The Fountain City Art Guild features original art by nearly 30 local artists.

The Fountain City Art Guild features original art by nearly 30 local artists.

New exhibitions opening at The Emporium on Oct. 1

October 1–31, 2021 @ Emporium Center for Arts & Culture

KNOXVILLE, TN – The Arts & Culture Alliance presents five new exhibitions at The Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville Oct. 1-31. A free reception with the artists takes place Friday, Oct. 1, from 5-9 p.m. and features an outdoor concert by Knoxville Opera musicians. All visitors to the Emporium are required to wear a mask and maintain physical distancing guidelines. Most of the works will be for sale and may be purchased through the close of the exhibition by visiting in person or the online shop at

The exhibitions are on display at the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street, in downtown Knoxville. The Emporium is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, seewww.knoxalliance.comor call (865) 523-7543.

The Fountain City Art Guild in the lower gallery

The Fountain City Art Guild features original art by nearly 30 local artists including oils, watercolors, woodworking and more. The mission of the Guild is to create an atmosphere that promotes, encourages, guides, supports and informs artists in the guild, which currently has about 50 members.

The Fountain City Art Guild began in 1979 as a group of women who met in the Art Cellar, the basement of Chloe Harrington’s home. Most of the Guild members were watercolor artists. For several decades, they were known as the Fountain City Watercolor Guild, and they met in various churches and homes in the community, holding exhibitions in local businesses. In 2000, the Guild voted to allow other 2-D media in their exhibits, and in 2015 members voted to allow nonfunctional 3-D work as well.

In 2004, the Guild was instrumental in helping open the Fountain City Art Center at 213 Hotel Avenue, the location of the old Fountain City Library. Guild membership is a juried process occurring in late fall and early spring. In addition to monthly meetings, the Guild also hosts exhibitions at the Center and occasionally in the community. Guild members bring a wide variety of skills and interests.

Alex Smith: Rerouted in the upper gallery

Alex Smith is a native Knoxvillian. A graduate of Carson Newman University, he also studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and completed his MFA at The New York Academy of Art. He received the Elizabeth Greenshields grant and an Artist’s Teaching Residency at the Altos de Chavon School of Art and Design, and he has been the featured artist at the Dogwood Arts Festival and ArtXtravanza in Knoxville. His work has exhibited at the Emporium in Knoxville as well as numerous galleries in New York, including Sotheby’s, Panepinto Galleries, Dacia Gallery, and the Wilkenson Gallery at The New York Academy of Art.

He enjoyed living and working in Brooklyn, New York until the pandemic. Knoxville has welcomed him home. The past year and a half have formed this new exhibition.

"Like most of us, I’ve grown accustomed to constant detours and changes of plans. Detours send us down roads we didn’t anticipate, and now that we’ve gone this route, we have had to find new ways to interact and experience the world. This exhibition includes works of New York’s grit alongside East Tennessee’s verdant landscape, ranging from hyper-realism to abstracts. While my landscape has changed, I aim to remain true to my classical training and goal, which is to make work that invites viewers to look closer and know the painting’s story," he said.
Instagram @alexsmith_artist

Douglas Molinas Lawrence: 50 bud vases in 50 days on the North Wall

"This project was born out of a desire for change. I am a planner, I over-design and overthink everything, stressing the details. I have so many full sketchbooks, but all too frequently get overly critical in my head and am paralyzed into inaction. The designs are left on paper, rather than translated into wood. I decided to break that cycle, to push myself out of my comfort zone and challenge myself to make 50 bud vases in 50 days, each beginning as a 6” x 6” x 2” block of ash. There is a certain creativity that only arrives while engaged in the act of making, and that’s what this project taps into. The bud vase was a natural fit as the focus of the project, as the plants chosen to fill each are brought in only as a temporary attraction, never lasting perfection. Each day in the challenge required releasing the previous day’s idea and beginning anew again, similar to the daily routine of finding new plants with which to decorate."

Douglas Molinas Lawrence grew up on a farm in rural Virginia where his love of nature and art first developed. In university, he studied both Architectural Design and Environmental Sciences, pursuing a deeper understanding of where and how humankind intersects with the wider natural world. This interest has taken him to lead sustainable agroforestry projects in South America, as well as design and craft fine furniture and sculpture in Tennessee. Douglas’ work can be found in private collections across the United States and abroad, as well as in the permanent collection of the Tennessee State Museum.
Instagram @douglasmolinaslawrence

Mike Lana: Beyond the Walls in the Atrium

Beyond the Walls is a series focused on exploring the Bible through re-contextualization, modern parallels and a playful aesthetic delivery that looks to balance material, concept, design and stylistic juxtaposition to present a fresh view on the Bible. As it is with the church delivering the gospel, or good news, outside of its walls to reach into the world, so comes the title of the series. Mirroring life, and the calling to the great commission, its intent is to transcend beyond the walls of the gallery and into the streets – beyond the eye of the individual and into the heart.

"Since my youth I’ve gravitated towards activities that express and explore the imagination as well as help beautify the world around me. In a pursuit to excel my knowledge base, I attended two years of education with Pratt Art Institute and have since been working creatively towards understanding and articulating my artistic voice. Thus far, I have found juxtaposition as a reoccurring theme throughout my work whether it is from stylism to realism, spiritual to commercial, organic to synthetic, or pretentious to authentic. Brought together it is my intent to harmoniously weave these contrasts to cater to exploring an idea visually. My work has also become, in part, a concentration on overlooked and downtrodden space and the revitalization of that space through the beauty of stencil street art."
Instagram @fresh.madeart

Foothills Craft Guild: Fine Craftsin the display case

Foothills Craft Guild showcases the work of more than 15 artists working in a variety of media such as fiber, wood, stained glass, hand stitched bead art jewelry, clay, leather, glass and more. The artists include Kathy Seely, Pam Harris, Jo Marie Brotherton, Janet Petrell, Judi Talley, Amelia Galvas and Mickie Looslie.

The Foothills Craft Guild, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization chartered in 1968 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to promote fine crafts by setting high standards of creativity and excellence of execution for a variety of handcrafts; providing demonstrations, scholarships, and education about fine craft for people of all ages; and promoting the sale of fine crafts. FCG is the oldest member craft guild in the State of Tennessee and has earned a reputation nationwide as one of the best in the Southeast region. Their vision is to continue to set standards that encourage artisans to take advantage of new technologies and techniques to design and create works of beauty. They are dedicated to expanding their educational activities about fine crafts and creating strategic partnerships to encourage the continuation of fine craft. Upcoming shows include their Tennessee Showcase of Fine Artisans, Nov. 5-7 at the Knoxville Expo Center and their Artisan Market, March 18-19, 2022 at The Venue at Lenoir City.

Category: Exhibits