Jen Sterling launches pop-up gallery downtown

Jay FitzDowntown, Our Town Arts

East Tennessee is famous for its fall colors, but typically the season evokes long drives through the Smokies or the bright orange of Neyland Stadium. In early November, painter Jen Sterling brought a bright spectrum of color to the railroad tracks and office buildings of Downtown Knoxville with the launch of her new Abstracts on Display pop-up gallery.

Located in marketing agency Morris Creative Group’s space in the Southeastern Glass Building, the opening coincided with the Knoxville Arts and Culture Alliance’s monthly First Friday celebration. Abstracts on Display is now the newest addition to the galleries, shops and other establishments that make up our town’s Arts District.

Based in Annapolis, Maryland, Sterling participated in a sketchbook workshop at Gatlinburg’s Arrowmont School earlier in the week before installing more than a dozen of her strikingly colorful canvases inside the agency’s storefront across from Balter Beerworks.

“I bask in color,” Sterling says in a statement on her website. “Color has always had a profound influence on my mood.”

The works on display are large abstract compositions with arresting color features inspired by landscapes across the country, from the pink desert hills of the Southwest to the blues and greens of the Chesapeake Bay. The name labels carry titles including “Sunrise on the Lake,” “Pillars of Light” and “Golden Carp.”

“My goal is not to capture an image, but to capture the emotion that image conjures,” Sterling writes.

“We’re thrilled to have Jen’s work lighting up our space,” says Chuck Morris, agency principal at Morris Creative Group. “The pop-up gallery business model she’s using is something new, and we’re excited to be a part of it. We hope visitors to downtown will stop by to check it out and buy some paintings.”

When asked how she decided on a setting – the first of multiple AOD galleries set to open in the coming months – Sterling explained that the Knoxville location is close to the Arts District and local eateries, and has large windows to allow natural light and art viewing even when the space is closed.

Abstracts on Display will host quarterly shows for various abstract artists from around the country. This format allows them to bring in artists who don’t currently have exposure in the local market.

Sterling intends for the pop-up format to support and strengthen the local art scene by bringing new regional and national art to the city. “Anything we can do to encourage more art is awesome!”

The Knoxville location is accessible from 9-5:30 Monday through Friday. The gallery is not staffed, but pieces are barcoded for additional information and purchasing.

Information provided by Morris Creative Group.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *