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June 1 – August 3, 2024

JUNE 7 | JULY 5 | AUGUST 2, 5-9PM

In Southern Black communities, our stories aren’t simply passed down from one generation to the next—they serve as maps with markers for our future. This truth is evident in The Bottom, a neighborhood in East Knoxville, Tennessee. Despite its demolition in the 1950s due to urban renewal and systemic racism, its legacy lives on.

Curated by Good Black Art and grounded in the research of Dr. Enkeshi El-Amin, a local sociologist specializing in race, place, and Black communities, The Bottom: Stories from the Neighborhood is an exhibition that delves into life in the neighborhood beyond its destruction. While it highlights the narrative of Knoxville, it resonates with Black, Brown, Indigenous, and underprivileged communities across different times and places. The exhibition presents both familiar and imaginative interpretations by two Southern artists through a dialogue of folklore and futurism, drawing from oral histories of former residents and archival sources from The Bottom.

This exhibition is in partnership with Good Black Art, Dr. Enkeshi El-Amin, and The Bottom.

View preview images and our complete schedule of events!


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

As part of Knoxville’s First Friday events, the gallery is open from 5-9pm on the first Friday of every month.

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