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Game Changer/s

Tennessee State University Department of Art and Design’s Hiram Van Gordon Gallery invites you to Game Changer/s. The 2021 Spring graduating seniors’ work ranges in disciplines; fashion, digital illustration, interior designer. 

Aarushi Kakkar, Bryan Mack, Edward McEwen, and Michael Wilson take on the next volley of their art practice. They set out into the world with the TSU’s motto of Think, Work, Serve. Each aware that education and learning are lifelong experiences, research and service are all part of our function as artists. Sometimes you make big calls and sometimes small plays, fielding and winning along the way. A Game Changer, an element that can make a difference, introducing new thoughts, new perspectives.

The Middle Child: The Pilot Show

Edward McEwen

Hello, my name is Edward McEwen I was born and raised in Nashville TN, I've been creating art for about 15 years ever since that fateful day with my brother and my cousin. My passion for art comes from comic books and cartoons that I used to watch when I was a kid. Hopefully, I will be able to achieve my dream of becoming a graphic designer/Illustrator making characters that are inspired by my past and my passion for creating comic book characters.

Art has always been the greatest passion of my life, but it is a passion that I've shared with my friends and family. Now I have the opportunity to share that passion with my peers. this is the labor of 15 years of blood, sweat, and tears to achieve my dreams.

Bryan's Tattoo Studio

Bryan Mack

I am Bryan Mack, an Interior Design student in the Art & Design program at Tennessee State University. I am from Washington, DC. The son of Gladys Mack and John Anderson. My interest includes hiking, rock-climbing, painting, and drawing. I always had a passion for art and solving practical problems. After college, I plan to become a small business owner of popular design studios and salons. I plan to be a private certified designer who specializes in creating successful and lucrative small businesses.

Creating a contemporary studio where body modification of inserting ink (dyes and pigments) permanent or temporary, into the skin to change the pigment. Tattooing is a body modification spanning thousands of years, and tattoos are admired for their permanence. People today primarily use tattoos to tell their personal stories, such as a means of identification, talismans, or memorializing a loved one. The primary goal for this design is to create a studio for artists and a haven for those who love this form of self-express while incorporating appropriate guidelines and building codes.

What would your favorite cartoon characters look like black?

Michael Wilson


Hey, Arnold





Must always watch his back because he never know what folks be on.


Bart Simpson



Does not tolerate Disrespect 


He also works at a corner store near his home which he steals food from because he doesn't always have a hot meal at home.

Mickey Mouse


Hard to get his trust 


Once you earn his trust, he will tend to do whatever he can to protect you.


Randall Weems

Shiesty (Sneaky)

Con Artist (Dishonest)

Ruthless (Power Hungry)


Will tend to do whatever he has to do to get the bag. (All of the above)


Growing up African American in the united states you sometimes feel like society is being brainwashed to believe that we (African Americans) are less important, and that our opinions do not matter. When you look at some of your favorite cartoons you don't really pay attention to their skin color, their behavior or even society around them. Although cartoons are said to be meant for entertainment purposes only i cant help but to see the truth in it and wonder what if these characters were African American.

My name is Michael Wilson. I am from Memphis Tennessee. I would say that I found my love for art when I was about 6 or 7. Because as a child, me and my mother would move a lot, so drawing my favorite cartoon characters was a way that made that time of my life easier. At that age everything was so inconsistent, but I always had my drawings no matter where we moved to. It started as just a hobby but my family always thought that I should do something with it because they thought I had a talent. I never knew that I could get a degree for it until my freshman year in college. That’s when I changed my major from computer science to graphic design, so that I could further my education in something that I love.

Cultural Roots

Aarushi Kakkar

The concept for my project is inspired by the designer I admire “Sabyasachi Mukherjee”. He is an Indian fashion designer from Kolkata, India. He uses unusual fabrics, textures and focus on detailing. He also uses contrast of bright colors with dark. He addresses his designs as “An international styling with Indian soil”. I am living in America for 4 years now and I miss my home. I tried to mix western dresses with Indian cultural dresses for this project.

Black Sheath Dress

Fabric used: Velvet and sequin

I chose western styling for this dress but used the fabrics which are commonly used in Indian clothing. Velvet is used heavily in Indian clothing especially in men’s and for royal families to give royal or premium look to the outfit.

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Red Floral Top & Skirt

Fabric: Cotton

I chose a simple crop top and a skirt and added cultural influence through the elements. I am from a Hindu family and in Hindu religion, red is of utmost significance and the color most frequently used for auspicious occasions like marriages, birth of a child, festivals, etc. A red mark is put on the forehead during ceremonies and important occasions. The red rose is also used to worship God in Hindu religion.

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Metallic Blue Dress

Fabric: Satin, Cotton (lining), embroidered lace 

For this outfit I used shiny satin and added handmade embroidery lace which I got from India. The design on the lace is similar to the designs you will see on historical buildings in India and India is famous for hand embroidery. Lucknow, the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh and largest city in northern India, is famous for over 400-year-old art of beautiful embroidery on cotton fabric, it is famous since the period of the British rule and the nawabs.

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Lehenga Choli (Long skirt and blouse)

Fabric: Satin and sequin, Cotton(lining)

For the last piece I went for fully Indian outfit. The Lehenga Choli also known as Lehnga, is a three-piece attire comprising the lehenga, a long Indian skirt worn by Indian women across India. Secured at the waist with the mid-riff left bare, lehenga is usually worn on ceremonial occasions, festivals and weddings. It is generally embroidered, printed or embellished and is worn with a fitting blouse called ‘choli’. Additionally, the lehenga-choli is paired with a ‘dupatta’(long piece of fabric) which covers the mid-riff and head, that is optional depending on how one wishes to drape it, going by the occasion.

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My name is Aarushi Kakkar and I am from a very colorful country India. I came to TSU on tennis scholarship. I have been playing tennis for 11 years now. I am pursuing bachelors in Art & Fashion Design at TSU. I will be going for my masters at Savannah College of Art & Design in Fall 2021. I want to peruse my carrier in fashion industry & designing and continue playing tennis. To view more handmade products and accessories

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