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Volume 24, Number 6 — June 2017

Arts Calendar

New exhibitions opening at the Emporium Center
Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild Quilt Show 2017
Additional photos below »

New exhibitions opening at the Emporium Center

Date(s):  June 02 - 30, 2017
Venue: Emporium Center for Arts & Culture

Knoxville, 37901

KNOXVILLE, TN The Arts & Culture Alliance presents five new exhibitions at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from June 2-30. A public reception takes place Friday, June 2, from 5-9 p.m. 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 First Friday reception also features music by Bethany Hankins and Swing Serenade at 7 p.m. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres are available.

Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild Quilt Show 2017 in the lower gallery
The Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild exists for residents in and around Knoxville who have an interest in modern design and quilting. KMQG hopes to provide members with a community where modern quilters can meet, share ideas, and create in an environment that encourages creativity and acceptance. The guild is a member of the international Modern Quilt Guild, whose first meeting took place in January 2010 and was organized by Alissa Haight-Carlton. Mary Beth Meadows of the Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild took subsequent steps to establish KMQG in February of that same year.

The guild exhibits quilts made using traditional means and featuring a modern aesthetic. The collection consists of works from KMQG members. For more information, visit

17th Street Studios: Amalgam Volume 4 in the Balcony gallery
The artists who make up 17th Street Studios each have different backgrounds and specific creative inclination. Their differing goals result in bodies of work that notably contrast from one other. Yet, as these artists inhabit the same space, conversations are sparked, similarities are discovered, and a fusion of ideas take shape. As a result, the word amalgam, meaning a mixture or blend, identifies the work produced by the residents of this studio.

The artists of 17th Street Studios are Eric Brittain, Lesley Eaton, Jon Hendricks, Renee Holiday, Beth Meadows, Janet McMullen, Natalie Petrosky, Britton Sharp and alumni Gwyn Pevonka. 17th Street Studios is a private work space for artists located in Redeemer Church in the Fort Sanders neighborhood near downtown Knoxville. Its primary mission is to promote the success of fine artists through affordable physical space that fosters community and support. To learn more, visit

Anne Freels: The Maize Abides in the display case
Anne Freels is a full-time craft artist who has been making corn shuck dolls since 1975. She is devoted to the creative process of craft and especially the alchemy of transforming raw, natural materials into new forms. First, she dyes the natural dried corn shucks by hand; she then rolls and ties them into the doll figures; and finally, she embellishes them with a variety of natural materials and repurposed objects. Freels' dolls represent her imaginative notions of folklore, legend, myth, and earthly and celestial entities as well as traditional Appalachian themes. Because of her interest in keeping corn shuck doll craft alive, she teaches workshops and classes and has authored an instructional book on the craft entitled "Making Colorful Corn Shuck Dolls." Her work is available at various craft galleries and shops in the southern Appalachian region.

In addition to her corn shuck artistry, Freels also produces her own line of natural skin care products under the business of Annie Egypt Herbals. She began by experimenting with making her own soaps more than 20 years ago and has since added face and body creams, anointing and massage oils, and other products good for the body and soul. All of her products are made in small batches using all-natural vegetable oils and pure essential oils.

Susanne Tanner: Australian Walk About on the North Wall
Susanne Tanner is best known for her Australian-inspired paintings depicting the natural beauty, native cultures and modern interpretations of the Australian outback. She has exhibited her work in London, United Kingdom; Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia; and Taipei, Taiwan. The majority of her work is inspired and based upon her living experiences in Australia, United Kingdom and most recently America. Tanner brings a wealth of talent and knowledge from her years of solo traveling and circumnavigating the world twice, experiencing native cultures and the remote natural beauty of this planet.

"As an artist, I hope to show the beauty, multiple cultures, and my personal experiences of living in Australia," says Tanner. "With every finished piece of work I intend to resurrect a feeling of an ancient culture, combined with my modern interpretation of the world as I see it, so it can hopefully be enjoyed by the viewer." In this exhibition, she will feature works painted on stretched canvas using acrylic paint. The technique used in these works are with traditional handmade Australian "bush tools" which create the "dots".

Christian Branson: A Beginner's Evolution in the Atrium
Christian Branson is an emerging artist who lives and works in the Knoxville area. A native of Panama City, Florida, his colorful paintings derive from his desire for exploration into the areas of form and color cohesion, as well as contrasts between them. His art emanates a wide range of emotions and expresses the vibrant spirit and atmosphere of the human mind, individual condition and perception of the world around him. Branson, a self-taught artist, has been painting for less than one year and has already sold several pieces to private collectors across the U.S.

In his inaugural exhibition, Branson showcases paintings in various mediums from acrylic to mixed media. His abstract forms, flowers, symbols and patterns of colors are all brought to life with contrasting and harmonious hues and bold compositions. "When I paint, I try to let the painting inspire me or tell me what to do, as opposed to placing too much emphasis on what I want it to do or be," says Branson. "If I go into it with a preconceived notion or idea, I struggle. It's only after I relax and have fun that a painting evolves on its own. In this way, I believe art comes to life, naturally. It's ok to have an idea or opinion, but I let my pieces evolve from there." He is a member of the Creative Ministries at Faith Promise Church where he attends regularly. For more information, visit

The exhibitions are on display at the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street, in downtown Knoxville. Exhibition hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact the Arts & Culture Alliance at 865-523-7543, or visit the website at

Topics: Art, Exhibits

17th Street Studios: Amalgam Volume 4 — Lesley Eaton

Anne Freels: The Maize Abides

Susanne Tanner: Australian Walk About

Christian Branson: A Beginner's Evolution

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