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Weaving Vibrant Communities: Brittney Boyd Bullock's Art Residency at Harpeth Hall

Weaving Vibrant Communities: Brittney Boyd Bullock's Art Residency at Harpeth Hall
Weaving Vibrant Communities: Brittney Boyd Bullock's Art Residency at Harpeth Hall

When visual artist Brittney Boyd Bullock creates, she weaves a kaleidoscope of colors and textures.

The Memphis-based arts program director and entrepreneur uses her interest in social change and community engagement to inform her pieces. This spring,  Ms. Boyd Bullock brought that vibrant energy to Harpeth Hall, where she spent a week working with middle and upper school students as the 2023-2024 Carell Artist in Residence. 

Her residency at Harpeth Hall, supported by The Ann and Monroe Carell Visiting Writer and Artist Series Endowment, gave students a chance to explore the themes of play, presence, and community as they worked on a collaborative project that took shape tiny piece by tiny piece.

Using stencils, rollers, and their imaginations, students from more than 20 classes made playing-card-sized art pieces that reflected their colorful personalities and artistic visions. Ms. Boyd Bullock then carefully assembled the over 4,000 miniature collage prints, turning them into a dynamic display that represents the many unique individuals who create Harpeth Hall’s strong and beautiful student community. 

The installation, "All the Small Things," is the result of everyone's work to make something special, and the art now hangs as the centerpiece of the rotunda in the Patton Visual Arts Center.

In addition to her own artistic practice, Ms. Boyd Bullock‘s two-dimensional collages and three-dimensional fiber works explore themes of ritual and wonder. She is inspired by color, poetry, and literature, and her collage work often uses found photographs, mono printing, and stamping techniques.

Ms. Boyd Bullock’s work was recently on display at the Frist Art Museum as part of the Multiplicity Blackness in Contemporary American Collage exhibition, the first major exhibition devoted to the subject. At the start of winter break, a group of Harpeth Hall students went together with several faculty members to view the exhibition in anticipation of Ms. Boyd Bullock’s spring residency.

Micayla Brown '31

Fifth grade student Micayla Brown joined the visit to the First, inspired by the layered and organic nature of Ms. Boyd Bullock’s work. The pieces illustrated that perfection is not always the aim. “She can do anything and won't think it's bad or messed up,” Micayla said. “She will keep going and building off of it.”  

Ms. Boyd brought that same energy to Harpeth Hall during the spring, encouraging the girls to add texture and depth to their artwork—a reflection of their own layers as people. That resonated with senior Presley Schick, who uses collage in her own AP artworks, including a piece she titled “Dump.” 

“It is important for students to hear from visiting artists because they can bring so much insight and inspiration from the outside world that we might not always be exposed to in a standard art class,” Presley said. “Finding artists who you can relate to is important. I could see my own style in her works, and that was really special and eye-opening for me.”  

Dump by Presley Schick '24

 

The Artist in Residence program is supported by The Ann and Monroe Carell Visiting Writer and Artist Series Endowment. This series, established by Ann and Monroe Carell and their daughters, Julie Carell Stadler ’77, Edie Carell Johnson ’80, and Kathryn Carell Brown, supports an artist for a week’s residency of workshops, lectures, and classroom teaching.