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2:33 p.m. October 16, 2015
WKMA celebrates regional artists with exhibition, From These Hills

amanda richardson
I will Defend the Miscontrued to the End by Amanda Richardson. Image courtesy of the artist.

ABINGDON, VA – A favorite annual event celebrating the diversity of regional artistic talent kicks off on Friday, October 16. The twelfth biennial exhibition by William King Museum of Art will feature From These Hills: Contemporary Art in the Southern Appalachian Highlands.

From These Hills is a major exhibition of new works by artists working in all media in Southwest Virginia, Northeast Tennessee, Western North Carolina, Southern West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky.

The exhibition is guest-curated by Stephen Wicks, the Barbara W. and Bernard E. Bernstein Curator at the Knoxville Museum of Art in Knoxville. Wicks has guided the Knoxville Museum of Art’s curatorial department for 20 years. He manages the museum’s exhibitions program and guides the development of its collections of East Tennessee-related art and international contemporary art.

“From These Hills is one of the most important things we do here at the Museum,” said Callie Hietala, Director of Exhibitions. “It gives artists who are living and working in this region an opportunity to show their work in a museum setting and have exposure to a whole new audience. At the same time, it gives them professional opportunities in the future. Many From These Hills artists have gone on to have solo shows or participate in group shows here at WKMA or at other art venues in the region.”

Historically, From These Hills boasts a wide range of media and subjects with reference to this notable time and place. Wicks reviewed nearly 100 portfolios and selected the following twenty-seven artists: Jennifer D. Anderson (Roanoke, VA), Gerry Bannan (Roanoke, VA), Laken Bridges (Telford, TN), Jason Brown (Knoxville, TN), Deborah Bryan (Johnson City, TN), Virginia Derryberry (Asheville, NC), Travis Donovan (Vilas, NC), Lynn Duryea (Boone, NC), Cavan Fleming (Blacksburg, VA), Gary Mesa-Gaido (Morehead, KY), Marcia Goldenstein (Knoxville, TN), Carl Gombert (Maryville, TN), Travis Graves (Elizabethton, TN), Jennifer Hand (Dublin, VA), Jean Hess (Knoxville, TN), Megan G. King (Johnson City, TN), Brett LaGue (Fincastle, VA), Paul Lee (Maryville, TN), Allison Luce (Mooresville, NC), Lillian Minix (Abingdon, VA), Amanda J. Richardson (Honaker, VA), Ann Ropp (Johnson City, TN), Halide Salam (Blacksburg, VA), Brian Sieveking (Roanoke, VA), Marvin Tadlock (Bristol, VA), David Underwood (Jefferson City, TN), and Katherine Wood (Roanoke, VA).

“We want to help the artists in our region, and this exhibit is one of the most successful vehicles we have to be able to achieve that goal. It’s been part of the mission of this Museum since we opened our doors,” Hietala said.

An opening reception was held on Thursday, October 15 with many of the artists on hand to discuss their work. On the same evening, WKMA’s Van Gogh Outreach Program was awarded with the annual Dominion ArtStars Shining Star Award by Virginians for the Arts (VFTA), in partnership with the Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, Inc.

From These Hills will be on display through February 14, 2016.

For more information about this and other exhibitions call 276-628-5005 or visit

Published October 16, 2015

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