The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present five new exhibitions at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from April 7-29. Most of the works are for sale and may be purchased through the close of the exhibition by visiting in person or the online shop at

No Bigger Than a Breadbox Biennial Small Works Show in the Upper Gallery

The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present this third biennial juried exhibition featuring selected works from 73 artists throughout the region. The exhibition was designed to celebrate artists who create work on a small scale (under 12″) and in a broad range of media and styles.

About the juror: Josiah Golson is an artist who explores identity and advocacy through drawing, painting, poetry, performance, and video. While still practicing law, Golson founded the 800 Collective in Chattanooga to creatively inspire and organize civic discourse and engagement. He then completed The Souls of Free Folk (Polyphemus Press, 2018), an illustrated book of poetry inspired by Black art and activism. His current work, FESTIVAL, explores identity and belonging through the visual culture of popular music.

Adam Rowe: Knot Theories III and Rob Scott: Mental States Across Time in the Lower Gallery

Excerpts from Adam Rowe’s artist statement: Making a new artwork begins with a question I don’t  immediately know the answer to. It ends with the artwork as the proof that the answer I came up with is true. The middle part, figuring it out, is often more time consuming than shaping the actual piece, although it is the part I enjoy the most. Most of my work is “math art,” although I would never claim to know much math.

Excerpts from Rob Scott’s artist statement: I felt a strong need to create something unrelated to my computer programming profession as I longed to create something that I could share with others. Instead of starting with a desired goal – something I do every day at work – I did the least amount of planning possible. I started each piece with only the barest idea – perhaps a few circles traced in pencil. I gravitated toward an abstract style partly because I enjoyed it and partly because it reduced any pressure to look like something recognizable.

Amanda Barbarito: We Just Let It Happen in the Atrium

Barbarito wants her paintings to make people think about issues around the environment, and social issues that plague our community. She hopes these will lead to healthy discussions rather than creating feelings of hopelessness.

Artist statement excerpt: I want my work to reflect appreciation for the small things, the insects, and other under-appreciated critters. When we look at a garden we see the flowers, but if you bend down and look closer, there is so much more to find, so many delicate little lives. Curiosity and wonder are what inspire me to stack so many things into my work. I often choose to include a little touch of litter, so as not to ignore our impact on nature. I don’t include actual humans, but I do include our existence.

Jessie Van der Laan: Permutations on the North Wall

Artist statement excerpt: These collages explore the nature of mediation, abstraction, and repetition in creating and re-creating oneself. I call on the traditions of quilt piecing, in which larger wholes are divided and re-assembled, along with the sense of a kaleidoscope, which divides, layers, and reflects portions of a scene in a new, ever-changing composition. Bringing both techniques together, I use repetition to both emphasize and disguise my experience from the viewer. The predominant repeating form is hands. I layer flat silhouettes and textured details to build a tapestry collaged on panel.

Recent Work by Cody Swaggerty in the Display Case

Artist statement excerpt: I’m always drawn towards a brighter color palette when creating. Overall, I want to continue to explore different mediums and find unique ways to blend what I’ve learned to become best artist I can be. I like to work in a variety of different mediums to keep myself interested and challenged; these pieces are a representation of that.

The exhibitions will be on display at the Emporium Center, located at 100 S. Gay Street in downtown

Knoxville. The Emporium is open to the public Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 5 pm, Friday from 9 am to 7 pm, and Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm. Please note, the Emporium will be closed on Monday,

April 10. For more information, call 865-523-7543 or visit