Calendar of Events

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Ewing Gallery: Audacious Black Freedom Dreams

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

Afrofuturist, artist, educator, graphic designer, and DJ, Stacey Robinson will be having exhibitions at the UT Downtown Gallery, Ewing Gallery, and a 5-day artist residency in Knoxville, during fall of 2023. Robinson’s time in Knoxville will coincide with an intentional Afrofuturist takeover of the galleries with the presentation of his exhibition projects, Black Audacious Freedom Dreams and Black Utopia: Black Distractions & Disruptions in Time Space, to be on view in fall 2023. Infusing downtown Knoxville and the University of Tennessee campus with Afrofuturistic imagery, Robinson and the galleries will build a critical mass of Black thought and creativity to amplify and center Black voices.

The Ewing Gallery, located in UT’s Art + Architecture Building will present Black Audacious Freedom Dreams by BLACKMAU, a creative collaboration between Stacey “ Blackstar” Robinson and Kamau “DJ Kamaumau” Grantham. This exhibition features a multimedia projection and seven 7-foot banners created using digital collage. These images visually mimic the audio sampling used throughout hip hop musical production and the process of crafting a tight DJ set, which inspire the duo. This work prompts a conversation about Black liberation as a reality not yet fulfilled. By centering Black people within the narrative, BLACKMAU prompts the audience to imagine themselves in the spaces with the subject. Robinson and Grantham reference Black liberation texts with With Black Audacious Freedom Dreams, including Freedom Dreams by Robin D.G. Kelly, and We Want to Do More Than Survive by Bettina L. Love, which they include in a study area and curated library of Black texts in the exhibition.

Concurrent with Black Audacious Freedom Dreams, the UT Downtown Gallery will present Robinson’s new solo project, Black Utopia; Black Distractions & Disruptions in Time Space. This exhibition is a design research project looking at systems of oppression and resistance through black and white logo designs and illustrations that use the emptiness of white gallery walls as the backdrop for extracting Black resistance commentary. The systems examined springboard a burgeoning theory comprised of Black-created systems that can function as a form of Black liberation government in lieu of Black Reparations, justice, and failed integration.

Exhibition: Audacious Black Freedom Dreams
Artist: Stacey Robinson / BLACKMAU
Dates: August 22 - October 29, 2023
Location: The Ewing Gallery of Art + Architecture, 1715 Volunteer Boulevard
Times: M,T,W,F: 10am - 5pm, Thur: 10am - 7:30pm, Sun: 1-4pm
For more information: |

McClung Museum: In Conversation: Will Wilson

Category: Exhibitions, visual art, Free event and History, heritage

The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is proud to announce that it will bring the acclaimed exhibition, In Conversation: Will Wilson, to the local community. With over $35,500 in grant support, the museum will feature the powerful works of Diné (Navajo) photographer Will Wilson in a moving exhibition exploring the importance of self-representation.

In Conversation: Will Wilson opens at the McClung Museum on August 18 and will include a range of engaging programming for both the university and the Knoxville community. The exhibition was made possible through Art Bridges, a foundation created by philanthropist Alice Walton that is focused on expanding access to American art. Showcasing 17 portraits from Wilson’s Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange project, the exhibition is dedicated to capturing a contemporary perspective of Native North America. In Conversation: Will Wilson challenges viewers to think critically about how Native peoples have been portrayed in photography over time. Through portraiture, Wilson responds directly to the works of early 20th-century photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis (1869–1952). Curtis’ photographs simplified and romanticized Native American life, whereas Wilson has created rich, complex portraits from Indigenous perspectives. Visitors to the exhibition will witness some of Wilson's portraits come to life through an augmented reality app, providing an interactive experience known as "Talking Tintypes."

In Conversation: Will Wilson is organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and curated by Mindy Besaw, Curator of American Art/Director of Fellowships & Research from Crystal Bridges, and Ashley Holland, Associate Curator from Art Bridges.

McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, 1327 Circle Park Dr on the UT campus, Knoxville, TN 37996. Information: 865-974-2144. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday 12–4 p.m.

TVUUC Gallery: Chicago and Beyond: The Sylvia and Jan Peters Collection

  • August 18, 2023 — October 4, 2023

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

Art Exhibit at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church
Free and open to the public
Reception Friday, August 18, 2023, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Collector’s talk at 6:30 p.m.

Show: August 13 - October 4, 2023
Gallery hours: 10-3 Monday through Thursday and 10-12:30 Sunday
2931 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37918

Sylvia and Jan Peters have been collecting art for more than five decades, including notable works by Chicago-based African-American artists Fred Jones, Steve Walker, and Dale Norman, and a lithograph by Charles White. The exhibit includes paintings in a variety of media, prints, and photographs.

As educators, Sylvia and Jan Peters advocated for arts in community and educational programs in Chicago. Since moving to Knoxville in the early 1990s, Sylvia has been involved with the Knoxville Museum of Art, the Beck Cultural Exchange Center, the Links, the 100 Black Women, and the Knoxville Botanical Garden. She initiated the Delaney Project and Days of Dialogue.

Of their early days in Chicago’s art world, Sylvia said, “We held Sunday Salons at our home where artists were invited to eat, drink, and discuss their work. It was almost an out of body experience to participate in these discussions. Richard Hunt, Ralph Arnold, Margaret Burroughs, William Carter and many others visited our home.”

Fountain City Art Center: Drip, Dribble, or Splash

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

Reception Fri Aug 18, 6:30-8 PM with awards at 7 PM

Open Show – Theme: Drip, Dribble, or Splash

Fountain City Art Center, 213 Hotel Ave, Knoxville, TN 37918. Hours: Tue-Thu 10 AM - 4 PM. Information: 865-357-2787,

Knoxville Acro Jam: Summer Tuesday Acro Jams

  • August 15, 2023 — September 26, 2023

Category: Dance, movement and Free event

Tuesdays, 6 – 9 PM
at World's Fair Park - Knoxville
Event by Blake Stannard and Knoxville Acro Jam

Come make friends and climb on them! A Knoxville-based group of acrobats, yoga enthusiasts, flow folks, and music makers. We meet twice a week in the summer; beginners welcome! We do acro-balance, acro yoga, gymnastics, people pyramids, therapeutic flying, tumbling, and Thai massage. All levels.

Meet up every Sunday and Tuesday evening, in World’s Fair Park, from 6 PM on. This is a free event.

Pellissippi: Turn to the Fool: Two Person Show of Eric Sherwood and Maggie Connolly

  • August 14, 2023 — September 22, 2023

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

Closing Reception: Thursday, September 21, 3-5 pm

This mixed media exhibition by Maggie Connolly and Eric Sherwood, both teachers at Mighty Mud ceramics studio in Knoxville, will be on display in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art Gallery.

“Purposefully organic is a phrase that permeates the exhibition 'Turn to the Fool,’” said Professor Herb Rieth, Career Community Coordinator for Creative and Media Arts at Pellissippi State Community College. “The throbbing iterations, linear susurrations and natural genesis channeled through automatic drawing, wordplay and sculpting result in work that is quiet, insistently patient and infinitely detailed.”

Connolly received her Bachelor of Arts from Grinnell College in her native Iowa, her Master of Fine Arts in Ceramic Design from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China and her Ph.D. in Fine Arts Ceramics from Tokyo University of the Arts in Japan. She was an Arrowmont Artist in Residence 2019-2020.

Sherwood was born and lives in Knoxville. As a person of Chinese and American parentage, he spent time in China with his extended family and grew up navigating between the two cultures. This “otherness” is a platform for viewing both cultures and the larger world around him as well as a lens turned inward.

Hardin Valley Campus of Pellissippi State: 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville, TN 37932. Bagwell Center Gallery hours: M-F 9-5. Information: 865-694-6405,

Art Guild at Fairfield Glade: 14th Annual Judged and Juried Fine Arts Show

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

The public is invited to attend the opening reception for the prestigious Judged and Juried Fine Arts Show on Friday, August 4th from 5 - 7 p.m. Mark Hall, retired professor of art at Maryville College in Tennessee, will judge the entries.

Juror - Judge Mark Hall formerly served at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the David and Alfred Smart Museum. Previously, he served as an assistant professor at MacMurray College, Jacksonville, Illinois, an assistant and associate professor at Marian College, Indianapolis, and has retired as a professor emeritus from Maryville College, Maryville, Tennessee. He currently has a small print/art studio in Maryville and continues to create prints and drawings in a variety of styles and modes.

Winners of the J&J Fine Arts Show will be announced to the public during the August 4th reception. This event is free and open to the public!

Gallery: Mon-Sat 9-4. Art Guild at Fairfield Glade at the Plateau Creative Arts Center, 451 Lakeview Drive, Fairfield Glade, TN 38558. Information: 931-707-7249,

Rala: First Friday with Summer Small

  • August 4, 2023 — August 31, 2023

Category: Exhibitions, visual art and Free event

We are excited to announce local artist Summer Small as our featured artist for the month of August! Her work unfolds a complicated but passionate relationship with modern Appalachia and the people and places that call the valley home. Please join us at Rala in the Old City for the show opening from 6 to 8pm on August 4th, 2023. Summer's work will be on display August 4th through August 31st.

Rala: Regional and Local Artisans, 112 W. Jackson Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902. Hours: Tu-Sa 11-6, Su 11-5. Information: 865-525-7888, or

Art Market Gallery: AMG Potters & Lynda Tenpenny

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

First Friday Reception: August 4th, 5:30 – 9:00 pm

AMG Gallery Potters, an eclectic group of clay artists, each with their own unique style are the featured 3D artists in August.
+ Lisa Kurtz has a Master’s Degree in Ceramics and has taught clay classes at colleges and community art centers. She is currently teaching at the Oak Ridge Art Center. To create her functional pottery and clay wall art she throws on the wheel and hand builds and often combines the two to create her wares.
+ Linda Sullivan, with a keen interest in glaze chemistry, uses multilayered glazes to depict landscape imagery. She applies her self-developed glazes by pouring and overlapping them on wheel-thrown and hand-built pieces using porcelain and stoneware clays.
+ Patricia Herzog produces functional, colorful and highly textured hand-built pottery with an emphasis on animal imagery and the natural world. Her sculptural pieces are inspired by the art of ancient cultures.
+ Larry Gabbard seeks out alternative kilns and firing techniques to finish his wheel thrown pottery. He finds the unexpected marks that result when clay, heat and smoke interact are often intriguing and beautiful.
+ Karen Kyte creates colorful, whimsical terra cotta sculptures that often tell a story.

Lynnda Tenpenny, an award-winning mixed media artist, is a native Knoxvillian and a graduate of UT. Her new work focuses on the word “Interstices”, such as “to stand between, an intervening space, interval, small opening, chink, crack, crevice.” She loves mystery in her work, small surprises and hidden images that present themselves or pop through from the background, a glimpse of something in a previous layer that has been exposed by sanding or scraping paint off. Her creativity inspires imagination on the part of the viewer.

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

Awaken Coffee: Jordan Abba Exhibition

  • August 4, 2023 — August 27, 2023

Category: Culinary arts, food, Exhibitions, visual art and Free event

Friday, August 4, from 6-8 Awaken Coffee will host an opening reception for artist Jordan Abba.

Jordan is an artist and visual art teacher for Knox County Schools. “As an art educator, I find joy in art as an experimental process. I embrace growth through exploration. The series, “Under DE-construction,” explores positive and negative space, line, and shape to create compositions that express the experiences and emotions of life. Art, to me, is about appreciating the things in life that we love the most. This body of work embodies the bittersweet nostalgia of memory while engaging the principles of abstract painting.”

Please join us for some fantastic art, light refreshments, and great coffee!

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

Arts & Culture Alliance: Kathleen A. Janke: From the Mountains to the Forest Floor

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

The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present five new exhibitions at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from August 4-25, 2023. A free gathering with the artists will take place on Friday, August 4, from 5:00-9:00 PM and features original music inside the Emporium by the Fountain City Ramblers (Instagram @fountaincityramblers). Most of the works on exhibition will be for sale and may be purchased by visiting in person or the online shop at

I create my art in multiple mediums concentrating on pine needle basketry and alcohol inks. The results are largely inspired by my connection to the natural environment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and my love of gardening and experience with landscape design. While the vistas and flora of the park lend themselves to the utter spontaneity and brilliance of color with alcohol ink, pine needle/gourd basketry becomes tangible three-dimensional pieces of art using materials the earth provides… much of this material I grow or collect in a sustainable manner on walks. The baskets are inspired by touch, feel and a connection to the forest floor and riverbanks.

Kathleen A. Janke experimented with various art mediums for years before becoming serious in the fall of 2019. Within two years, she sold her bed and breakfast to become a full time artist. In 2022 she sold work in 14 shows, via her website, and by word of mouth. Three craft guilds contracted her to teach classes, and she is currently building an art gallery and studio, Gracehill Fine Art and Basketry, in Townsend. Janke is a member of Southern Highlands Craft Guild, Piedmont Guild, Tennessee Craft, Tennessee Artist Association, Foothills Crafts Guild, Art Guild of Tellico Village, Blount County Arts & Craft Guild, Townsend Art Guild, Oak Ridge Art Center, the Arts & Culture Alliance, American Gourd Society, Handweavers Guild of America, and National Basket Association.

This exhibition 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. For more information, please see or call (865) 523-7543.

Arts & Culture Alliance: Christian Freeman: Solitude

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 August 4-25, 2023. A free gathering with the artists will take place on Friday, August 4, from 5:00-9:00 PM and features original music inside the Emporium by the Fountain City Ramblers (Instagram @fountaincityramblers). Most of the works on exhibition will be for sale and may be purchased by visiting in person or the online shop at

My current body of work is a lovingly created group of abstract landscapes encompassing color and glazes I achieved through knife painting techniques. By allowing the strokes and shapes of the paint to form the subject matter, I relied on the process of creating and energy to finalize these works. The freeing process of this type of painting has become just as important to me as the finished product. It is a combination of chance, accident, energy, composition, contrast, and emotion. I hope to leave viewers moved by beauty and emotion the way the impressionist and expressionists inspired me.

Christian Freeman is a Knoxville native with a BFA degree from the University of Tennessee. Having begun her career working with the Symphony Showcase Homes and Parade of Homes painting murals and custom finishes, she has completed countless residential and commercial projects and has the ability to work on any scale within current budgets. Her work is her passion as she transforms homes and businesses into functional as well as aesthetically beautiful spaces. She completed a well-known local mural of ladies in the windows at Patrick Sullivan’s (Old City) which auctioned off several years ago by Knox Heritage. Freeman is also an accomplished canvas painter and art instructor, and she continues to create, teach, and consult currently in the Knoxville area and beyond.

This exhibition 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. For more information, please see or call (865) 523-7543.

1 of 3