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Schwarzbart Gallery featuring New York Artist David Barnett works

  david barnettDavid Barnett. Born 1988, currently living and working in New York City. Image courtesy of the artist.. Image courtesy of the artist.

KNOXVILLE – This past January, the Knoxville Jewish Alliance (KJA) launched a campaign to update and improve its Arnstein Jewish Community Center (AJCC) facility, the organization’s operational and programming hub. The anchor of the first phase of these updates was the Schwarzbart Gallery, a permanent tribute to the works of Judaic artisan Arnold’s Schwarzbart, who passed away in March 2015. It was designed to include space for rotating exhibits as well.

On Monday, August 29, the Schwarzbart Gallery will welcome its first featured artist exhibit from outside the Knoxville area. David Barnett is a painter, illustrator, designer and muralist currently living and working in the Catskills – but with some very relevant Knoxville ties. Barnett is the nephew of local woodworking designer Ernie Gross and his wife Pam. He grew up in Knoxville and spent Tuesday evenings studying with Arnold Schwarzbart.

“David’s exhibit as the Schwarzbart Gallery’s first featured artist from outside this community is equally exciting and poignant for us,” said Deborah Oleshansky, Executive Director of the KJA. She continued, “We’re honored to welcome his work, and hope that many people will come to the Gallery to see it in the coming months.”

An Artist Reception will be held on Monday, August 29 from 5:30 – 7:00 PM at the AJCC Schwarzbart Gallery. 6800 Deane Hill Drive.

This is a free event, open to the community and members of all faiths.

Barnett’s work will be on display through September. Individuals or groups may request a guided tour by contacting the Knoxville Jewish Alliance

Barnett’s work depicts moments in his own life, where the emotional atmosphere overwhelms the subject. He allows his paintings to emote rather than conceptualize. Using color and gesture, he situates his thoughts and memories firmly within an emotional context, separating them from progression and reason. He draws from varied influences, as far reaching as moviemakers like Charlie Kaufman and Denis Villeneuve, to those more closely related, like Peter Doig and Pierre Bonnard.

Barnett currently lives and works in the Catskills, where he enjoys basking in the sun by the Delaware River. For more information and to view his portfolio, visit

The KJA is a single organization that operates the Arnstein Jewish Community Center and serves as Knoxville’s affiliate of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), the primary fundraising organization for North American Jewish communities. In a creative move years ago as one of the country’s smallest, organized Jewish populations, the Knoxville Jewish community merged its non-religious organizations to improve efficiencies and communication. It shares funds, staff, a board of directors, volunteers and other resources.

Published August 28, 2016

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