

Museum of Art (Juror: Thomas Leavitt)


Public Commissions

2005    Imagery Winery, Glen Ellen, CA: “Offering,” original watercolor for wine label

            Bonnaroo Music Festival Poster, Manchester, TN

2004    Goldenberg-Hehmeyer, Chicago, IL: “Counting on the Future,” 5’ x 10,’acrylic and mixed media painting on wood

2003    Oregon Episcopal School, Portland, OR: "Learn to Grow," 9' tall welded steel outdoor sculpture

2002    Knoxville Convention Center, Knoxville, TN: "Local Talent," wood and steel, 5' tall pedestal sculpture

2001    Ruby Tuesday Headquarters, Maryville, TN: Pair of paintings for public foyer, each 80" x 55"

CNL Corporate Headquarters, Orlando, FL: "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow," 5' x 35,' acrylic and mixed media painting on wood

2000    St. Andrews-Sewanee School, Sewanee, TN: "A Head of Our Time," 10' tall steel and found object, site-specific outdoor sculpture

1997    Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta, GA: "Serenade the Procession," 18' long steel and found object, suspended sculpture

1996    Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs: "We Can Go," acrylic and mixed media painting on wood panels, 2' x 168' running feet; 4 steel and found object sculptures on 70' long baggage claim carousels in Concourse E (International Terminal)

1994    Bell South Headquarters, Nashville, TN: Pair of paintings for public foyer, each 72" x 48"

Public Collections

Music City Center, Nashville ,TN

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN

Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC

Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN

Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta, GA

Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN

Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL

Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN

Nashville International Airport, Nashville, TN

Orlando City Hall, Orlando, FL

Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN

Tennessee Arts Commission, Nashville, TN


Jones, MiChelle, “Face to Face with Andrew Saftel,” in: Nashville Arts, February 2011

Moquit, K. Anis, “Native Land: Of Birthplace, Landscape and Process of Recalling,” in: Depart, October 2010

Adkins, Dennis, “Off The Block: Artist Collaborates on Print Project in Mexico, in: Arts Tennessee: A Publication of the Tennessee Arts Commission, Fall 2010

Freeman-Jurney, Roberta H., “ Andrew Saftel: Artistic Soul,” in: Florida Design, 2004, v. 14, no. 4, pp. 62-66.

Scala, Mark, "New Directions: Contemporary Art in Tennessee," in: Art of Tennessee. (Nashville: Frist Center for the Visual Arts, 2003), pp. 337-8, 340.

Wicks, Stephen, catalogue entries in Art of Tennessee (Nashville: Frist Center for the Visual Arts, 2003), pp. 342-343, and A Century of Progress: Twentieth Century Painting in Tennessee (Nashville: Tennessee Historical Society and Cheekwood Museum of Art, 2002), pp. 69-70.

Joyner, Heather, "Claiming a Place: The Evolving Repertoire of Artist Andrew Saftel." Metro Pulse, 12 June 2003, p. 26.

Fox, Catherine, "Layers of Lush Color, Depths of Rumination." Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7 March 2003.

Mesfin, Bilen. "Emerging Artist: Andrew Saftel."  Art & Antiques, December 2002, pp. 48-51.

Seymour, Liz. "A Home for all Seasons: the Kreis and Sandy Beall Home, Knoxville, TN." Southern Accents, November-December 2002, pp. 202-205.

Cullum, Jerry. "Other Times, Other Wars: Andrew Saftel Combines Big Issues with Everyday Life."  Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 21 September 2001, p. Q8.

Nichols, Ann. "A Head of our Times." Chattanooga Times-Chattanooga Free Press, 28 May 2000, p. D6.

Sirlin, Deanna.  "Mark Perlman, Michael David, Andrew Saftel at Lowe Gallery." Art Papers Magaxine, September-October 1999, pp. 39-40.

Sims, Michael. "Branching Out: 'Shake The Tree' by Andrew Saftel at Cheekwood's Temporary Contemporary." Nashville Scene, April 1999.

McLean, Paul. "The Fruit of Shaken Trees." In Review, 13 April 1999.

Lockwood, Brett. "A Journey Home with Andrew Saftel."  Blue Milk, November 1998, vol. 1, no. 5, p.12.

Wall, Donna Dorian. "More than Words: As Text Enters the Picture, A New Language Enters the Visual Arts." Southern Accents, September-October, 1998, vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 114-120.

Radulski, John P. "North Hampton Golf Club, Akita, Japan, Offers its Members Modernist Flair." Hospitality Design, May-June 1998, pp. 98-99.

Joyner, Heather. "At Home in the Sequatchie Valley." Celebrating Knoxville, Summer 1998, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 20-27.

"Art Adds Warmth to AIDS Ward." City Life Buckhead, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 12 February 1998.

"Saftel Blends Abstract with the Routine." The Tennessean, 11 January 1998, p. 8K.

Betts, Elizabeth S. "The Mod Squad: the Mark and Anne Manner Home, Nashville, TN." The Tennessean, 4 July 1997, p.1D.

Barrett, Chris. "Profile: Andrew Saftel." Number, Summer 1997, vol. 32, p. 22.

Cullum, Jerry. "Flights of Fantasy on Ungainly Wings." Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 31 January 1997.

Ribar, David. "Steeling Beauty." Nashville Scene, 19 December1996, pp. 74-75.

Walmsley, James S. "Stroke of Genius: Abstract Art is Taking on New Meaning for the Southern Collector." Southern Accents, November-December 1996, vol. 19, no. 6, pp. 125-134.

Fox, Catherine. "Have Art, Will Travel: Art at Hartsfield International Airport's Concourse E." Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11 July 1996, p. E16.

O'Brien, Jerry.  "The Beauty of Perseverance." Providence Journal-Bulletin, 12 April 1996, pp. C1-2.

Stryk, Suzanne. "Andrew Saftel: 'Confluence,' at Knoxville Museum of Art." Art Papers Magazine, May-June 1995, vol. 19, no. 3, p. 54.

Leaming, Linda. "See the World: Works by Andrew Saftel and Bob Nugent, Cumberland Gallery." Nashville Scene, 19 May 1994.

Jinkner-Lloyd, Amy. "Against the Grain: Andrew Saftel at Lowe Gallery." Creative Loafing, 17 April 1993, p. 32.

Fox, Catherine.  "The Southern Artist: Andrew Saftel." Southern Accents, March 1991, vol. 14, no. 2, pp.  82-85.

Guge, Gail.  "Award Validates Artistic Experience, Winner Says." Knoxville News-Sentinel, 28 February 1988, p. 4.