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New exhibitions open at The Emporium, June 4

The Arts & Culture Alliance will present five new exhibitions at The Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from June 4-25, 2021. A free reception with the artists will take place on Friday, June 4, from 5:00-8:00 PM. All visitors to the Emporium are required to wear a mask and maintain physical distancing guidelines. Most of the works will be for sale and may be purchased through the close of the exhibition by visiting in person or the online shop at

emporium exhibits june 2021
On The Road In Tennessee by Jacques Gautreau; image submitted

On The Road In Tennessee by Jacques Gautreau in the lower gallery

In this new exhibition of color photographs, Jacques Gautreau displays his ongoing project illustrating his exploration of the cultural landscape of Tennessee: a recurrent road trip radiating from the place I live, taking me to uncertain destinations within the state lines.

Since childhood, Jacques Gautreau has followed his instinct to get away and explore. When he was still in his teens, he inherited his grandfather’s Solex motorcycle, left his home in a Loire Valley village near Angers, France, and took off for Spain. Shortly thereafter, he bought his first camera; whether at home or in the countryside, he roamed on foot and recorded the depth and poignance of scenes other people viewed as ordinary. His travels took him to places as disparate as Ecuador and Hong Kong, and the drive to keep moving eventually landed him in Knoxville, Tennessee, around a pivotal time in its history. Downtown Knoxville was “changing fast,” he told the Metro Pulse a few years later in a story about his work, and he was there most mornings, walking through its streets and alleyways as desolate, industrial ruins were being transformed into something clean and prosperous. That change was incidental to something more interesting to his eye: the light, the lines, the textures of remnants left behind. He has since expanded his territory to venture out to the parts of Tennessee that people drive past without noticing. There is intimacy, empathy and humor in his embrace of this part of America that he now calls his home.

Jacques Gautreau began his career in photography as a teenager growing up near Angers, France. He has made photographs in locations on six continents, from Mexico to Mauritius to Tasmania. His career in medical imaging technology brought him from Paris to Knoxville in 2004. He has published his work in several anthologies, including Knoxville, Green by Nature (2013). He has shown his work in several exhibitions since his 2006 Knoxville premiere at the Emporium. Gautreau became a U.S. citizen in 2016 and lives in Knoxville with his wife, Julie Gautreau.

Dogwood Arts: Regional Art Exhibition in the upper gallery

Dogwood Arts is thrilled to announce the return of their Regional Art Exhibition, the first in-person art exhibition the organization has hosted since March 2020. The Regional Art Exhibition showcases fine art of all styles and genres from progressive and emerging artists within a seven-state radius. Althea Murphy-Price, Associate Professor of Printmaking with the University of Tennessee School of Art, will jury the exhibition and award cash prizes totaling $2,000 at the opening reception on June 4. The 2021 exhibition features artworks completed in the last two years by artists 18 years of age and older.

Dogwood Arts has a 65-year history of arts advocacy, environmental stewardship, and economic impact in East Tennessee. With the financial support of corporate sponsors, grant funding, local government investment, and private donors, they produce 20 year-round events and programs that help make Knoxville a great place to live, work and play.

Kara Lockmiller: Pop Music in the Atrium

I am a chromesthete which means I see a vast array of real colors in my mind when I listen to music. I like to think of it as my own personal light show. My goal for each portrait is to let you glimpse music and musicians the way I do. There is a kinship between color and music – both can say what words cannot.

Kara Lockmiller paints in shadowed hues using the grisaille technique. After sketching out a musician in a grayscale underpainting, she adds opaque and translucent acrylic colors according to what she sees when listening to their music. A Knoxville resident since birth, she began painting for others in 2017 as an outlet to share the mesmerizing colors she saw. A journalist and graphic artist for more than a decade, she retains a great understanding of design principles as they relate to color. All of her works are original acrylic portraits on canvas. Upcoming exhibitions in 2021 include Bliss, Barrelhouse Gypsy Circus, and Wild Side Salon.

S.K. Simmerman: Mug Shots: A Motley Crew of Miscreants in the display case

During the summer of 2020 I became fascinated with a treasure trove of images I discovered on a public domain photograph site. Most of the photographs were from Newcastle, England around the turn of the 20th century. Not only were the rough portraits intriguing — ranging from young and old, male and female — their descriptions of crimes committed were equally compelling. As I began preliminary sketches from these visual archives, I could not help but ponder on whatever became of these wayward souls. Later, I expanded my research to other digital troves, unearthing several mug shots from Leavenworth, Kansas and a few other federal prisons. The stories these individuals could tell...some tortured in mind, others genuinely penitent...captured my thoughts and reminded me that we all have redemption stories and human failings.

S.K. (Stephen) Simmerman follows in the tradition of Andy Warhol, who did a series of screen prints of New York criminals’ mugshots, which he viewed at the Whitney Museum of American Art on his last trip to Manhattan before the pandemic. Artists he counts as inspiration are Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Stuart Davis, and Jacob Lawrence. He admires how James Rosenquist and Jasper Johns parlayed elements of commercial art into their paintings and sculpture. Simmerman completed an MFA in graphic design at the Savannah College of Art & Design in 2002 and has taught art for over eighteen years. His work is primarily mixed media: an alchemy of acrylic, watercolor, oil pastel, and ink often layered with “found” or hand-rendered type. Exploring the pairings of hand-drawn faces and intertextuality, he enjoys discovering many routes towards visual storytelling.

Lynne Marinelli Ghenov: Evocation of Collections of Recollections on the North Wall

In this new exhibition, Lynne Marinelli Ghenov will display various drawings created from 2019 - 2021.

I am interested in the infinite possibilities of elements, signs, and forms aligned within an existing structure's finiteness. The gridded constitution of the ledger and lined paper and the grounded presence of a permanent image from the pages of a book are akin to that of an actual interior space. For years, I worked three-dimensionally in specific locations, almost as if I were drawing in the area, designating forms and material throughout. However, through graphite, colored pencil, marker, and pen, I have recreated the given framework and the allocation of objects and patterns two-dimensionally. Works on paper have evolved to incorporate collage, various rubbings, tracings, stencils, and more. There may be vintage paper or not, but always contained in them are pattern, images or signs of memory, and a logic of a child's make-believe game.

Lynne Marinelli Ghenov was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and currently lives and works in Knoxville. She holds a BFA from Tyler School of Art in Sculpture. Presently she primarily makes drawings on paper. In 2017, Ghenov co-founded and co-directed the artist-run space C For Courtside in Knoxville. She has nationally shown in various group and solo shows, including University City Arts League and Artspace Liberti in Philadelphia (PA); Tiger Strikes Asteroid and Monte Vista Projects in Los Angeles (CA); Proto Gallery, Hoboken (NJ); Fluorescent Gallery and A1LabArts, Knoxville (TN); and Crosstown Arts in Memphis (TN). She is currently the associate at Loghaven Artist Residency in Knoxville.

The exhibitions are on display at the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street, in downtown Knoxville. The Emporium is open to the public Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Visitors are required to wear masks and refrain from eating or drinking in the galleries. For more information, please see or call (865) 523-7543.

About the Arts & Culture Alliance The Arts & Culture Alliance serves and supports a diverse community of artists, arts organizations, and cultural institutions. The Alliance receives financial support from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the City of Knoxville.

Published June 1, 2021

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