New Exhibitions Opening at The Emporium

May 6–28, 2022 @ Knoxville Arts & Culture Alliance

The Arts & Culture Alliance presents five new exhibitions at The Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from May 6-28. A free reception with the artists takes place Friday, May 6, from 5-9 p.m.and features music inside the Emporium by Variego3 and Knoxville Gay Men’s Chorus. Most of the artworks will be for sale and may be purchased through the close of the exhibition by visiting in person or the online shop

Denise K. Cumming and Mike C. Berry: Motion, Time and Lightin the lower gallery
Motion, Time & Lightis a two-person exhibition of new works by Knoxville artists Denise K. Cumming and Mike C. Berry and includes long exposure photography, paintings and drawings that expressively highlight the surrounding landscape, cityscape and skies.

Denise K. Cummingis a self-taught artist whose work includes original paintings, large-scale pole carvings and experimental photography. Her images in this exhibition result from an experimental approach to the photographic medium; they could be called “light paintings.”The artist uses camera movement and long exposure times to "paint" unique images with the sun, various lights and fire. The photographs are ‘one shot’ images created in camera without use of Photoshop or composites. Many of the images were taken from the window seat of airplanes capturing light reflecting off of clouds and objects on the ground. Some images feature extremely lengthy exposures called solargraphy. With DIY pinhole cameras made from coffee cans, the images track the path of the sun over long periods of time – usually the six months between Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice. The resulting images are colorful, abstractly ethereal and challenge the viewers perceptions.

Mike C. Berry’s works include new compositions highlighting the urban landscape; they are created in pastel and charcoal, emphasizing movement and light within the cityscape. Berry’s works have featured Knoxville and surrounding areas for the past 20 years, and he is represented by River Gallery in Chattanooga and The District Gallery in Knoxville. Prints and cards of his work are available at Rala: Regional and Local Artisans and the Knoxville Museum of Art gift shop in Knoxville.

Four Artist TN: From this Pointin the upper gallery
The pleasure taken from natural landscapes serves as an impetus for the four Tennessee-based artists Mike Martino, Emily McGrew, Susan McGrew and Randy Purcell. The group that came to be the Four Artist Tennessee met when all exhibited work in a holiday show in December 2012. Although each member of the group worked in a unique medium, they found there was an overlapping tendency towards degrees of abstraction of the subject matter as well as in the subject matter itself: natural elements and subjective color. This allowed their work to display cohesively. Common ground was found in a variety of topics relating to the visual artist and the profession. They began meeting on a regular basis to discuss current work and professional outlook and had their first Four Artist TN show in 2017. The beginning of the pandemic in early 2020 forced some changes and the group decided to use that time to grow. Organically, the discussion eventually touched on the idea of designating assignments that might give the work even more cohesion when presented together. From This Point the meetings provided additional focus, loose deadlines, and a different kind of purpose in the studio practice of each artist as they created specific pieces for critique by the group. In this, their fourth group exhibition, they will show for the first time group projects developed over the past two years as well as individual artworks.

"We pursue the dilemma of realism in different ways. Landscapes, some stark and sad with evidence of human industrial impulse reminiscent of the Ashcan School, are depicted in acrylic by Emily McGrew. Randy Purcell may start with a similar overlying view, which he transforms with his own unique process compromising ink transfer on beeswax base, creating a mosaic like surface in the process. In contrast, Susan McGrew’s contemporary oil and cold wax landscapes and focused close-ups, teeming with lush vegetation and wildlife reflect an optimism reminiscent of the Hudson River School. The printmaking process used by Mike Martino pushes the print medium with a more painterly effect, but conveys the same softer view of the natural world. While we pursue the dilemma of realism in different ways with different media, we have an affinity for each other’s work based on our interest in the landscape as a vehicle for our expression. Like a camera taking pictures from different perspectives, our work shown together provides a more multidimensional model of the world we inhabit."
Susan McGrew:

Sam Stapleton: Hidden Dimensionson the North Wall
"I have photographed flowers persistently for more than a decade, always in search of some new aspect or insight I’ve previously overlooked. I’ve frozen them, pulled them out of the neighbors’ trash, buried them in sand, and pulled them apart petal by petal to reconstruct them into imaginary new creations, all in search of some revelation about the source of their continual beauty. This exhibit reflects my quest for new dimensions within individual flowers using the power of digital processing to reimagine their original portraits."

Sam Stapleton’s photographic journey has been almost 50 years in the making, beginning with the purchase of his first 35mm SLR in 1974. He is largely self-taught in that he has no university degree or formal certification pertaining to photography, or even the arts in general. Instead, he has learned his craft through years of dedicated workshops, professional magazine assignments with his author wife and lots of hands-on practice and experimentation. Most important, he studies the work of other photographic artists, always asking himself “what are they doing”, “why are they doing it this way” and “how can I learn from it”.

Fiber Works by Timothy Bridgesin the Atrium
This new exhibition features a collection of scarves, pillows, jewelry, and apparel all of which are based on traditional quilt patterns reimagined in a contemporary way. Sewing techniques include Mexican smocking, satin stitching, sprigging, and applique to create pieces that are all one-of-a-kind.

I have been sewing since childhood, and I am fascinated by the way intricate detail can combine with color and pattern to create new forms grounded in tradition. Whimsy, fun, and a tongue in cheek attitude that is nevertheless a bit sophisticated are always a part of creativity for me. “Everything old is new again.”

Timothy Bridges studied at the University of Tennessee, Tennessee Technological University, and The School of Fashion Design of Boston. He worked as a visual merchandising coordinator for several major department stores and spent several years designing costumes and sets for theater productions in Florida and Tennessee. He also designed wedding dresses and formal party wear. Bridges now devotes his time and skills to creating wearable art and home accessories in his inimitable style. He is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and will be participating in an upcoming exhibit at the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington. He will also participate in two other exhibitions sponsored by the Guild at the Folk Art Center in Asheville in 2022.

TN Voices: Behind the Mask — Unmasking Mental Healthin the display case
Unmasking Mental Health is an exhibition of theatrical mask images designed by 20 youth and young adults in Tennessee to raise awareness about what is really going on behind the mask and to promote acceptance of mental health issues. TN Voices, Tennessee’s leading mental health support services nonprofit, hosts this exhibition as part of Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week, May 1-7.

Each Year TN Voices works to educate Tennesseans about the importance of improving access to mental health care and treatment, and to help break down other barriers such as negative perceptions about mental illness. TN Voices speaks out as an active advocate for the emotional and behavioral well-being of Tennesseans by providing essential services, support, and advocating for policy change at the local, state, and federal level. They are deeply committed to assisting and supporting fellow Tennesseans by reducing stigma and increasing acceptance. The TN Voices vision is to build hope for all generations, and their mission is to be the collaborative leader in guiding mental health transformation.

To access TN Voices programs and services, visitwww.tnvoices.orgor call 615-269-7751.

The exhibitions will be on display at the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street, in downtown Knoxville. The Emporium is open to the public Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM — 5:00 PM and Saturday, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM. For more information, seewww.knoxalliance.comor call (865) 523-7543.

Category: Exhibits