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Emporium Center opens new exhibitions April 5

The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present five new exhibitions at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from April 5-26, 2019. A reception will take place on Friday, April 5, from 5:00-9:00 PM as part of First Friday activities downtown to which the public is invited to meet the artists and view the artwork. Additionally, the Knoxville Gay Men’s Chorus and Vance Thompson & Friends will provide music at the opening. Most of the works are for sale and may be purchased through the close of the exhibition.

emporium center
Art by Marianne Woodside; image courtesy of the artist

Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild Quilt Show 2019 in the main gallery
The Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild (KMQG) exists for residents of Knoxville and surrounding areas who have an interest in modern design and quilting. The guild's mission is to provide a community where modern quilters can meet and share ideas while creating an environment that encourages creativity and acceptance. The KMQG was established in 2010 by Mary Beth Meadows as a member of the Modern Quilt Guild, which is made up of over 14,000 members in more than 200 guilds in 39 countries.

The exhibited quilts have all been made by Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild members using traditional means and featuring a modern aesthetic. To learn more about the guild, please visit or

Framing the Scene: Seeing the Situation by Tom Owens & Marianne Woodside in the Balcony gallery A still photograph puts a frame around a moment frozen in time. It sits still, allowing and perhaps commanding the viewer to look at something real. One definition of realism is a “rejection of visionary”. Yet, photography done well is transcendent: extending the limits of ordinary experience. Seeing is the essence of photography. Seeing the situation may be when all the visual elements coalesce to produce something that engages the viewer. Henri Cartier-Bresson, the French humanist photographer, coined the term “the decisive moment”. In his book by that title, he defines the decisive moment: if a photograph is to communicate its subject in all its intensity, the relationship of forms must be rigorously established. Photography implies the recognition of a rhythm in the world of real things. What the eye does is to find and focus on the particular subject within the mass of reality; what the camera does is simply to register upon film the decision made by the eye. Photography must seize upon this moment and hold immobile the equilibrium of it.

As the title of this exhibit suggests, “Framing the scene, Seeing the situation,” (inspired by and adapted from Eudora Welty’s text, On Writing) represents the hope of Tom Owens and Marianne Woodside to extend the images in this exhibit beyond the moment and the frame. The movements inward and outward represent aspects of the viewer experience and help make personal meaning of the images seen and experienced. The two photographers often have different styles and approaches to their work, yet they hope the transcendence from real to something curious, interesting, attractive, humorous, or even disturbing engages each viewer.

Judy Overholt Wheeler: Putting the Pieces Together – Mosaic Art in the display case As I sit here by the sand and water, I am thinking even the beach is an example of putting pieces—little grains of sand—together to make a beautiful place for us to enjoy. Much of life is made up of putting pieces together, whether it is getting dressed in the morning, putting breakfast on the table, or planning a project. In my mosaic art, it is about cutting and placing tesserae (pieces of glass, ceramics, smalti, etc.) to make pieces of beauty for people to enjoy.

Judy Overholt Wheeler is a retired teacher, principal, and supervisor; mother, wife, and grandmother; and a self-taught mosaic artist. She has learned through working with other mosaic artists, taking classes, and researching the components of art. Her first class and inspiration came from Sharra Frank, a Minneapolis mosaic artist. She has also learned from artists in North Carolina, Minnesota, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Once she began doing mosaic art, she was “hooked” and loves creating the pieces as they come to life. Wheeler’s art has placed first and honorable mention in the Farragut Art Shows, and she previously exhibited at the Emporium in 2017. She is available to teach small classes out of her home studio. For more information, visit

Pam Hamilton: The Woman Within on the North Wall With varying degrees of abstraction, I paint about silence and solitude – essential moments in life. You will sometimes see other figures share the space, as solitude is only one facet of our lives. The surface of the painting is critical, and I spend time with the texture and colors. Embracing the unexpected, layers are built up, wiped off, and painted over. My appreciation for things aging and well-worn shows through in the hints of cracking paint and textured surfaces that evolve as I work.

This partial collection of paintings by Pam Hamilton is a celebration of women and the strength that comes from within. The exhibition features acrylic and mixed media paintings on canvas. Rough texture and cracking paint underline the contrast to the femininity of Hamilton’s figures.

Pam Hamilton is a visual artist born and raised in the Midwest. In 2016, she relocated to the Southeast and now calls Knoxville home. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Southern Illinois University, specializing in illustration and visual communications. Hamilton’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions throughout the Midwest. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions in both Chicago and Knoxville. Her work can be found in private collections internationally. She has received numerous awards and grants for her work. Presently, Hamilton creates art out of her home studio. She has curated exhibitions in both Chicago and Knoxville, taught classes, and mentored up-and-coming artists. For more information, visit

YARDAGE by Emily Doane, Melissa Everett, Ashley Beals Pace, Sarah Shebaro, Megan Stair, and Coral Grace Turner in Yardage is defined as a distance or length measured in yards, but more casually refers to an amount of material to be used for making something, most commonly fabric or textiles. In this exhibition, six artists, coming from different disciplines and training, each create their own yardage using techniques such as screen printing, digital printing, shibori, and resist.

The development of pattern can be perfected with computer design and digital printing processes or be the framework through which hand printed or resisted fabrics are inherently one of a kind. All of them, examples of surface design, are able to be transformed into a variety of objects. In this exhibition, there will be both yardage and objects made with yardage designed by the artists.

The exhibitions are on display at the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street, in downtown Knoxville. Exhibition hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Please note, the Emporium will be closed on Friday, April 19 for the holiday. For more information, please contact the Arts & Culture Alliance at (865) 523-7543, or visit the Web site at

Published March 16, 2019

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