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Current + Past Exhibition Images


Violins of Hope

January 10 - February 20, 2019

The Violins of Hope are a collection of restored violins that were played by Jewish musicians during The Holocaust. These instruments have survived concentration camps, pogroms and many long journeys to tell remarkable stories of injustice, suffering, resilience and survival. The collection was assembled and restored by Israeli master violin maker and restorer, Amnon Weinstein.

In some cases, the ability to play the violin spared Jewish musicians from more grueling labors or even death. Nearly 50 years ago, Amnon heard such a story from a customer who brought in an instrument for restoration. The customer survived the Holocaust because his job was to play the violin while Nazi soldiers marched others to their deaths. When Amnon opened the violin’s case, he saw ashes. He thought of his own relatives who had perished and was overwhelmed. He could not bring himself to begin the project.

By 1996, Amnon was ready. He put out a call for violins from the Holocaust that he would restore in hopes that the instruments would sound again.

Amnon started locating violins that were played by Jews in the camps and ghettos, painstakingly piecing them back together so they could be brought to life again on the concert stage. Although most of the musicians who originally played the instruments were silenced by the Holocaust, their voices and spirits live on through the violins that Amnon has lovingly restored. He calls these 50 instruments the Violins of Hope.

Images of Human Rights Portfolio

February 1 - 23, 2019

The South African Bill of Rights was born out of a long struggle against racial segregation and human rights violations. Until the first democratic election in 1994, the majority of South Africans had been excluded from participating in the political process. Talks in the early 1990s between political prisoner Nelson Mandela and then South African leader F.W. DeKlerk ultimately led to free elections and a new government which aimed to respect the rights of all its citizens.

Images of Human Rights features 29 fine art prints, created by artists representing the nine provinces of South Africa and hand printed by master printmaker Jan Jordaan. The print portfolio was conceived of and released in 1996 by the Images of Human Rights Portfolio Committee, in commemoration of the newly post-Apartheid nation’s Bill of Rights. Funds generated from the sale of portfolios are deposited in the Artists for Human Rights Trust account and are used by Amnesty International and other organizations for human rights education programs for the young people of South Africa. This set of prints is being circulated in North America as one of a series of activities between Michigan State University and a consortium of agencies in South Africa, including the African National Congress; Centre for Cultural Studies, University of Fort Hare; and Mayibuye Centre, University of the Western Cape.

I'm Only Here to Leave - Tommy Kha

April 5 - 27, 2019

Tommy Kha is a photographer based between Brooklyn, NY and his hometown, Memphis, TN.

He is a recipient of the En Foco Photography Fellowship, the Jessie and Dolph Smith Emeritus Award, and a former artist-in-residence at Center for Photography at Woodstock, Light Work, Fountainhead, and Baxter Street at the Camera Club of New York. In December 2015, Kha published his first monograph, A Real Imitation, through Aint-Bad. His next book, Soft Murders, will be released Fall 2019.

He was the cover of Vice Magazine’s 2017 Photography Issue and a finalist for the Hyeres Photography 2019 Festival.

Kha holds an MFA in Photography from Yale University.

ArtSource 2019

May 3 - 17, 2019

Carl Sublett - A Centennial Celebration

June 7 - July 113, 2019

This exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of his birth. Carl was a longtime faculty member in the painting department in the School of Art and a member of The Knoxville Seven, a group of progressive artists active in the 50s and 60s. The show was proposed by his late son, Eric Sublett, who was a champion of his father’s work and also an alum of the School of Art. Over 20 regional collectors loaned works that were publicly displayed together for the first time. The exhibition featured over 50 watercolors, oils on canvas, original Christmas cards, and comic strips. Carl was a prolific and experimental artist, and this exhibition featured an example of work from every decade of his career with a piece from every series he created.

Howard Hull Paintings: 1989-2019

July 19 - August 17, 2019



Meandering Mythologies: Timothy Massey and Gary Monroe

January 6 - 26, 2017

Meandering Mythologies is a two-person exhibition featuring the work of Timothy Massey and Gary Monroe. Timothy Massey is the associate professor of art and chair of the Art Department at SUNY Brockport. He also serves as the director for the Tower Fine Art Gallery at SUNY Brockport. He studied printmaking and drawing at the University of Tennessee and Ohio State University. Gary Monroe is an artist from Knoxville, Tennessee who has exhibited nationally since the 1980’s. Most recently Monroe’s work has been featured in one-person exhibitions at the Estel Gallery, Nashville, TN, in 2011; the Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College in 2011; the Leu Art Gallery at Belmont University, Nashville, TN in 2009; and the Cue Art Foundation, New York, NY, in 2006. 

Intersections: an exhibition of glass from Ball State

February 3 - 25, 2017

Ball State University Glick Center for Glass opened in fall 2011 and this relatively new program has made significant grown and national recognition with the support of fellow educators and artists using this medium. Joining Ball State University faculty and students in this exhibit are Jonathan Chapman and Kristin Thielking from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens-Point, and Eoin Breadon from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. It is through the intersections of Ball State University's students and their mentors that the glass program is evolving from its regional prominence to national recognition.  The glass program, and the Glick Center for Glass at Ball State marks a return of glass production to Muncie. The university gets its name from the Ball brothers who had a food storage manufacturing business in New York and Muncie that made sealable glass jars for home canning – colloquially known as ball jars. In the 1880s glass manufacturing was moved from New York to Muncie due to an abundance of natural gas in the area. By 1917, the brothers had bought the foreclosed Indiana Normal University and gave it to the state of Indiana, creating what would become Ball State University.

Open Ended: films by Kevin Jerome Everson

March 3 - 31, 2017

With a sense of place and historical research, Kevin Jerome Everson's films combine scripted and documentary moments with rich elements of formalism. The subject matter is the gestures or tasks caused by certain physical, social-economic, and environmental conditions in the lives of working class African Americans and other people of African descent. Instead of standard realism he favors a strategy that abstracts everyday actions and statements into theatrical gestures, in which archival footage is re-edited or re-staged, real people perform fictional scenarios based on their own lives and historical observations intermesh with contemporary narratives. The films suggest the relentlessness of everyday life—along with its beauty—but also present oblique metaphors for art-making. This exhibition is in partnership with The Public Cinema and Big Ears music festival.

Breach: Alison Saar

April 7 - 29, 2017

Alison Saar weaves narratives relating to the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 into the mixed-media sculpture and paintings featured in Breach. Saar explores issues of gender, race, racism, and the African diaspora. She mines mythology, ritual, history, music, and her biracial heritage as sources for her work. During a 2013 residency at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, Saar was dismayed to see how little had been done to rebuild African American communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina eight years earlier. Upon her return to Los Angeles, she began researching the histories of American floods and the effect on African Americans. The Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927, described as one of the worst natural river disasters in U.S. history, piqued her interest. Heavy rains resulted in the river breaching levees, creating a historic catastrophe that had a profound impact on the life of African Americans living in the Mississippi Delta. The flood exposed the conditions of poor African American sharecroppers and tenant farmers and their relationship with cotton plantation owners. The flood also resulted in social, cultural, federal policy, and political changes. With water imagery woven throughout, Breach is the culmination of Saar’s creative research on American rivers and their historical relationship to the lives of African Americans. Through mixed media sculpture, paintings, and works on paper, she explores floods not only as natural phenomena; but also the complex interaction of social, cultural, and political factors associated with flooding and its aftermath.

ARTSOURCE 2017

Every day, Knox County art teachers devote their time and energy to cultivating creativity and critical skills in their students. For more than a decade, Art Source, the exhibition dedicated solely to Knox County art educators, has given these same teachers an opportunity to nourish and showcase their own artistic talents.

Living On: Tennessee Survivors and Liberators

June 2 - July 27, 2017

The UT Downtown Gallery is pleased to present Living On an exhibition of 24 portraits of holocaust survivors and liberators living in Tennessee by Robert Heller. Heller, a professor in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee since 1986, received his B.S. and M.A. degrees in photojournalism from Syracuse University. He taught photography and graphics for five years at the University of Miami, and was publications designer and photographer at the State University of New York College at New Paltz, and Elmira College in New York. Heller also taught photography at The Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York. His photographs have been selected for numerous juried exhibitions and he continues to do freelance work in both graphic design and photography. Living On is a project of the Tennessee Holocaust Commission, which is funded by an annual appropriation from the Tennessee State Legislature and by private donations. Assistance in the development of this documentary project was provided, as well, by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc. The traveling exhibition was curated by Susan W. Knowles.

 

Reprocessed

August 4 - 19, 2017

Reprocessed is an exhibition of art by three Knoxville artists who use found imagery and materials to create their unique pieces. The UT Downtown Gallery is pleased to display woven work by Judi Gaston and mixed media pieces by Kelly Hider and Beth Meadows. Judi Gaston recalls as a child poring over books with photographs of exotic places. Now she seizes every opportunity to visit far away lands – Kenya, India, Peru, the Amazon Basin, Australia, Samoa… She tries to incorporate some of the contributions that these cultures have made, blending them in new and distinctive forms using old buttons, beads, patching, knotting and embroidery techniques in her woven clothing. Along with her wearable fashions, she also designs a recycled wearable art series. She likes making wearables that have a history of having lived previous lives. Beth Meadows‘ artwork is inspired by fashion and design, folk art, children’s books, and the strength, confidence, and beauty of women. She lives and works in Knoxville, Tennessee. Kelly Hider was raised in Rochester, NY. She received her BFA from SUNY Brockport in 2007, and an MFA from the University of Tennessee in 2011. She is a founding member of the Vacuum Shop Studios, where her studio is currently located, and is Co-Chair of the Dogwood Regional Fine Arts Exhibit. Hider is the Gallery Coordinator at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and resides in Knoxville, TN.

 
Dual Current: Inseparable Elements in Painting and Architecture

September 1 - October 7, 2017

Dual Current: Inseparable Elements in Painting and Architecture, curated by Gabriele Evertz, examines the relationship between painting and architecture in a contemporary context through color, shape, and theory. The artists whose works are featured in this exhibition are: Josef Albers (American, born Germany, 1888–1976), Matthew Deleget (American, born 1972), Peter Dudek (American, born 1952), Cris Gianakos (Greek-American, born 1934), Michelle Grabner (American, born 1962), Lynne Harlow (American, born 1968), Changha Hwang (Korean, born 1969), Russell Maltz (American, born 1952), Rossana Martinez (Puerto Rican, born 1969), Kristine Marx (American, born 1969), and Manfred Mohr (German, born 1938). Their works link three-dimensional space and the picture plane to create radical new forms. 

Morehshin Allahyari

October 20 - November 22, 2017

Morehshin Allahyari is an artist, activist, educator, and occasional curator. She is the recipient of the leading global thinkers of 2016 award by Foreign Policy magazine. Morehshin was born and raised in Iran and moved to the United States in 2007. Her work deals with the political, social, and cultural contradictions we face every day. She thinks about technology as a philosophical toolset to reflect on objects and as a poetic means to document our personal and collective lives struggles in the 21st century. Morehshin is the co-author of The 3D Additivist Cookbook in collaboration with writer/artist Daniel Rourke– (published on December 2016 online in 3DPDF format and in print by the Institute of Networked Cultures). Her modeled, 3D-printed sculptural reconstructions of ancient artifacts destroyed by ISIS, titled Material Speculation: ISIS, have received widespread curatorial and press attention and have been exhibited worldwide.

Nocturnal Suns

December 1, 2017 - January 6, 2018

An exhibition of work by 4 professors from the University of Tennessee School of Art: Emily Bivens, 4D;  John Kelley, 4D,  Mary Laube, painting; and John Powers, sculpture.