Calendar of Events

Monday, May 9, 2022

Ijams Nature Center: Opening of New Nature Playscape

  • May 9, 2022

Category: Free event, Health, wellness, Kids, family and Science, nature

Ijams Nature Center will open the new Ijams Nature Playscape at Grayson Subaru Preserve at a public ribbon cutting May 9 at 10 a.m.

The Ijams Nature Playscape is specifically designed for young children to play in a creek, climb hills, dig, build, crawl and engage with nature in an organic, unstructured way. The new space features a large nest, tunnels, log steps and different “rooms” to play in.

Parking for the ribbon cutting will be at the Ijams Mead’s Quarry parking lot. The ceremony will begin at the Adventure Camp area at the far end of the parking lot. Attendees are encouraged to wear outdoor shoes and bring their children or grandchildren to try out the new free-play area.

“For generations, many of us had the opportunity to roam and play in the woods, empty lots and fields that surrounded our homes and neighborhoods,” Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker said. “We remember the freedom we had to use our imagination, test ourselves and become a part of the natural landscape, at least until we were called home for dinner. Today’s children don’t get the chance to play like this for a variety of reasons, so Ijams created a place to give children, parents and caregivers a safe place where that connection to nature can happen,” she said. “It’s a place where there is a whole lot of ‘yes’ and not a lot of ‘no.’”

Parker said research conducted over the past two decades shows how an early childhood connection to nature through unstructured play helps develop critical cognitive, social and physical skills. However, the lack of natural areas near homes, barriers preventing access to open spaces and safety concerns may prevent these experiences.

Ijams Nature Center, 2915 Island Home Ave, Knoxville, TN 37920. Visitor Center open daily 10-6; grounds and trails open daily from 8 AM - dusk. Information: 865-577-4717,

Bijou Theatre: Amigo the Devil

Category: Music

Monday, May 9 | 7:30PM

Bijou Theatre, 803 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902. Information/tickets: 865-522-0832,

The WordPlayers: Eye on the Sparrow

Category: Free event, Literature, spoken word, writing and Theatre

The WordPlayers will present Eye on the Sparrow, an evening of poetic reflection and exploration, on May 9 at 7:00 PM at Flying Anvil Theatre, 1300 Rocky Hill Rd., Knoxville. Admission is free with donations appreciated. For more information, please call 865-539-2490.

The evening will feature the work of Knoxville’s Poet Laureate, Rhea (Sunshine) Carmon, Anita (Ade) Johnson, and Taria (the Realest) Person. Additionally, poet and educator Desiree Seay will grace the stage with her poetic talents as well as the Youth Poet Laureate of Knoxville, Melody Dalili, and her first runner-up, Vanessa Laguerre.

Who or what is the eye and the sparrow on your life journey? Grab your imagination and listening ears and join us for an evening of poetry exploring the theme of eye on the sparrow.

The WordPlayers is a 501(c)3 theatre company. Sponsoring the Staged Reading series, is Brad Croisdale of Realty Executives. Website:
Facebook: The WordPlayers
Twitter: @wordplayers
Instagram: wordplayers

Joint City, County, State Mental Health Workshop

  • May 9, 2022

Category: Classes, workshops, Free event and Health, wellness

Knoxville City Council, Knox County Commission, and members of the Knox County State Delegation are hosting a joint workshop on mental health on Monday, May 9th. Led by Knoxville Vice-Mayor Andrew Roberto, Knox County Commission Chairman Richie Beeler, and Senator Becky Duncan Massey, this first of its kind discussion brings legislative representatives from the city, county, and state together to learn more about mental health services in our community.

Monday, May 9th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Main Assembly Room of the City County Building, 400 Main Street, Knoxville, TN 37902

Workshop includes presentations from:
• Commissioner Marie Williams, Tenn. Depart. of Mental Health and Substance Abuse
• Jerry Vagnier, CEO of McNabb Center
• Liz Clary, Vice President of Covenant Health Behavioral Services
• Ben Harrington, CEO of Mental Health Association of East Tennessee
• Dr. Bruce Spangler, CEO of Volunteer Ministry Center
• Randy Nichols, Knox County Sheriff’s Department Special Counsel
• Tony Benton, CEO of Tennova Healthcare East Market

“I am looking forward to the joint mental health workshop.” Senator Massey Continued, “I’m pleased when our Knox County State legislative delegation, members of our County Commission, and City Council can work together to develop strategies to address the mental health needs of individuals in our community.”
- Senator Becky Duncan Massey

“The issue of mental health affects every one of us in some way, and dealing with it effectively requires a comprehensive effort.” Beeler continued, “Getting these three groups together for this workshop, along with agencies that are actively involved in mental health services, is a very important step toward doing that.”
- Richie Beeler, Knox County Commission Chairman

“Mental Health isn’t just an issue in Knoxville or Knox County, this is a critical issue for everyone.” Roberto continued, “I want to thank Senator Massey and Chairman Beeler for their assistance with our joint workshop, this discussion on mental health wasn’t possible without their commitment and support.”
- Andrew Roberto, Knoxville Vice-Mayor

Contact: Andrew Roberto
Phone: 865-406-4012

Anthology: A Collection of Selected Works by Ted Richards

  • May 8, 2022 — July 29, 2022

Category: Exhibitions, visual art and Free event

Opening May 8, 2-4 PM - meet the artist, refreshments
Exhibition hours M-F 9-4

Ted Richards lives in Loudon, TN.

The Gallery at Rarity Bay Community Activity Center (second building on right as you enter Rarity Bay), 150 Rarity Bay Pkwy, Vonore, TN 37885.

Appalachian Arts Craft Center: Spring Plant & Garden Art Sale

Category: Exhibitions, visual art, Festivals, special events, Fine Crafts, Free event and Science, nature

Make plans to join us at the Appalachian Arts Craft Center (AACC) on Saturday, May 7 to kick off their Spring Plant & Garden Art Sale. Throughout the day (10AM-4PM) there will be live artist demonstrations. The live demonstrations include mosaic glass, wood whittling, weaving, tying flies and more! Beautiful garden-themed artwork by local artists, such as garden markers, garden décor, and nature photography, will also be featured. In addition, the Spring Plant & Garden Art Sale features a variety of donated plants: perennials, annuals, and native varieties – with proceeds directly benefiting the Appalachian Arts Craft Center. Guests can grab lunch while they are there! FATS BBQ Food Truck will be on site from 11AM-2PM. Can’t make it on May 7? The Plant & Garden Art Sale runs from May 7 – May 21.

Appalachian Arts Craft Center, 2716 Andersonville Highway, Clinton, TN. Hours: M-Sa 10-6, Su 1-5. Information: 865-494-9854,

Tri-Star Arts: The Dangers We Swallow

  • May 6, 2022 — July 9, 2022

Category: Exhibitions, visual art and Free event

Tri-Star Arts is pleased to announce the next exhibition in their main gallery at the historic Candoro Marble Building: a solo show, The Dangers We Swallow, by artist Vanessa Mayoraz of Johnson City.

Public receptions will be held on Friday, May 6, 2022 from 5:00- 8:00 pm (artist in attendance) and Friday, July 1, 2022 from 5:00- 8:00 pm. Mayoraz will give a public artist talk prior to the opening reception on Friday, May 6 at 3:30pm in the main gallery.

Since 2015, Vanessa Mayoraz has been a Professor of Extended Media at East Tennessee State University. She received a BFA from the Haute Ecole d'Art et Design in Geneva, Switzerland, and an MFA in Art and Public Spaces and New Artistic Strategies at the Bauhaus University Weimar in Germany. Mayoraz’s interest centers on observing the paradoxical relations built between humanity, social landscape and the natural world. One could say that her work is the result of an analytical and unromantic examination of nature with which she warns us on how economy (understood as a motivating power of extraction, production, distribution, exchange, and consumption of goods and services to meet our human needs) subjugates these relationships.

She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including Qui Vive! Young Artist Moscow Biennial, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Belgrade, Le Commun at the Building of Contemporary Art in Geneva, Switzerland, Gleisdreieck Parc, Berlin, Germany, Chashama Gallery in New York City, the DC Art Center in Washington DC, and ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, MI. In 2019 in conjunction with ArtBo Fin de Semana, she presented a solo exhibition at Sketchroom Gallery in Bogotà, Colombia. She has been performing workshops and lectures on subjects such as "artist as archivist" and "contemporary art practices." She received a Pro-Helvetia national Swiss grant three times for her work, as well as a Swiss Cultural Program in the Western Balkan grant. Mayoraz also serves on the executive board of the Johnson City Public Art Committee.

Tri-Star Arts at Candoro Marble Building, 4450 Candora Drive, Knoxville, TN 37920. Hours: Tu-Sa 11-5. Information:

Tri-Star Arts: même pas, pourtant proche | not even, yet close

  • May 6, 2022 — July 9, 2022

Category: Exhibitions, visual art and Free event

Tri-Star Arts is pleased to announce a new exhibition in their Golden Chain Gallery project space located at the historic Candoro Marble Building: même pas, pourtant proche | not even, yet close by Quynh Lâm of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

This show has been installed within the unique architectural space of a steep wooden stairwell. Public receptions will be held on Friday, May 6, 2022 from 5:00- 8:00 pm and Friday, July 1, 2022 from 5:00- 8:00 pm.

Quynh Lâm is an interdisciplinary artist and Fulbright scholar with a background in architecture, working on conceptual and archival projects, Quynh has created a diverse body of work in performance, video, painting, and installation, that highlights the tensions between personal and collective memory, particularly the experiences of herself as a Vietnamese woman both in Vietnam and abroad. She is a winner of The 2021 American Austrian Foundation Seebacher Prize for Fine Arts; a recipient of Special Jury Prize – 2019 Art Future Prize in Taiwan; a presenter at the international conference “ReVIEWING Black Mountain College 11”; and artist fellow at Ragdale Foundation (Illinois, USA), Hambidge Center for Creative Arts & Sciences (Georgia, USA); and Oak Spring Garden Foundation (Virginia, USA).

Quynh has exhibited work in Vietnam and abroad; some highlights include The Factory Contemporary Arts Center (Ho Chi Minh City), Art Formosa (Taipei), The Vincom Center for Contemporary (Hanoi), Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery (Singapore), Gallery ONKAF (New Delhi), Mana Contemporary (New Jersey, Chicago, Miami) – in partnership with CADAF (Contemporary & Digital Art Fair), Stamford Arts Center (Singapore), Museum of Contemporary Art Nashville (MOCAN), Palazzo Costanzi Museum (Trieste), Moggio Udinese (Udine), and A.I. Gallery (London). Her works have been featured in many publications: Imago Mundi–Vietnam: New Winds (Luciano Benetton Collection, 2015), Saigon Artbook (edition 6, 2016), Frame to Focus: Vietnamese American Women Artists (sponsored by The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery, 2020), Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Journal (Volume 12: Expanding the Canon, 2021), Reconnexions, la Photographie en Transition (Textuel éditions, 2022), and have been accessioned to several libraries, e.g. the MoMA, Yamamoto Gendai, Bay Library, Salon Saigon, Dia Project, UCLA library, UTK John C. Hodges Library (Special Collections), and other art hubs.

Tri-Star Arts at Candoro Marble Building, 4450 Candora Drive, Knoxville, TN 37920. Hours: Tu-Sa 11-5. Information:

Dogwood Arts: Epiphone Guitar Exhibition + Auction

Category: Exhibitions, visual art, Free event, Fundraisers and Kids, family

Join us on Friday, May 6th from 5-8PM for the First Friday opening reception of the "2022 Epiphone Student Art Guitar Exhibition + Auction." The exhibition includes 20 guitars designed by youth artists from across East Tennessee. Professional artist Curtis Glover also designed and painted a guitar for the fundraiser this year!

The First Friday opening reception will include live music featuring Brooks Coker & Alex Carter.

The guitars were on display at the Songbirds Guitar Museum in Chattanooga during the month of April and are moving to the Dogwood Arts Gallery in Knoxville during the month of May. Each guitar is available for auction online with proceeds benefitting Dogwood Arts and the Songbirds Foundation’s youth art programs.

The exhibition will be on display at Dogwood Arts from May 6-31st. Several of the guitars will also be on display at the Southern Skies Music Festival on Saturday, May 14th in World's Fair Park.

Bid online through May 31st here:

Dogwood Arts, 123 W. Jackson Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902. Information: 865-637-4561,

Art Market Gallery: Lil Clinard and Cathie Fitzjohn

Category: Exhibitions, visual art, Fine Crafts and Free event

First Friday Reception: May 6, 5:30 – 9:00 pm

Lil Clinard, Painting
Known as a traditional watercolorist, Lil discovered the joy and excitement of painting with acrylics during the pandemic isolation. With a touch of the familiar, Lil’s new paintings emphasize color and form and exude a vibrancy that reflects the spectrum of color and movement in water and rhythm of flowers in a landscape. With a closer look, they almost appear abstract. She hopes the viewer is drawn to the bright and cheery colors and glints of light while creating a narrative of their own.

Cathie Fitzjohn, Glass
Cathie Fitzjohn began her journey with glass in 1980. Initially working with stained glass, she created custom windows for private residences. In 2002 Cathie took a weekend workshop in glass fusing or kiln-formed glass and fell in love with the process. Now she works exclusively in this medium, drawing inspiration from nature and wildlife.

Art Market Gallery, 422 S. Gay St, Knoxville, TN 37902. Hours: Tu-Sa 11-6, Su 1-6. Information: 865-525-5265,,

Awaken Coffee: Featuring Marianne Woodside

  • May 6, 2022 — May 29, 2022

Category: Exhibitions, visual art and Free event

Awaken Coffee will host an opening reception for artists Marianne Woodside Friday, May 6, from 6-8 pm.

Woodside is a professor emerita from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In her career at UTK, she integrated responsibilities of teaching, administration, research, and writing in human services and counselor education. For the past ten years, Marianne has focused on her interest in photography. Her subjects range from still life images of glass within a natural context, to landscapes, and flora and fauna here in East Tennessee and beyond. During pandemic times, with her camera in hand, she concentrated on photographing images of subjects closer to her home in Maryville.

Please join us for some amazing art, light refreshments, and of course great coffee!

Awaken Coffee, 125 W Jackson Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902. Open daily. Information: 865-951-0427, or

Emporium Center: TN Voices: Behind the Mask - Unmasking Mental Health

Category: Exhibitions, visual art and Free event

The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present five new exhibitions at The Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from May 6-28, 2022. A free reception with the artists will take place on Friday, May 6, from 5:00-9:00 PM 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 at

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, 2022.

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, visit or call 615-269-7751.

Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street, in downtown Knoxville. Hours: M-F 9-5, Sat 10-1. CLOSED MON MAY 30. Info: 865-523-7543,

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