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Statement of Purpose
The Arts & Culture Alliance developed its National Juried Exhibition to provide a forum for artists to compete on a national scale and display their work. Forty-seven fine art works encompassing all styles and genres from both emerging and established artists have been selected by the juror, Jeffrey Morton, for exhibition in the Balcony gallery of the beautifully-restored Emporium Center at 100 S. Gay Street, Knoxville’s downtown arts anchor location, from February 2-23, 2018. Jeffrey Morton provided this statement about the exhibition:
“While selecting works for the National Exhibit at the Knoxville Arts and Culture Alliance, I was reminded of a provocative question posed in the form of an essay of a few years ago. In an article first published in the New Yorker, 2007, Caleb Crain asked, “what will life be like if people stop reading books?” He argued why reading is important, and to some extent, he asked us how we read. His question emerged in the context of an NEA study on book consumption and the declining American reader from 1982 to 2002. Crain quotes early twentieth century French novelist and critic, Marcel Proust on why it is important to read. To read, Proust said, “[is] to receive a communication with another way of thinking….” Proust welcomed the unfamiliar, and perhaps even feelings of doubt when he silently picked up a book to read.
I view art works the same way Proust views reading. I don’t think people will stop reading books, nor will they stop making and viewing art. But in our age of picking and choosing what we want to read or look at by way of the Internet, we need to be reminded that if we are to encounter a different idea, or one that might not always conform to what we believe, then we need read books and view artworks in real time and real space. So if we take Proust’s view seriously and use reading to make a friend with difference, undoubtedly we will find ideas that will disagree with us, or what we believe. But we might find ideas and themes that will shape us in delightfully surprising ways. The works included in the National Exhibit do shape how we see that natural world, or the life inside the mind. The works here also surprise us not through new technologies or forms, but through traditional materials and forms. Paint and brush, black and white photography, and looking at people, places and things do still matter. Ultimately it is through the artwork’s point of view that reminds us why we look and to take delight in the other.”
The following artists’ works are on display:
Marie Porterfield Barry, Lynda Best, Alan Brock, Art Brown, Eric Buechel, Paula E. Campbell, Lil Clinard, Larry Cole, Bill Cook, Jr., David Denton, T.P. Dunn, Dave Edens, Robert Felker, Todd Fife, Myles Freeman, Lynne M. Ghenov, Michael Giles, Martica Griffin, Eric L. Hansen, Tristan Higginbotham, Perry Walter Johnson, Judy Jorden, Anne Kinggard, Bill Long, Brandon Lutterman, Kate McCullough, Ken McMahon, Maurice Meilleur, Christopher Mitchell, Thomas Owens, Joe Parrott, Carrie Pendergrass, Christian Rieben, Hannah Rivers, Skip Rohde, Chris S. Rohwer, Charlotte Rollman, Marsha Nelms Scarbrough, Ralph Shick, Sam Stapleton, Denise Stewart-Sanabria, Dan Thurman, Cynthia Tipton, and Marilyn Avery Turner.