Artist’s reception today for Gianferante

Jay FitzOur Town Arts

Photos developed from film and handwritten notes passed in class take on a new life in the mixed media exhibit “what abides here” at Pellissippi State Community College.

Anna Halliwell Gianferante

The solo exhibition of artist Anna Halliwell Gianferante is on display in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art Gallery on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus through Nov. 17. Admission to the gallery is free, and it is open to the public weekdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

A public reception with the artist will be held 3-5 p.m. today (10/26/23) in the Bagwell Center, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The “what abides here” collection of mixed media works “meets at the junction of memory, photography, truth, glitches and loss,” said Gianferante, an Oak Ridge native who is now a full-time art instructor at Pellissippi State.

“School Notes” by artist Anna Halliwell Gianferante uses blank spaces to serve as lapses in memory.

This body of work began with Gianferante’s master’s thesis, “Forget Me Not (Really)” for Savannah College of Art and Design. Gianferante sanded, erased and painted on personal photographs that depict moments with people and places no longer in her life. Gianaferante said the art creates separation between the figures and the viewer, just as the subjects of the photographs are now separated from the artist.

Gianferante added to the exhibit with a collection of redacted notes she received in school as a teenager. The blank spaces serve as lapses in memory, she explained, while also abstracting the stories to make them unrecognizable.

The final pieces of the exhibit showcase a different way of manipulating old photographs using artificial intelligence. Gianferante first erased parts of her original photos using AI and then printed them as cyanotypes to mimic the earliest processes of photography.

By harnessing the sun to expose light onto fabric painted with light-sensitive chemicals, each print is unique based on both the weather and the time of exposure.

“Some are so unrecognizable that the title is all that seems to be left of the original subject – pushing boundaries of memory and personal truth,” Gianferante said.

Gianferante earned her Master of Fine Arts in painting from Savannah College of Art and Design and her master’s in teacher education from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She has taught art courses for more than 11 years in both K-12 public schools and higher education institutions.

Pellissippi State contributed information and quotes for this story.


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