Terry Thacker has been an artist and educator for over thirty years. He is currently Professor of Fine Art at Watkins College of Art and Design where he was department chair from 2006 to 2011. Prior academic positions have been, Professor of Art at Savannah College of Art and Design and Associate Professor of Art at Middle Tennessee State University. Also active as a lecturer and reviewer he has written for Art Papers, lectured at the Southeastern College Art Association, and spoken at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Thacker received his B.F.A. from Austin Peay State University and his M.F.A. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He later studied at Long Island University and was as an associate at the Atlantic Center for the Arts with resident artist Alice Aycock. Thacker has shown in numerous national and regional exhibitions including exhibitions at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Brooks Museum, Hunter Museum, Dulin Gallery, and Cheekwood as well as solo installations at Vanderbilt University, Western Kentucky University, Murray State University, Alexandria Museum, and the Memphis Center for Contemporary Art.



For the last few years I have borrowed from Walter Benjamin’s first major work on 18th century, German, bourgeois tragedies or allegorical mourning plays. The paintings can be seen as metonymic characters clustered and theatrically blocked within a late Modern allegory. Allegory, meaning to “speak other” was dismissed as a weak, hysterical, and provisional to the more central condition of painting, but stories help build communities by exposing the fixed clay feet of orthodoxies.

The paintings in this exhibition are parts from a play-like project where anonymous women, who were thought to be weak, hysterical, and provisional, cluster together and open orthodoxies through the wisdom of sacrifice, play, promiscuity, weeping, and dancing. The double-page spreads are from a 20 page book, Little Tigers, that, like aphoto album, memorializes a community of children nurtured and remembered by a community of women.





1980       Master of Fine Arts, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

1977          Bachelor of Fine Arts, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN.

1989       Associate, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Alice Aycock, Yale University, in residence, New Smyrna Beach, FL.

1986       Master Workshop In Art, Long Island University, Southampton, NJ.


Vanderbilt University, visiting critique, November 2, 2015

Adjudicator, Scholastic Art Competition, Cheekwood, Nashville, TN, Jan. 8, 2014

Vanderbilt University, visiting critique, October 31 and November 2, 2011

MTSU visiting artist, 10/21/11 MTSU and Student Exhibition juror, 8/11-10/6

Chair, Fine Arts Department, Watkins College of Art and Design, 2005-2011.

Professor of Art, Foundations, Savannah College of Art and Design, 2004-2005.

Associate Professor, Middle Tennessee State University, 2002-2003.  

Associate Professor, David Lipscomb University, 1995 -2001, Chairman 1995-98.

Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville TN, Arts Council, 1999- 2007

Associate Professor, Freed-Hardeman University 1981-1995.

Reviewer: Art Papers, Numbers, 1991-1992.

Video Interview, Alice Aycock. Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, FL. 89.

Southeastern College Art Conference, Panelist, 2000, 1992, 1988

Tennessee Arts Commission Visual Arts Panel, Panelist 1982-88, Chairman 1986-88.

NEA/Alexandria Museum grant, Alexandria LA. 1993

NEA/TAC visiting artist grant, 1993.

Tennessee Individual Artist Fellowship, 1986.


2013-16 Founding and board member, COOP, collective, non-profit gallery, Arcade, Nash., TN

2011-12 Adjudication of $2.000.000, public art projects for Music City Convention Center, September 26, 2011 and May, 20, 2011

2010-11 Review Nashville urban design projects from fifth year architectural design student from UTK

            Chair, Art History search, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

Curatorial and Editing

2017       The Shadow’s Body: Painting’s Allegorical Impulse, Exhibition and panel discussion, Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery, Watkins College of Art, August 30 –September 29

               Co-edit (with Tom Williams) Number 91, an independent arts journal, summer 2017

2013       Punch & Judy, Curator for COOP collaborative exhibition, July 5-27, 2013, Punch Gallery, Seattle, WA

2012       Co-Curated Exhibition: Sabina Schlunk, COOP (collective) Gallery Nashville TN, November 5-26, 2011

2011       COOP Gallery, Founding member of collective run gallery space

              Curetted Exhibition: Robert Scobey, 2/12/11 - 2/28/11

Exhibitions / Lectures

2018       Collaborations, group exhibition, Cumberland Gallery. Nashville, TN, August, 2018

               Together, Let’s Change Our Names, three-person collaborative exhibition, Track One, Nashville, TN, February 2018

2017       Panalist, DiaLoGue, Symbolism in Abstraction. David Lusk Gallery, Nashville, TN, Jan. 2017

2016       Alumni Exhibition, Ewing Gallery, UT Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, August-September,          

2015       Solo exhibition, Driskill Art Gallery, SBU, Bolivar MO, January 26 – February 20, 2015   

               +1, The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster, NJ, Sept. 11 – Oct. 24

              One-person exhibition and lecture, Bulliner-Clayton Visual Art Center, Freed-Hardeman University, Henderson, TN.  Oct. 15-November 13, 2015

               Poem published, “Burial of the Wood,” Group project, eight artists directed by Patrick DeGuira,

2014       “Painting as Itself, Painting as Other,” Visiting artist/lecturer, University of Oregon, February 20, 2014

               Abstractometry, Mark Scala curator, Conte Community Arts Gallery, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN, August 30, 2013- February 2, 2014 (catalog), Lecture, August     29, 2013

                20 Collaborations in Book Art, my book: “Unpacking my Library: Petite Tigers,” February 15, 2014 – July 27, 2014, Nashville Public Library, Nash. TN

                Music City Convention Center, exhibition, book, purchase. Music City Convention Center, Nashville TN

2013       Monsters, Prophets, Sinners and Tourists, 4 person faculty exhibition, September 5 2013, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, Nashville, TN

                “Waking the Dream of Caffeinated Hippies,” 8 paintings in group exhibition, Zephyr Gallery, February 23–March 22, 2013, Louisville, KY

2012       Group exhibition, 10 x 10 installment of Chattanooga’s HATCH festival, 4/20/1

2011       Group exhibition and gallery discussion, My Mind Is Telling Me Know, My Body Is Telling Me Yes, Vanderbilt University, Space 204, September 4 - October 7, 2011

              Group exhibition and panel discussion, Scientist and Artist Picture the Intangible, Gallery F, Scarrit Bennett Center, Nashville TN, 8/5 -11/14, 2011

2010       Studio visits: Claire Schneider, Curator at Albright-Knox, March 13

               Mark Scala, Curator, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, March 15,  Panelist, Berlin’s Breakthrough Art Organization, 9 Berlin artist in conversation with 9                                         Nashville artist discussing freedom of speech, First Amendment Center, Vanderbilt University, April 27, 2010

               “Watkins Five + 5,” Twist Gallery, February 6 -27, Nashville TN.

2009       One person exhibition, lecture and student workshop, Space 204, Vanderbilt University, Aug. 26 - Oct. 2, Nashville TN

2009       “Jettison, New Ideas in Abstraction”, Group Exhibition, September 2009, formal opening lecture, Mark Scala, Chief Curator for he Frist Visual Art Center. Catalog. APSU, Clarksville, TN

                “Tennessee Abstract Painters,” Cheekwood, March 14 - September 20, Nashville, TN. Panel presentations and discussion September 24, 2009

                 “Surface Tension”, six person exhibition, AVA, 11/5 - 12/16, Chattanooga, TN.

                  Panel coordinator, “Abstract Painting Today,” Sept. 24, Watkins Institute, Nashville, TN

                  Panelist, “Symposium, Art Criticism,” Feb 14, Rhodes College, Memphis TN

                  Panelist, “Contemporary Artists View the South,” March 26, Cheekwood, Nashville, TN.

                  “Paper Trail”, drawing show, Davis Art Advisory, Nashville, TN

                  “Process”, group show, 3rd Ave. North, Nashville, TN

2008        Coordination with Zeitgeist Gallery’s Dialogue series, Panelist, April 8, 2008

                 Curator and essayist for, Shelter, work by Adrienne Outlaw, The Troy plunk Gallery (3/10/08 - 4/11/08)

                 Intelligent Design, Group Exhibition (6 paintings and cluster of 9 drawings), Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN.

2008        Faculty Exhibition, Watkins College of Art and Design, Nashville TN.

2007        Altered Vision, Group exhibition, Nashville Public Library, Nashville, TN.

                 Faculty Exhibition, Watkins College of Art and Design, Nashville TN.

2006       Private Dialogue, Six Artists at Vanderbilt’s Law School. Curated by Zeitgeist Gallery, Nashville, TN

2006       Introducing The Visual Arts, lecture series, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN. 

                New Secret Smell, group exhibition. Gallery 310 Chestnut, Nashville, TN.

                Panelist, Artist Speak. In conjunction with, 100 Artist See God, an exhibition curated by John Baldessari and Meg Cranston, sponsored by Cheekwood, Nashville, TN.

2005       Essay for exhibition, Abstract Painting: Vision and Re-Vision, including works by

                Jonathan Lasker, Thomas Nozkowski, and Gary Stephan. Domo Gallery, summit NJ.

                Faculty Exhibition, Watkins College of Art and Design. Nashville, TN.

 2003       Writing grant from Number. Article, ”Long Live the Death of Modernism,” Number, Memphis TN.

                Faculty Exhibition, MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN

2002       Collaborative Installation, panel discussion, The Parthenon, Nashville, TN.

                Frist Center Lecture Series: Post-Modern Work From the Paine Webber Collection.

                Faculty Exhibition, Watkins College of Art and Design, Nashville, TN.

2001       SECAC, Panelist,  “Vitrines and Palimpsests, Metaphors of Attrition,” Louisville KY,

2001       Catalogue. “An Enduring Legacy: Art of the Americas from Nashville Collections.”  Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN. (two entries)

               Group exhibition, Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN.

2000       Terry Thacker- Paintings and Installations, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY.

1999       12th Street Public Works Project (Metro Nashville urban development project grant), Design coordinator/fabricator, Falling Awake Bench.

1998       Not terminal If..., Project for Metro Nashville Airport, Nash., TN.  

1998       Abstract Painting, Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN.

1997       Tailed Ellipses Swimming, Seattle Art Exposition.

               Other Worlds, exhibition and gallery talk (three regional artists with distinct southern vernaculars), Zeitgeist Gallery and Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN.    

1996       Guest Lecture, "Eating The Gods" (reading art history through the eyes of Aaron Moses, a folk art historian), VAAN, Zeitgeist Gallery, Nash. TN.

                Two group exhibitions, Cumberland Gallery, Nash. TN.

1995       Hunter Museum, Chattanooga, TN. National painting competition.

1995       Visiting Artist, (exhibition and lecture) Union University, Jackson, TN.

               Auburn National Drawing Competition, Auburn University.

1994       Group exhibition, University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN.

              Memphis Arts Festival, Best in Show, Susan Krane juror,

1993       Installation, Alexandria Museum, Alexandria LA.

               Visiting Artist, (exhibition and lecture, "Place: Hewn, Notched, Folded"), Murray State University, Murray, KY.

               Invitational, Delta Contemporary Arts Center, Memphis, TN.

               Invitational, Visual Arts Alliance, Nashville TN.

1992       One person exhibition, Cumberland Gallery, Nash., TN.

                Installation, Metro Nashville Arts Center, Nash., TN.

                Chautauqua National, Chautauqua, NY.

1992       Nation's Bank Acquisitions, sponsored by Hodges Taylor Gallery, Charlotte, NC.

                Heaven / Hell Installation, Harding University, Sercy, AR.

                Group Exhibition, Tennessee State Museum, Nash., TN.

1991       Group exhibition, Gwenda Jay Gallery, Chicago, IL.

               Cheekwood National Juried Painting Exhibition. Nashville, TN.

1991       Arts in the Park (best of show), Overton Park, Memphis, TN.

              Exhibition, "Seven Years of Swimming Lessons," an installation. Memphis Center for Contemporary Art, Memphis, TN

1990       "September Competition," Alexandria Museum, Alexandria, LA.

                Gallery Artist, Gwenda Jay Gallery, Chicago, IL.

1990       "Stutter," an installation.  Lecture only, Memphis State University. Memphis, TN.

                "Stutter," an installation.  Exhibition and lecture, Louisiana College, Pineville, LA.

1989       Associate Exhibition, Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, FL.

               "Stutter," an installation.  Tennessee Technological University, Appalachian Center, Smithville, TN.

               "Stutter" (installed in abbreviated form), exhibition and lecture, Union University, Jackson, TN.

                 "Works From the Collection of Sandy Seawright," University of North Carolina,Chapel Hill, NC.

1988       Alexandria Museum of Art, "7th Annual September Competition," Alexandria, Louisiana.

1988       Atlanta Arts Festival, "Words: Exhibition," Atlanta, GA

               Cumberland Gallery, Group Exhibition, Nashville, TN.

1987       "Contemporary Tennessee Drawing," Cheekwood Museum, Nashville, TN.

               "New American Talent 1987," (traveling citation) Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, TX               

1987       "Southeastern Juried Exhibition," Fine Arts Museum of the South, Mobile, AL.

               "Artist's Liaison '87,” exhibition Djurovich Gallery, Sacramento, CA.

                "Tennessee Individual Artist Fellowship Exhibition" Tennessee Art Commission Gallery, Nashville, TN.

1986       Race Street Gallery, Two-Person Exhibition, Guest Lecturer, Grand Rapids, MI.

                "September Competition National Exhibition," Alexandria Museum, Alexandria, LA.

                "Master Workshop Exhibition," Long Island University, Southampton, NY.

1986       "Ten From Tennessee,"(traveling exhibition) curator, Peter Frank.

                                 -Dulin Gallery of Art, Knoxville, TN

                                 -Carroll Reece Museum, Johnson City, TN

                                 - Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN

                                 -The Fine Arts Center/Cheekwood, Nashville, TN

                                 - Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN.

                Solo Exhibition, Guest Speaker, Ashbury College, Wilmore, KY.

1985       "LaGrange National X,"  LaGrange, GA.

               "September Competition National Exhibition," Alexandria Museum, Alexandria, LA.

               "Shelter '85 National," (honorable mention), Zenith Gallery, Washington, D.C.

 1985       Included in Lecture, "Faith, Content and Post-Modern Art," Howard Fox (curator, Los Angles County Museum), Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.

              "CIVA Competitive Exhibition,"  Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.

                Solo exhibition, Leu Gallery, Belmont College, Nashville, TN.

                Two Person exhibition, Nashville Symphony.

1984       Exhibition, “Continuum V," Dulin Gallery of Art, Knoxville, TN.

 1984       "Critic's Choice,"  (exhibition and forum), Howard Fox, (Associate Curator, Hirshorn Museum) reviewer, Gatlinburg, TN. "Summer Lights Invitational,"  Nashville, TN.

                "Annual National Invitational,"  Pikeville College, Pikeville, KY.

                 Solo exhibition, guest lecturer, Itawamba Junior College, Fulton, MS.

                 "T.V.A. Purchase Competition," Knoxville, TN.

1983       Included in national conference lecture,  "Advocacy for the Arts on College Campuses," Chris Mounger, Gallery Director, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

1983       Solo exhibition, Sarratt Gallery, Vanderbilt University, Nash., TN.

               Solo exhibition, guest lecturer, Pikeville College, Pikeville, KY.

1982       "Works on Paper,"  (traveling exhibition),

                                 -Auburn University, Montgomery, AL.

                                 -Kennedy-Douglas Center for Art, Florence, AL.

                                 -Columbus College, Columbus, GA.

                                 -The Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham, AL.

                                 -Atmore Council of Fine Art, Atmore, AL.

1981       "The Early Eighties Purchase Competition,"  Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN.

              Cumberland Gallery,  "Group Exhibition," Nashville, TN.



 Abstractometry (catalog), Mark Scala essay, Conte Community Arts Gallery, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN, August 30, 2013- February 2, 2014

 Rigor and Play in Terry Thacker’s Abstract Paintings, Review by Matt Christy, Nashville Critical, http:// nashvillecritical.wordpress.com/

 Outlaw, Adrienne. Nashville Airport Installation review, Inreview, July 21,1998

McGowan, Rob. Delta Axis Contemporary Arts Center review, Memphis Flyer, May 1993.

Knowles, Susan. Cumberland Gallery review, Art Papers, July/August 1992.

Wibking, Angela. Cumberland Gallery review, Nashville Business Journal, February 1992.

Catalogue. 1991 Cheekwood National Painting Competition. The Fine Arts Center, Cheekwood, Nashville, TN.

Thomas, Alice. "Stutter," Alexandria Daily, January 26, 1990.

Fera, Maria.  "Stutter," Cookeville Herald, October 8, 1989.

Catalogue, Contemporary Tennessee Drawing. The Fine Art Center, Cheekwood, 1987.

Aurbach, Michael.  "Ten in Tennessee," New Art Examiner, Dec., 1986.

La Badie, Donald. "A Group of 10."  Memphis Commercial Appeal, September 30, 1986.

Catalogue.  Ten in Tennessee.  Dulin Gallery of Art, 1986.

Hieronymus, Clara.  "Thacker's Art:  Reality Gone A Searching."  Nashville Banner. February 2, 1985.

Rosson, Joe.  "Continuum Show:  Disturbing Fantasies." Knoxville Journal, October 22, 1984.