By: Morgan Watters
This fall semester at IU South Bend, the Raclin School of the Arts fall Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) exhibition is a solo show! Perhaps due to a decline in enrollment during Covid-19, the BFA class of Dec. 2023 – which usually comprises at least half a dozen students – totals just one artist: Tamaine Derrickson.
I spoke with Derrickson about his exceptional circumstances; read on for his experience as both the lonely graduate and the star of the show.
Morgan Watters: What was your reaction to finding out you were the only student in the exhibition this semester?
Tamaine Derrickson: My initial reaction to finding out was shocking. When I found out I was the only artist in the show, I thought there was a mistake. It was all very confusing and scary at first, and to be fair, I’m still pretty shocked about it all. I’ve heard it rarely happens where there’s just one student in the exhibition, so it’s been pretty wild to think about. However, it’s also been fun to think about how the show unexpectedly became “The Tamaine Derrickson Show”. I’ve had friends and colleagues say that to me time and time again in a joking manner this semester, so it’s got me feeling pretty excited more than anything!
MW: Do you feel being the only student in the show is detrimental to your artistic outreach, or are you excited to have the space to yourself?
TD: Thinking of just how ginormous the space is in the gallery is something that’s weighed heavily on my mind this entire semester, generally because of the way the show usually goes. There’s always more than one person submitting their work for the show. At first, I didn’t really know how to feel about having that much space to myself, but soon after, I became excited to have the space; I can use as much as I want to show my work. So I like to think that this all worked out in my favor.
MW: What are you expecting the turnout of the show to be? Do you feel being the only artist will affect the turnout?
TD: Ultimately, I would love for anyone and everyone to come who is interested! I would love for those who are excited to come – to even invite someone they think would be interested in going to an event like this. It’s an amazing opportunity for me to show everyone just what it is that I have to offer with my art and not have any other distractions or artwork for people to compare with my work. I feel like the art that I’m presenting in the show has a little bit of something for everybody to connect with, so I believe the turnout will be great!
Derrickson’s work will be on display in the art gallery on the first floor of the Education & Arts building on campus at 6 p.m. on Dec. 7. The show is free to attend.