The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present five new exhibitions at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from September 2 – October 1, 2022. A reception with the artists will take place on Friday, September 2, from 5:00-9:00 PM. Most of the works will be for sale and may be purchased through the close of the exhibition by visiting in person or the online shop at

Tom Owens & Marianne Woodside: Capturing People, Recording Environments – A Decade of Recent Work in the lower gallery
Inspiration for this new show emanates from a conversation around the ease of creating photographic images. Images are easy to capture and cost only the time it takes to view the image, snap the phone or point and shoot, review and save or delete. Even carefully constructed images can result in tens or maybe hundreds of pictures to later consider. In this exhibition of 50 images, Tom Owens and Marianne Woodside share many of their favorite photographs which represent a variety of photographic styles that create images to highlight subjects, establish mood, and offer alternate views of traditional subjects. The artists show images from global and local environments, including pre-pandemic and pandemic times, as well as solo photographic works and images they created in tandem during joint photo shoots. Owens and Woodside have collaborated and supported one another’s photographic pursuits for over a decade.

Tom Owens began capturing still images in the late 1960s, and for the next 50 years he worked in film and video production, equipment sales, advertising, industrial training, public relations, and higher education management while always utilizing audiovisual technology in some form. He worked at the University of Tennessee for 32 years, eighteen of those as Director of the Video & Photography Center. While at UT, he worked with actor James Earl Jones, author Alex Haley, Peyton Manning, Pat Summitt, and the FBI profilers featured in the film Silence of the Lambs. He traveled to Ireland, London, Costa Rica, many major US cities, and every county in Tennessee. He filmed the Lady Vols at the White House Rose Garden after they won a national championship. While at UT he won many awards including from the New York Festivals, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, and the International Television Association.

A still photograph puts a frame around a moment frozen in time. It sits still and allows and perhaps commands the viewer to look at something real. One definition of realism is a “rejection of visionary.” Yet photography done well is transcendent, “extending the limits of ordinary experience.” So, when done well it can become realism transcendent. Henri Cartier-Bresson, the French humanist photographer coined the term “the decisive moment.” In many of my photographs I’m looking for that moment. My still photography is influenced by a diversity of photographers, including Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams, Minor White, and Diane Arbus.

Marianne Woodside is a professor emerita from the University of Tennessee where she integrated responsibilities of teaching, administration, research and writing in human services and counselor education. During the last ten years, she expanded her interest in photography and her ideas of artistic expression. Travel to Central America, South America, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Iceland have offered time to capture exotic photographs beyond her daily experiences, although she still finds intriguing subjects close to home. Her subjects include still life images within a natural context, landscapes, and flora and fauna. Woodside’s art has exhibited in McGhee Tyson’s Arts in the Airport, National Juried Exhibition and Knoxville Photo exhibitions at the Emporium, and the Oak Ridge Art Center. She has also shown her work locally at the Golden Roast Coffee Shop, Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Gallery, Westminster Presbyterian Art Gallery, Awaken Coffee Shop, and Maryville’s Asbury Place. She also spends time writing, playing the guitar, hiking, and traveling.

I believe in the magical qualities of photography. Technical knowledge and skills support the creation of lovely, interesting, and whimsical images. At times, the outcome is beyond the expectation of the artist. To create these exceptional photographic moments, I look for ways to combine colors, lights, shapes, and textures to evoke a viewer’s mood or emotion. It is in nature that I find many of my favorite subjects.

Larry Cole: Figures, Faces and Fantasy in the upper gallery
Intense color, abstract shapes, and a sensation of mystery combine to establish the overall mood of this new exhibition by Larry Cole. Shadowy and obscure images of the human form suggest they have a story to tell. The artist has opened a visual portal to connect each observer to some personal memory, an encounter, or a remembered dream and a sense of déjà vu.

A native of Tennessee, Larry Cole studied art and business at the University of Tennessee. In his early studio work, he drew inspiration from the painting techniques of professors C. Kermit Ewing and Carl Sublett, whose influence led Cole to develop his abstract expressionist painting style. He subsequently chose a career in business yet maintained a life-long interest in painting. Upon retirement, he and his wife opened a studio and gallery in the Bearden Arts District which they owned for several years. He currently works from their home in West Knoxville. Cole’s works have been showcased in solo and group exhibits in the Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga areas. In addition to public exhibitions and engagements, he maintains several devoted private and corporate collectors.

I rely on a myriad of shapes and colors to construct a composition that is dreamlike yet recognizable. Using obscure swirls, marks, and blocks of vivid color, I strive to create a setting that allows the story of my subjects to be interpreted differently by each observer. I work on heavily textured substrates with loose brushstrokes, often applying unmixed paint directly from the tube, a process that allows each painting to evolve from a defining base of vibrant color. My goal is to create works that are visually striking, inviting, and filled with intrigue.

Greg Lach: Paint and Pixels in the Atrium
Greg Lach was born in Pittsburgh, PA and his artistic philosophy formed at Canevin High School and classes at Carnegie Mellon and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He learned that all artists should be photographers, and all photographers should be artists, an outlook reflected in his current work. He received his BFA from the University of Dayton, OH after attending the Dayton Art Institute and working for H&H Art Studios. Working as a photographer, he opened his own studio in the late 1970s. Lach continued to paint in watercolor and acrylic, being active in the Dayton Society of Painters & Sculptors as well as Professional Photographers of Southwest Ohio and Professional Photographers of Ohio. He has exhibited in numerous shows, fairs and exhibitions around the country. He lived north of Dayton for over 40 years and now lives in Seymour, TN, where he works on pixel painting watercolor, acrylic portraits, still life, landscapes and Dollywood paintings and commissioned works.

With the coming of the Digital Age, I embraced digital photography and pixel painting: two areas where, combined with the traditional art of watercolor, I’ve created “Pixel Portraits and Landscapes”. This combination of brush strokes and digital manipulation produces a one-of-a-kind image. Where does the brush stroke and photograph begin or end?

Risa Hricovsky: Stranger Things in the display case
In this new exhibition, Risa Hricovsky showcases small sculptural installations from her series Strange Stranger.

Risa Hricovsky received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a post-baccalaureate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BFA from Bowling Green State University. Recently, she received a Bailey Opportunity Grant, Current Art Fund Grant, and won First Place in Mixed Media in the Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics (OH). She has exhibited nationally and internationally and has attended many prestigious residencies, most notable of which are the Studios at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA; Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Skælskør, Denmark and SIM in Reykjavik. Iceland. Currently, Hricovsky is an Assistant Professor of Art at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN.

Risa Hricovsky is a post-discipline/installation artist. Her work pushes the boundaries between painting and sculpture and between art, design and craft. The artworks she creates punctuate space through pattern, color, and her use of the multiple. The work juxtaposes similarly colored materials with opposing properties, such as fired porcelain with soft sculpture or paper. In doing so, each material takes on characteristics of the other, giving rise to misperception and subtly introducing tension within the calm of repetition. In her work, the series Strange Stranger is a collection of sculptures made with different materials with varying degrees of likeness. The sculptures all have a familiarity that draws the viewer in but simultaneously reject identification as knowable objects. This ambiguity creates tension within the viewer, who wants the object to be recognizable yet can enjoy the sculpture on a formal and aesthetic level. These sculptures are constructed with materials such as porcelain, thread, repurposed plastics, polymer clay, fabric, foam, paint, glitter and more.

Instagram @Risa.Hricovsky

Jan Burleson: Things Pile Up on the North Wall
Things Pile Up…all things visible and invisible. The pandemic year was extraordinary in its spectrum of ruptures: the human spirit struggled under the weight of death and burgeoning cultural and systemic fractures. During the haunting disruption and isolation of the year, I found good use for the many magazines that had long piled up in our home spaces. My work is both deconstructive and reconstructive—here, of torn society. I have used cut and torn images from those accumulated magazines, now history pieces in themselves, in collage as exploratory process, gleaning slivers of culture and halted experience, borrowing color, content and shape, sometimes including direct art historical references, to create pilings of redesigned matter, things stacking up, collaborations of opposites, painting sturdiness in the face of great constraint. I paint arrangements of those fragments, creating lively, precarious balances of chaos and order, unifying fragility and stability. The color is enlivened, vibrant, sometimes jazzy, intended to be transformative.

Jan Burleson fulfilled a wish for formal art education after 30 years of professional life as a clinical social worker, both in public mental health and private practice. She completed her BFA in Painting and Drawing at UT-Chattanooga in 2016, and at present works primarily with oil and collage. She received a 2019 Bailey Opportunity Grant and was selected for Chattanooga’s Association for Visual Arts’s 2015 FRESH Young and Emerging Artists Exhibit. Her work has been exhibited regionally in the National Juried Exhibition, Dogwood Arts’s Regional Fine Art exhibitions, McGhee Tyson’s Arts in the Airport, Chattanooga’s Association for Visual Arts, Positive-Negative 27, 32, and 37 at East Tennessee State University’s Slocumb Gallery, in CHA-Art-Space at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, and at the Arts Center in Athens.
Instagram @jan_burleson_

The exhibitions will be on display at the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street, in downtown Knoxville. The Emporium is free and open to the public Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Saturday, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM. For more information, please see or call (865) 523-7543.