The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present five new exhibitions at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from July 7-28, 2023. A free gathering with the artists will take place on Friday, July 7, from 5:00-9:00 PM and features original music inside the Emporium by Nicholas Horner, Melissa Hale, and W. James Taylor. Most of the works on exhibition will be for sale and may be purchased by visiting in person or the online shop at
Knoxville Photo 2023 in the lower gallery
The Arts & Culture Alliance presents the 11th annual Knoxville Photo juried exhibition featuring selected works from 42 artists throughout the region. The exhibition encompasses photographs depicting all subjects and genres, including streetscapes, cityscapes, landscapes, environmental portraiture, portraits, abstracts, and more. Heather F. Wetzel served as juror for the exhibition and viewed 390 images to select the exhibition. An artist working in historic photographic processes, hand papermaking, and book arts, Wetzel is currently the Galleries & Collections Manager at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in the Great Smoky Mountains. She earned her Master of Arts & Humanities from Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania, and her Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York., where she also worked at the George Eastman Museum. She is a 2012 Photolucida Critical Mass Finalist, as well as a semifinalist and The Print Center’s Honorary Council Award of Excellence winner in The Print Center’s 87th International Competition. Her work has been widely exhibited, and can be found at the Anzenberger Gallery in Vienna Austria, Momentum Gallery in Asheville, NC, as well as in multiple collections.

The following artists’ works will be shown:
+ John C. Kopp of Port Charlotte, FL
+ Sean McElroy of Lexington, KY
+ Kathryn C. Miller of Alcoa, TN
+ Sheila Chesanow of Athens, TN
+ Carol Stevens of Crossville, TN
+ Alan Finch of Jacksboro, TN
+ Adam Jeffrey Trabold of Johnson City, TN
+ Brooke Arnold, Michelle Carr, David Denton, Jurgen Dopatka, Felix R. Gaiter, Gary Heatherly, Jennifer Herchenrider, Liz Lee, David G. Liles, John Edwin May, Natalie McLaurin, Tom Owens, Norm Plate, Julie L. Rabun, Lennie Robertson, Caitlin Ryan, Greg Schweiger, Genna Sellers, Eric Sherwood, Owen H. Weston, Rick Whitehead, Anthony Owsley, Clay Thurston and Tonya Wunder of Knoxville, TN
+ Jack Retterer of Lenoir City, TN
+ Suzanne LeBlanc of Loudon, TN
+ Rachel Deutmeyer of Maryville, TN
+ Sam Hill of Matthews, TN
+ Dave Edens of Monteagle, TN
+ Ken Van Dyne of Norris, TN
+ Yvonne Dalschen and Kelli Thompson of Oak Ridge, TN
+ Houston Vandergriff of Powell, TN
+ Marlon Davey of Rutledge, TN
+ David Gilliam of Walland, TN

Over $1,000 in cash awards will be announced at the opening at 5:30 PM. For more information, please visit

Pictured: Changing by Michelle Carr (top); Lunasphere by Gary Heatherly (bottom)

The Knoxville Watercolor Society in the upper gallery
Since 1963, the Knoxville Watercolor Society has been alive and thriving in the city! Dr. Kermit Ewing, head of the University of Tennessee Art Department, noted that our area lacked an organization for artists who share the common interest of painting in aqueous media. Aided by local watercolor enthusiasts, KWS was up and running. The purpose of the Knoxville Watercolor Society is to educate its members, as well as the community, to the understanding of watercolor as a significant art form. Active membership is juried by the members and consists of Knoxville area artists who are actively advancing the creation and quality of aqueous media. Members’ works are a testament to the continued pursuit of excellence in water based media, as they can be viewed and enjoyed in exhibits, galleries, and private collections across the country.

Annually, the organization provides a scholarship, donates to the University of Tennessee Ewing Gallery, and provides grants to various art organizations. Through the years, the area’s increasing interest in watercolor painting is a result in part of the growth and development of the Knoxville Watercolor Society.

KWS seeks water-media artists, aspiring water-media artists or supporters of water media art to continue the honored traditions of KWS for future generations. Learn more and join the Society online.

Lindsay Abromaitis-Smith: Alchemy of the Sole in the display case
Lindsay Abromaitis-Smith is an artist, herbalist, writer, and pleasure activist living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). She is dedicated to creating beauty, sharing stories and rituals, and crafting herbal remedies that echo what is essential to being. As she continues to learn how to physically manifest differently, Abromaitis-Smith hopes to teach others that being disabled can be pleasureful and powerful while also being an act of acceptance and surrender. Abromaitis-Smith began her artistic career in puppetry and performance. After living and working in New York City for twelve years, she moved to New Jersey in early June 2015. She is living as an artist in residence at the Toshiko Takaezu Studio in Quakertown, NJ. Her art practice is currently focused on learning how to be a rooted elephant and painting/drawing using her feet. She is the mother of two tigers and loves having people over for tea.

I am a collector and teller of stories. Stories come in many forms: folktales and myths, poetry and theater, movement and form, line and color, breath and stillness, muscles, bones, energy, light and shadow. Stories are medicine. I use paint and graphite as tools with which to channel what needs to be expressed, existing in the layer beneath what meets our practical eyes. My paintings and poetry reflect my inner processing of these source energies, my personal meditations on what is feeding me. It has become a way for me to play with tapping into the rhythms, patterns and gestures of the world; to escape from narrative and get in touch with the primordial ooze that exists within all things macro and micro. I strive to create icons and images of the sacred to provide a means of nurturing both our internal and external evolutions and revelations. My hope is that the work helps guide us to the infinite possibilities of our hearts. I want to give people the keys to internal states of grace, with each other, with this earth our mother, with the elements, with source energy. I seek to unravel that which is embedded in the psyche, carried in the spine, the skin, in our breath and see what can be woven with our time together. It is my belief that these fundamental acts and interactions reveal that great but simple powers exist within us, all we need to do is express them. It is also incredibly exhilarating to squish colors between my toes and make a beautiful mess.

Instagram @alchemy_of_the_sole

Katie Hawley: Follow Through on the North wall
I am a reactionary artist, I love lines and complimentary colors. I love to create space and to deconstruct existing space. I never know how my work will start or end. My exhibition, Follow Through, doesn’t solve or ask anything, it is just here to occupy space.

Katie Hawley graduated from Maryville College with a Bachelor of Fine Art in 2021.

Instagram @Katie_hawleyy

Recent Works by Liz Osborne in the Atrium
Highly abstract, my work focuses on channeling unseen emotions. Each piece has an aura of its own as my passion shines through with uninhibited energy and brushstrokes. My pieces often start with a pleasant effect and then turn more despondent. I often paint with no plan in mind; if I’m feeling euphoric, viewers will know by my energetic and wild brushstrokes and the colors exuding off the canvas. If I’m feeling melancholic, viewers will see darker tones and a brooding effect. My biggest muse and motivation for my work comes from my children who have instilled a childlike energy into me that is full of colors, wildness, and imagination. We often paint side by side where they learn from me and I also learn from them. I’m uniquely free in what I do and cannot be contained in one box or category.

Liz Osborne is an abstract painter based in Knoxville. Her practice involves layering acrylic paint with a variety of mediums, ranging from textiles to foliage and glitter. She was born in Detroit, Michigan, and after high school she moved to Hawaii where her stepmother was stationed in the Army. Being introduced to a new culture made Osborne curious for more, so she enlisted in the United States Navy. After ten years of military service in Norfolk, Virginia, the sacrifices of being away from her daughters led to her voluntary separation from the Navy. Shortly thereafter, she found her love of painting as a way to express the uncomfortable, the vile and the despondency from her own thoughts and point of view. She attends the University of Tennesse and is earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts.
Instagram @lizosborneart

The exhibitions will be 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. For more information, please see or call (865) 523-7543.