New Exhibitions Opening at the Emporium Center on Jan. 3

January 3–31, 2020 @ Emporium Center for Arts & Culture

KNOXVILLE – The Arts & Culture Alliance presents five new exhibitions at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from Jan. 3-31. A reception takes place Friday, Jan 3, from 5-9 p.m. as part of First Friday activities downtown to which the public is invited to meet the artists and view the artwork. Most of the works are for sale and may be purchased through the close of the exhibition. The opening reception features music by Kelle Jolly & The Will Boyd Project.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission Gallery of Arts Tribute in the main gallery

The MLK Gallery of Arts Tribute exhibition kicks-off the 2020 King Week Celebration (Jan. 15-20). The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission is partnering with the Arts & Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville to provide this sixth annual exhibition. The Gallery of Arts Tribute is a juried exhibition developed to recognize local artists and, most importantly, honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The exhibit will feature works by local artists reflecting the 2020 theme, “Let Freedom Ring: Through Social Justice, Economic Empowerment, Love, Peace, and Unity”. Works in the exhibitions may also be a reflection of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and have pertinence to the themes of Unity, Community, Love, Reconciliation, Social Justice, and Civil Rights. For more information, visit

The Big Camera! and A1LabArts: Camera Obscura II in the Balcony gallery

This juried call for artwork features photo and time-based media such as collage, mixed-media, darkroom work, digital manipulation, historic processes and more by local and regional artists. Awards will be chosen by the public with a Best in Show: The Cathy & Bernie Award of $500.

In collaboration with Donna Moore, John Allen and Anna Lawrence, The Big Camera! is an ongoing project: a modified enclosed cargo trailer that functions as an extra-large (6’x10’) format camera as well as a portable classroom and community outreach vehicle for A1LabArts. The Big Camera! was made possible in large part through the Ann and Steve Bailey Opportunity Grant. The group has taught classes or demonstrated photography in places such as the Community Law Office's youth art program, the Emporium Center, Central Filling Station, and area K-12 schools. The Big Camera! is intended to share the magic of photography though making its principles hands-on, allowing photography to come alive in a new way for many who encounter it. For more information, visit

A1LabArts is a nonprofit organization founded in 1995 by a group of local artists and dedicated to multi-disciplinary and experimental exploration of contemporary art issues in all media. For more information, visit

Regina Tullock: Cityscapes, Landscapes & Waterscapes on the North Wall

Regina (Gina) Tullock has explored the ways life becomes art for the past 28 years, beginning with her work as a middle school educator. Through her professional career, Tullock has nurtured young people to give expression to their creativity through art, drama and photography. Her pioneering work with students, at a time when computers first developed into a viable artistic medium, paved her own way to her current mode of artistic expression. Through combining photography, graphic art and an artist’s eye for texture, color and composition, Tullock creates photographic prints that take on the look and character of oil paintings. Her work blends both a photographic realism with an artistic interpretation, creating a medium that uniquely engages the viewer to experience a deeper truth behind what meets the eye.

In this new exhibition, Tullock focuses on various scenes in and around the Knoxville area and East Tennessee. Her work documents the natural world and seeks to reveal the deeper beauty contained within. For more information, visit

The Art of Stephen R. Hicks in the display case

Stephen R. Hicks has been a full-time artist since 2010. He works in several genres including sculpting clay, driftwood carving, exotic leather and acrylic painting. His clay sculptures are inspired by ancient prehistoric art, and his driftwood carvings increase awareness of recycling through use of organic material from local lakes and rivers. He loves that art has no limits.

Hicks has shown works in numerous local and regional exhibitions, including at the Knoxville Museum of Art and with HoLa Hora Latina’s Casa Hola gallery at the Emporium Center. For more information, visit, follow him on Instagram @powersourcecreations, and like his Facebook page under Stephen R Hicks — Artist.

Gale Stryker: RavenzWould: Whispered the Passerby... in the Atrium

Artist statement: Early on a January morning in 2018, I called my friend Carol whose husband had passed away some months before. It seemed right that we should collaborate: she having a sudden large and empty house, and I suddenly losing my studio. We created a very energetic symbiotic liaison, each working on their own healing processes. This exhibition is the end result of my personal healing, growth and choices.

Ravens, according to folk lore, are the harbingers of change, so it therefore seemed like an appropriate title to a celebration of personal change as well as an exploration of my artistic barometer. Returning to the canvas after a long hiatus proved to be satisfying and a little surprising. I decided to abandon the brush, in large part relying on a potter’s best tool: the hands. There is very little brush work here, relying on instinct, color saturation, mass, texture and a creative energy born of turbulence... a rather large body of work sprung into being. I hope the viewer finds within these works a bit of themselves, a memory, a feeling, a chuckle; there is no wrong answer.

Gale Stryker was born and raised in a small town in Connecticut. In the summers, she swam in the crossing of the rivers where Lake Zoar and the Housatonic collide; in the winters, it was a frozen playground for skating and bonfires. As a young child, a book with Van Gogh’s self-portrait beckoned the slumbering artist in her. She attended a Community College where she majored in Fine Art and discovered clay, however painting proved to be her most dominant interest at that juncture. She also attended ETSU, earning a BFA with a concentration in ceramics.

The exhibitions are on display at the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street, in downtown Knoxville. Exhibition hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. — 5 p.m.. Note, the Emporium will be closed on Monday, Jan. 20, for the holiday. For more information, contact the Arts & Culture Alliance at (865) 523-7543, or visit the website at

Category: Exhibits