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Emporium Center opens new exhibitions, February 7

The Arts & Culture Alliance will present four new exhibitions at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from February 7-28, 2020. A free reception will take place on Friday, February 7, 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. Most of the works are for sale and may be purchased through the close of the exhibition. The opening reception features pianist Mike Stallings, Director of Music at Concord United Methodist Church.

  artwork by josh collins
Art by Josh Collins; image by the artist

National Juried Exhibition of 2020 in the upper galleries
The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present its 14th annual National Juried Exhibition, a new exhibition featuring selected works from 38 artists throughout the United States. The National Juried Exhibition was developed in 2006 to provide a forum for local artists to compete on a national scale and display their highest quality work. The exhibition encompasses all styles and genres from both emerging and established artists working in a variety of media such as photography, acrylic, pencil, fibers, oil, paper, and more. Over $1,000 in cash awards will be announced at a brief awards ceremony at 6:00 PM on February 7.

  virginia derryberry
Art by Virginia Derryberry; image by the artist

Exhibiting artists include:
• Virginia Taylor Derryberry, Kathryn Nidy, and Catherine Twomey of Asheville, NC
• Ann J. Harwell of Wendell, NC
• Wesley Miller of Alcoa, TN
• Jan Burleson of Athens, TN
• Susan Connelly McClelland of Bluff City, TN
• Carrie Pendergrass of Chattanooga, TN
• Marcia Athens, Jacques Gautreau, Nina Harvey, Jeanne Kidd, Anne Kinggard, Andreas Koschan, Ryan Mason, Alyssa Nealon, Tom Owens, Hei Park, Norm Plate, Lennie M. Robertson, Chris S. Rohwer, Caitlin Ryan, Pamela Salyer, William Timm, Marilyn Avery Turner, and Rick Whitehead of Knoxville, TN
• Susan B. Miller and Jack Retterer of Lenoir City, TN
• Gloria Vazquez of Limestone, TN
• David Hardin of Loudon, TN
• Carl Gombert of Maryville, TN
• Michelle Barillaro and Debra Lovvorn Belvin of Oak Ridge, TN
• AngelaDawn of Powell, TN
• Charlotte Rollman and Jim Scarsella of Sevierville, TN
• Kerry Remp of Seymour, TN
• Marty McConnaughey of Sharps Chapel, TN

About the juror: Jordan Ahlers is the owner and director of Momentum Gallery in Asheville, NC, one of the region’s premier art galleries. With over twenty years’ experience in the field, Ahlers has collaborated with thousands of professional artists working across the country in a variety of media. In doing so, he has developed an eye for what is both interesting and marketable. Ahlers has a reputation as a gifted curator and trusted art advisor. Ahlers opened Momentum Gallery in 2017 with a mission to provide access to museum-quality work for the region and elevate the Asheville arts community. Ahlers attended the Kansas City Art Institute and later created a home in Asheville, where his family has resided for generations.

Yumee Eun: From Within in the main gallery From Within is artist Yumee Eun’s expression of being through paint and poetry. It is her invitation to her viewers to feel the stillness and emptiness one experiences through meditation. Her hope is to share the emotions and feelings from her own visions that cannot be spoken but are better experienced through colors, textures, hard lines in charcoal, and the unpredictable nature of crackle. In this exhibition, Eun connects her poetry and art as a way for her viewers to feel hopeful from the experience of chaos, heartbreak, and hardship. She sees the crackle pieces in her work as the trials and life experiences in which people are destroyed, yet, can also come through, see into, and explore the light within themselves and be reborn from it. Her poetic words are there to accompany the viewer and inspire and invoke hope and calmness. Through her work, she hopes to share that art is a pathway to eternity. A way to see through the pains and trials on earth, and a way to find light and courage from the places within and beyond ourselves.

From Within is Eun’s second showcase as an emerging artist.

  ellen alvarez
Art by Ellen Alvarez; image by the artist

Ellen Alvarez: Driftwood Creations in the display case
Artist statement: My driftwood creations have been inspired by years of collecting driftwood from my home state of Vermont. The driftwood is sourced from a magical place on Lake Champlain, which consistently provides beautiful pieces of lake-worn wood perfect for creations. My shells come mostly from Asia, where I spent over 20 years. My daughter's unused glass and metal beads and recycled jewelry have all found their way into my shop. I kept collecting until I found the time to create with these beautiful pieces. I love the warmth these pieces bring to a home in their unique and special places.

Josh Collins: Story of a City: East Knoxville in the Atrium
Artist statement: We as human beings long for relationship and unity. I have found both of these, as a white male, living in East Knoxville, a predominately black community. This is why I am telling the story of my community – so our city can see how we can benefit from learning to truly live communally like East Knoxville has done for many years.

Josh Collins aims to tell the Story of East Knoxville from the perspective of someone who lives within the community and wants to share the beauty of life being lived there with people on the outskirts that may hold ungrounded biases. He wants to challenge viewers to look at life in East Knoxville with dignity, adoration and kindness. He also wants viewers to reflect on moments and growth the community has experienced together. For more information, follow him on Instagram at

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. For more information, please contact the Arts & Culture Alliance at (865) 523-7543, or visit the website at

Published February 5, 2020

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