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Volume 24, Number 8 — August 2017

Arts Calendar

Highlighting Northeast Tennessee's Black Artists at Tipton Gallery during Little Chicago Festival
"Ruminations" by Shalam Minter

Highlighting Northeast Tennessee's Black Artists at Tipton Gallery during Little Chicago Festival

Date(s):  August 03 - 28, 2017
Venue: Slocumb Galleries
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN 37614

JOHNSON CITY, TN — The Slocumb Galleries and East Tennessee State University department of art and design in partnership with the Multicultural Center presents "Black Appalachia: Northeast Tennessee's African American Artists" from Aug. 4 to 28, at the Tipton Gallery in downtown Johnson City, Tennessee. The public is invited to view the exhibition during the reception on First Friday, Aug. 4 from 6-8 p.m., and during the Little Chicago Festival Aug. 11 and 12 from 3-7 p.m.

The exhibition features work by Northeast Tennessee artists Jonathan Adams, Kelsie Dulaney-Hayworth, V. Kelsey Ellis and Shalam Minter, with participation from prominent artists Sammie Nicely, Lydia Wilson and Calvin Nicely from the collection of art benefactors Robert and Martha Alfonso. The exhibition celebrates diversity in the Appalachian region, with a focus on artists with African American and South Asian descent whose work in contemporary art explore the nuanced issues of identity, beauty and reclaiming of history.

Sammie Nicely, one of the most prominent African-American artists from the region, founder of the African Appalachia was originally from Morristown. His work in ceramics and mixed media masks are reminiscent of tribal communities yet very contemporary and innovative in form. His nephew, glass artist Calvin Nicely forges his own path with a different media and expression, both stalwarts of African Appalachian arts and culture. In parallel, Johnson City-based Lydia Wilson who works predominantly on mixed media sculptures and installations informed by racial history and spiritual texts.

Jonathan Adams' ink drawings of figures and warriors from his series "Reactions to Innate Stimuli," are large-scale works on paper of expressive images he creates in response to everyday stimuli within the lens of history. Kelsie Dulaney-Hayworth is a fiber artist from Kingsport. Her contemporary quilt work that utilizes digital imaging explores issues of personal identity and cultural ambiguity. Shalam Minter, a metalsmith and mixed media sculptor works on life-sized female busts distinctly characterized by its colored, bald figures with parched, earthen skin. This body of work illustrates her third person narrative of her observations, feelings and contemplations, entitled "Rumination." Minter works at the Center for Craft in Asheville, North Carolina. Minter, Adams and Dulaney-Hayworth, all received their Bachelor of Fine Arts from ETSU, while, Kelsey Ellis received her Master of Fine Arts from ETSU. Ellis' installation series entitled "Danae" are mixed media explorations of ideas of beauty, as it reveals itself in various forms, and deemed as human necessity.

This exhibition is in support of the effort to promote the Northeast Tennessee Arts and Cultural Alliance, a collaborative effort by regional artists, art groups with the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Tennessean for the Arts and First Tennessee Development District, and inspired by the Umoja Festival.

The Tipton Gallery is located at 126 Spring St., downtown Johnson City, opens for receptions from 6-8 p.m., Fridays from 5-7 p.m., Little Chicago festival from 3-7 p.m., and by appointment. For more information, contact Slocumb Galleries' Director Karlota Contreras-Koterbay via email or call/text 423-483-3179. Parking and handicapped access are available. Visit the ETSU PlanIt Calendar under Exhibitions or for event updates.

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