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Knoxville Museum of Art Presents American Masterpieces of Southern Craft and Traditional Art
Alice Ballard, Leaf with Small Magnolia Pod, Large Magnolia Pod, 2004, white earthenware, white terra sigillata (photo by Luis Quiles, 2007).

KNOXVILLE, TN.- The Knoxville Museum of Art presents Tradition/Innovation: American Masterpieces of Southern Craft and Traditional Art October 4, 2008 – January 18, 2009. This major exhibition features more than 100 artworks created by masters living and working in the South today. Tradition/Innovation is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, and is designed to acquaint Americans with the best of their cultural and artistic legacy.

Works by 58 traditional artists and contemporary craftspeople from the nine Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee) are accompanied by a rich array of artist interviews, stories, and background information on the artists and their process. Visitors can view works in glass, clay, fiber, metal, wood, paper and mixed media. The combination of contemporary craft and traditional art in this exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to explore the “threads” between two different approaches to creating artwork, and also to compare the approaches of traditional and contemporary artists.

The KMA hosts a members-only party Thursday, October 23, 5:30 – 7:30pm, which includes a gallery talk at 6:30pm by Kathleen Mundell, co-curator of the exhibition.

Tradition/Innovation curators are Jean McLaughlin, Penland School of Crafts, and Kathleen Mundell, Cultural Resources; the exhibition’s education curators are Martin Rollins, Isaac Shelby Elementary School, Louisville, Kentucky, and Judy Sizemore, Kentucky Arts Council.

Tradition/Innovation: American Masterpieces of Southern Craft & Traditional Art is a project of the Southern Arts Federation, and is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art. The Southern Arts Federation, a non-profit regional arts organization founded in 1975, works in partnership with nine state arts agencies to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts in our communities by promoting and supporting the arts in the South; enhancing the artistic excellence and professionalism of Southern arts organizations and artists; and serving the diverse population of the South. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee are partnering states. SAF is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, member states, foundations, businesses and individuals.

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