Two days remain for Knoxvillians to see The Figurative Impulse, an art exhibit that focuses on the human figure and celebrates that which makes us human.
The Figurative Impulse is showing in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art Gallery on the Pellissippi State Hardin Valley Campus until Friday, Jan. 31, with a closing reception 3-5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30.
Located at 10915 Hardin Valley Road, the gallery is open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays. This regional survey of contemporary paintings and drawings includes 12 artists from Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana and Georgia.
“There is a diversity of mediums, messages and outlooks embedded within the work and quite a bit to take in within such a small format,” said Associate Professor Herb Rieth, who curated the exhibit. “The artists come from diverse backgrounds, generations, impetuses and are at many different points in their careers, yet they hold in common their concern for their fellow humans. That lens can be sympathetic, ironic or sardonic, but is used to focus on the motivations and machinations of other people, which in turn can act as a mirror of our own selves.”
Rieth, who has work included in the exhibit, had the idea for the Figurative Impulse two years ago, he said, as a reaction to the increasingly shrill and acrimonious debate between people on social media and in person.
“My thoughts at the time balanced between, first, ‘We are all human and, thus, why can’t we just get along?’ and second, ‘The human condition is endlessly fascinating in its attempt to plumb our own and other’s motivations,’” Rieth said. “As the Technological Revolution has started to eclipse our humanness, I believe that we should redouble our efforts to celebrate that which makes us human.”
Artists who have works included in the Figurative Impulse include Randy Arnold, Tamie Beldue, Aaron Carroll, Virginia Derryberry, Samuel Dunson, Mira Girard, Jed Jackson, Vitus Shell, Denise Stewart-Sanabria, Jason Stout, Tom Wegrzynowski and Herb Rieth.
The Figurative Impulse is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State series.
Lesli Bales-Sherrod does marketing and writing for Pellissippi State Community College.