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Kay Dartt + Ronda Wright

January 6 – February 25, 2023
Reception: Friday, January 6, 5-9pm
Friday, February 3, 5-9pm

A two-person exhibition of work by Knoxville-based artist, Ronda Wright, and Shepherd University assistant professor, Kay Dartt.

As an artist and activist, Wright has created the on-going sculptural installation, Creating Artifacts of Home. Through a series of workshops, participants sculpt small artifacts of home. These workshops started in response to the overwhelming rate of LGBTQ+ homelessness and bullying, the premise of these workshops is that we all have a relation to home; and that iron is an element necessary to sustain life. While sharing experiences, participants sculpt a symbolic artifact that reminds them of home. After being cast in iron, the artifact becomes part of the larger collection of memories that reflect relations of Home. Participants’ artifacts link themselves not as “others” but to others.

Dartt’s work fluctuates between functional sculpture, speculative design, and embodied hyperobject. The goal of these objects is to challenge our western philosophies of living that have created an imbalance between the natural, artificial, and virtual environments we occupy. By synthesizing biomorphic forms, consumer language, and parametric design processes, an aesthetic emerges that invites a critical perspective of our environment. At times these objects can be humorous, whimsical, or enigmatic.

Kay Dartt is an artist whose practice combines sculpture, engineering, education and community outreach. As a Clinical Assistant Professor of Art at Shepherd University, she teaches sculpture courses, engineering courses and manages an interdisciplinary fabrication space called the FASTEnER Lab.

This exhibition and events are generously sponsored by UT’s Pride Center and the School of Art Programming Committee.

All events are free and open to the public.


The UT Downtown Gallery is a contemporary art gallery exhibiting professional work through funding and support from The University of Tennessee. We are located at 106 S. Gay Street in Knoxville, Tennessee next door to the Emporium Building.

Public receptions are held on the First Friday of each month from 5-9pm at the gallery.

All events at the UT Downtown Gallery are free and open to the public.