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12:48 p.m. September 17, 2015
VOLS: A 25-Year Retrospective: Art exhibit by Patrick Murphy-Racey

ut vols
Photograph by Patrick Murphy-Racey

KNOXVILLE – Art works by photographer Patrick Murphy-Racey will be on exhibit at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from October 2-30. The exhibit, “VOLS: A 25-Year Retrospective,” is the artist’s inaugural exhibition. Included will be iconic images and others that blur the lines between journalism and art.

The exhibition also represents a history of how photographs have been captured, first on black & white film, then color transparency (slides), color negative film, and digital capture. “Grain can be a beautiful thing as hundreds of thousands of silver halide crystals dance within the emulsion until they all are frozen forever by light in an instant,” says Murphy-Racey. “Keep in mind that you are on a 25-year long journey, from swoosh to stripes and back to swoosh again. But the orange remains the same.”

An opening reception will take place on Friday, October 2, from 5:00-9:00 PM and features a flamenco dance performance by Pasión Flamenco from 6:00-6:30 PM and a Jazz Jam Session hosted by Vance Thompson and Friends from 7:00-8:45 PM in the Black Box Theatre. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be available and chocolate fondue will be provided by the Melting Pot of Knoxville.

Photograph by Patrick Murphy-Racey

Photograph by Patrick Murphy-Racey

Patrick Murphy-Racey has photographed the Vols since he arrived in Knoxville after graduating from Marquette University in 1988. Initially, he worked for the Knoxville News-Sentinel, using black & white and color transparency film. When the newspaper prepared to close its darkroom and use only color negative film, Murphy-Racey pursued other avenues. With the help and support of longtime mentor and friend, Peter Read Miller, he covered hundreds of assignments for Sports Illustrated and many other national publications over the years. Murphy-Racey has photographed all manner of sporting events and done lit portraits of athletes. For more information, visit

After many years of photographing from only the sidelines at Neyland Stadium, UT’s Barry Rice arranged a meeting between Murphy-Racey and former Vols Coach Phillip Fulmer in 1998. Fulmer invited Murphy-Racey inside the Tennessee family of that era, letting him travel with the team and giving him complete access to locker rooms, win or lose, and even during half-times. Murphy-Racey photographed at practices, in the recruiting war-room, the training room, and anywhere else he had a mind to be. When Tennessee ran through the “Power T” last week, it marked his 27th season covering the Vols.

“Football fans may not always be the audience one assumes would enter an art gallery,” says Murphy-Racey. “Likewise, there are those who wouldn’t be interested in visiting a football stadium." Patrick Murphy-Racey’s hope is that “new friendships can be made and bridges built inside the Emporium though this exhibition.”

Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM and select Sundays from 3:30-6:30 PM.

Published September 17, 2015

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