Emporium The Emporium Center for Arts & Culture
Knoxville, TN

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The Emporium Center
100 S. Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902
(865) 523-7543


Traditional Woodenware from Slovenia

Penny Performances

  • The opening reception on Friday, November 6, is free and open to the public from 5:00-9:00 PM with complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

Open Arms Care Flying Brushes: Unbound
November 10-25, 2015

The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present a new exhibition of paintings by clients of Open Arms Care’s Flying Brushes program entitled “Unbound” that will be displayed at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from November 10-25, 2015.

Art therapy is often the only way out of a marginalized life in which barriers of intellectual and physical disabilities are compounded by institutional and social stigma; a stigma that further confines already hampered personalities, making them seem beyond connection, almost infantile, vegetative, lost. Inside a limited set of mind/body connections are unlimited possibilities.

Harold is an example of one individual benefiting from Open Arms Care’s art program, Flying Brushes. Harold is unable to speak, unable to walk, unable to use his hands/arms. He communicates with his eyes. He is able to answer “yes” or “no” by looking up for “yes” and down for “no”. Utilizing a laser pointer headband, he is able to point the tiny red light to select colors from a chart, and the staff assisting him, the tracker, will confirm that the shade and consistency is exactly as the artist desires. Paint brushes, sponges, spoons, combs, and a plethora of other utensils are spread across a table where he points to his tool of choice. Every action is detailed; every step is questioned by the tracker to ensure they are doing what he instructs with the laser.

One painting will take anywhere from two to eight hours to complete, sometimes spanning numerous days. “The result is absolutely breathtaking,” says Nikki Byrd, Director of Day Services & Development. “This artwork proves that men, women and children whose physical or intellectual spectrum is narrower than most exude their own luminance just the same.”

About Open Arms Care
Open Arms Care (OAC) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit agency, certified as an Intermediate Care Facility for persons with Intellectual Disabilities in the state of Tennessee with locations in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville.

Traditional Woodenware from Slovenia
November 6-25
Balcony gallery

The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present a new exhibition of traditional woodenware from Slovenia presented by the Ribnica Handicraft Centre with support from the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Washington, DC and the Slovene Consulate in Knoxville. The exhibition of bowls, buckets, spoons, sieves, and other objects will be displayed in the Balcony gallery of the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from November 6-25, 2015.

The Ribnica Valley lies in the southeast of the middle-European country of Slovenia. Wooden utensils and pottery have been the major products of Ribnica for perhaps 1,000 years thanks to the area’s abundant forest and clay resources. Until recently, nearly all people in the valley were engaged in agriculture, but many earned a major part of their living by means of their skills in making and trading useful household items of wood and clay.

Sieves are products that can't be finished at home and then carried to the market; they simply take too much space. A much simpler solution was found by Ribnica crafts-people perhaps as early as five centuries ago: they packed side rims and bottoms separately and carried everything on their backs. When they sold a sieve, they finished it on the spot. Peddlers travelled from one fair, farm, or village to another, looking for buyers. Realizing that other wooden products would sell well too, they started exchanging goods with other local craftsmen. Soon they were able to complete their packs with all kinds of objects, trading those as well. The name 'kroönjar' came from the packs they carried ('kroönje' in the Slovenian language means “tree-top”). The peddlers carried these packs, as tall as two men, on their shoulders; the packs functioned as a portable display of everything that was for sale. Visible from a distance, the packs advertised the peddlers' purpose without a need for words.

Sieve-making, in combination with the privilege to move freely across wide territories trading in woodenware and clay vessels, had an enormous economic and spiritual impact on average inhabitants of the Ribnica Valley. The traders brought back innovative ideas to the villages. Ribnica also gained notoriety as a center of humor, because to gain and retain customers, the peddlers were accomplished jokesters and raconteurs. To this day, Ribnica villagers are thought to be natural comedians.

Penny Performances

Thirty Organizations Announce Penny Performances for Knox County Students

The Arts & Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville in cooperation with the local arts community is proud to announce the third year of Penny Performances, a program developed to meet the local arts community’s long-term goal of serving and educating East Tennessee's children. Penny Performances provide every child in Knox County, including home-schooled and private-schooled students, an opportunity to attend local arts and culture events/activities by nearly 30 organizations at the maximum cost of ONE PENNY when accompanied by one paying adult during the 2012/2013 academic school year. Concerts, plays, dance performances, historic home tours, fairs, museums, festivals, arts workshops, radio broadcasts, movies, and more are part of Penny Performances. Organizations whose admission is regularly free are offering special programs or gifts for attending Knox County students. Notices announcing this program will be sent home with every Knox County public school child.

Almost 100 events are included in Penny Performances this year, and in addition, nine organizations offer year-round opportunities for Knox County School children: Blount Mansion, Crescent Bend House & Gardens, East Tennessee History Center, James White’s Fort, Knoxville Museum of Art, Mabry-Hazen House, Marble Springs, WDVX, and Alexia’s School of Middle Eastern Dance. The schedule of participating performances is listed on the Penny Performances web site at www.Penny4Arts.com.

Families may register on this site to receive weekly e-mail notices about participating events. Most participating performances will allow one paying adult to bring up to three students for one penny each. Proof of Knox County residency (driver's license) will be required for each adult accompanying children ages 5-15. Students ages 16-18, not accompanied by an adult, must show proof of Knox County Residency and if in a group, at least one in the group of up to four Knox County students ages 16-18 must purchase a regular adult admission/ticket (if applicable) for the group to be able to participate in Penny Performances. Each participating organization’s specific guidelines are also listed on the Penny Performances web site.

The following organizations are participating in Penny Performances: Bijou Theatre, Blount Mansion Association, Circle Modern Dance, Clarence Brown Theatre, Crescent Bend House & Gardens, Dogwood Arts, East Tennessee Historical Society, Frank H. McClung Museum, Alexia's School of Middle Eastern Belly Dance, Go! Contemporary Dance Works, HoLa Hora Latina, James White's Fort, Knoxville Arts & FIne Crafts Center, Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum, Knoxville Choral Society, Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville Opera, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Zoo, Mabry-Hazen House, Marble Springs State Historic Site, Pellissippi State, Tennessee Children's Dance Ensemble, Tennessee Valley Fair, WDVX, Wild Thyme Players, Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, The WordPlayers.

The schedule of participating performances is listed on the Penny Performances web site at www.Penny4Arts.com.

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