Downtown Knoxville is full of places to experience art and culture. Places such as the Tennessee Theater and the Knoxville Museum of Art are great venues to experience established artists, but one of the best places in the city to experience more “indie” art is the Knoxville Emporium Center.
The Emporium Center is constantly featuring new artists. On Sept. 4, five new exhibits will be opening at the center, each ranging in style and direction.
The Emporium’s main gallery will be hosting Robert Felker and Allen Monsarrat: “Magic in Everyday Life.” The exhibit is focused on structures and scenes one would see while walking around on a normal day, with a focus on Knoxville. The works featured in “Magic in Everyday Life” put a particular focus on the play of light in each scene, making ordinary scenes and pictures appear more magical.
The balcony will be hosting recent works by David A. Johnson and Christopher Mitchell. Johnson’s exhibit, “The Standard Knitting Mill: A Love Letter,” puts a spotlight on the abandoned Standard Knitting Mill on the west side of the Parkridge neighborhood. The exhibit paints the old mill in a whole new light, exploring the beauty that can come from the dilapidation of architecture.
Similarly to Felker and Monsarrat’s exhibit, Mitchell’s “Film Photographs Printed from a Personal Darkroom” also looks to showcase the beauty of everyday places and scenes.
“The places I am drawn to are usually overlooked: places that people no longer frequent as much. A laundromat or a diner, a train station or an elk lodge,” Mitchell said in a quote on the Arts and Culture Alliance's website. “I want my body of work to preserve an otherwise ephemeral moment, to slow down time, and, ultimately, to say, thank you for letting me take your picture.”
Ryan-Ashley Anderson’s “Linked,” an exhibit that features a series of pieces containing links that are “created with unexpected materials in unexpected ways,” will be hosted in the Emporium’s display case.
“The foundation of my work is exploration and self-expression,” Anderson said in a quote on the Arts and Culture Alliance's website. “As a jewelry-maker and artist who loves fashion and textile design and draws inspiration from architecture and pattern, I am in a constant state of curiosity and discovery. I ask myself questions such as ‘how can I use this technique in an unexpected way?’ and ‘how can I push this material further?’”
The Emporium’s atrium will be hosting Tracye Sowders’ “Sheltered Wanderlust.” “Sheltered Wanderlust” will feature a series of paintings inspired by travel, physical and mental.
“When I am able to travel, I seek the golden thread of sheer existence that binds us all to one another. I seek the silk that weaves us together with nature,” Sowders said in a quote on the Arts and Culture Alliance's website. “I paint about the light that settles in our souls, and the idea that there is a natural touchstone for all of us.”
The Emporium’s north wall will be hosting “Birds of Seven Islands” by Ken Jenkins, Ron McConathy and Clay Thurston. The exhibit will feature a number of images of birds promoting awareness of Seven Islands State Birding Park. The park, located east of Knoxville, encompasses 416 acres along the French Broad River.
The Emporium is limiting attendance to 75 and asks that all guests wear a face mask and social distance at all times. The new exhibits open on Sept. 4 and close on Sept. 25, with almost all pieces on display available for sale.