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Emporium Center features new exhibitions February 1

The Arts & Culture Alliance will present three new exhibitions at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from February 1-22, 2019. A reception will take place on Friday, February 1, from 5:00-9:00 PM as part of First Friday activities downtown 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 Tanasi Winds and composers/performers William Wright and Jorge Variego.

emporium exhibition
Work by NJE Derryberry; image submitted

National Juried Exhibition of 2019 in the upper galleries
The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present its 13th annual National Juried Exhibition, a new exhibition featuring selected works from 43 artists throughout the United States. The National Juried Exhibition was developed in 2006 to provide a forum for local artists to compete on a national scale and display their highest quality work. The exhibition encompasses all styles and genres from both emerging and established artists working in a variety of media such as photography, acrylic, pencil, fibers, oil, paper, and more. Over $1,000 in cash awards will be announced at a brief awards ceremony at 6:00 PM on February 1.

Exhibiting artists include:
• Pat Kumicich of Naples, FL
• Alexander Diaz of Saint Augustine, FL
• Todd Fife of Bowling Green, KY
• Wesley Miller of Alcoa, TN
• Carrie Pendergrass of Chattanooga, TN
• Hannah Oakes of Jefferson City, TN
• Shaun Whitson of Kingsport, TN
• David Boruff, Raeus Jae Cannon, Elle Colquitt, Bill Cook, Jr., Denise Cumming, Virginia Derryberry, Judi Gaston, Michael Giles, Suzanne Jack, Chuck Jones, Anne Kinggard, Andreas Koschan, Roy McCullough, Kate McCullough, Clay Pardue, Hei Park, Annie Rochelle, Steven Escar Smith, Denise Stewart-Sanabria, Bill Timm, Marilyn Avery Turner, Mitchell Williamson, and Rodney Yardley of Knoxville, TN
• LuAnne DeMeo and Susan B. Miller of Lenoir City, TN
• Brooke Craig of Lookout Mountain, TN
• Anna Ambrose and Martica Griffin of Nashville, TN
• Seth Haverkamp of Norris, TN
• Paula E. Campbell, Yvonne Dalschen, Dawn Hinesley Jones, and Herbert Rieth of Oak Ridge, TN
• Kelsey Dillow of Sevierville, TN
• Marty McConnaughey of Sharps Chapel, TN
• Hannah Rivers of Rose Hill, VA

View images of the exhibition at

Raymond Padron served as juror for the exhibition. Padron grew up in the Northern Virginia suburbs of DC. In 2005 after receiving his B.A. in Sculpture and Graphic Design from Messiah College in Grantham, PA, he moved south to the city of Chattanooga, TN. During his time in Chattanooga, he exhibited in both public sculpture exhibitions and gallery shows across the Southeast. In 2011 he received his M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has since returned to Chattanooga where he now makes art, exhibits nationally, teaches art, and is co-founder of a collaborative design and fabrication studio called Range Projects.

A Man Who Thought in Color: The Pat Roddy Collection in the main gallery & Atrium
A benefit for the Arts & Heritage Fund
The Arts & Culture Alliance presents over 50 paintings created by and from the personal collection of James Patrick Roddy, III as a benefit for the Arts & Heritage Fund. The exhibition includes an additional reception, sale and live auction on Saturday, February 23.

Pat Roddy graduated from the Baylor School in Chattanooga and attended the University of Tennessee, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. He ran the Roddy Coca-Cola Bottling Company most of his life, and his family said that he always sketched while on the phone. After he retired in 1993, Mr. Roddy began painting and took part in exhibitions hosted by the Tennessee Watercolor Society and the South Carolina Watercolor Society. He loved his painting and used many mediums, including watercolors and oils.

The Roddy family has also donated artwork collected by Pat Roddy during his lifetime. This exhibition will include pieces created by Pat Roddy as well as a selection of pieces from his personal collection.

Sales from this exhibit benefit the Arts & Heritage Fund. Since 2012, the Arts & Heritage Fund has supported individual artists and made general operating support grants to qualified arts and culture nonprofits in Knoxville, helping them make an even greater economic and educational impact on the community. As the only united arts fund in the country that grants out 100 percent of funds raised, the Arts & Heritage Fund has distributed more than $2.6 million to local artists and arts and culture organizations in its first seven years. Every penny of the artwork purchased from the Roddy Collection will go directly into grants to local artists and nonprofit arts and culture organizations.

This exhibition and benefit are made possible through the generosity of Joseph (Jim) Roddy, Patrick Roddy, John-David Roddy, and Kate Roddy Willis, the artist’s children, and Dorothy Roddy, the artist’s wife.

To RSVP for the February 23 sale and auction, please call (865) 523-7543.

Debbie Whelan: Dancing Pots and Whimsical Clocks in the display case
This exhibition features a collection of whimsical porcelain clocks and functional dancing pots from local artist Debbie Whelan. All pieces are hand thrown of porcelain, as well as white and brown high-fire stoneware. Many pieces are altered after being thrown: squished, pushed, darted, pinched, clay taken away, clay added. All glazes and slips are hand mixed and are created by altering recipes to achieve different colors and textures.

Debbie Whelan has spent a lifetime in the dance profession. After earning her MA in Dance from American University in Washington, DC, she embarked on 38 years of teaching, choreographing and performing, starting with Meredith College, Penn State University, and their student companies. She created several dance companies, including Firehouse Dance Company (improv) and The Elderberries (senior citizens) in Ithaca, NY, as well as Beaumont Dance Works (9-11 year olds) in Knoxville. She created the dance program at Beaumont Magnet Academy, wrote the Tennessee State Dance Curriculum Standards for K-5, and has taught dance to generations of children at Beaumont for 21 years.

Since her retirement in 2014, she continues to teach and choreograph with adults and children at the Emporium and with Circle Modern Dance. The more-relaxed schedule has given her time to play intently with her therapeutic hobby – pottery – in which she has dabbled for almost as long as she has been dancing. Her first introduction to making pots came in 1978 with John Givinnes, who taught pottery at Meredith College. He allowed her to come and play with clay and advised her in setting up her own studio.

After raising her two children and developing the dance program at Beaumont, Whelan retaught herself how to throw pots with a help from YouTube videos. She now makes pottery daily as she searches for her unique voice in clay. Whelan is intrigued with the process of blending her passion for dance composition with her passion for clay composition. To her, pottery is an extension of the dance. The dancer informs the potter, and the potter informs the dancer, culminating in a lovely duet.

For more information, please visit

The exhibitions are on display at the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street, in downtown Knoxville. Exhibition hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. For more information, please contact the Arts & Culture Alliance at (865) 523-7543, or visit the Web site at

Published February 1, 2019

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