High Art in the City: First Friday, Take Two

Pamela Neal creation, Emporium, Knoxville, April 2011

Every First Friday features art with a capital “A.” The Art Market features an artist each month and somehow I usually miss that, so I’m planning to put more effort into that next month. UT also has a studio on the 100 block of Gay Street and that is often interesting and sometimes the highlight of the night. Many of the shops around town focus on a local artist, so you never know what you might encounter when you enter their doors.

 I always make it to the Emporium to see their featured exhibition. Last month it was Keegan Luttrell and I felt she was one of the most creative people I’ve ever encountered. This month’s featured artist is Pamela Neal. Her art is billed as “abstract impressionism” and maybe that’s as close a description as any. There is clearly an abstract quality.
Often the themes are musical and guitars or pianos are never rendered precisely as most of us percieve them. The instruments become intertwined – much as their sounds do in a musical composition, and maybe that is the point. The subjects of the painting are never distilled quite to an expressionist level, though Pollock is hovering nearby. I also don’t get the gentle warmth of an impressionist piece. I think this art is more provocative. The colors alone are enough to arrest a viewers attention and then there are the rich textures. 

Pamela Neal, Emporium, Knoxville, April 2011

We were able to meet the artist (who also does pet portraits for you pet lovers) and found her to be warm and charming. If you follow the link above you can see more works as well as better representations of the works pictured on this blog. She does works for commission and many of her pieces sell for around $750 to $850. The display will be mounted for the month of April and additional works are on display at Blue Slip Winery. I’d really encourage you to find the time to examine the work for yourself.

Structure made by UT architectural students

I also stumbled into some architectural art of sorts at the UT architecture outpost at 500 S. Gay Street. A visiting architect had assisted students in  a group design project of sorts. If I understood correctly, it was a crash course, rapid fire design and construction that resulted in what you see in the pictures. Cloth, wood, rope, lights and even bicycles were incorporated. I’m not sure the pictures capture it and I know my words don’t. It’s just one example of something you have to be in the city and see for yourself to fully appreciate.

Architectural structure on Gay Street, Knoxville, April 2011