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Knoxville Museum of Art's Community Gallery project honors Tennessee folk artists
Photo by Dean Dixon, Linden, TN, McDonald Craig.
KNOXVILLE, TN.- The Knoxville Museum of Art presents Tradition—Tennessee Lives and Legacies in the KMA Community Gallery through September 2. The exhibition was created by the Tennessee Arts Commission Folklife Program and is the result of 25 years of fieldwork experience by its director, Dr. Robert Cogswell. Tradition highlights photographic images from around the state in beautiful color renderings taken by photographer Dean Dixon of Nashville. A companion book by the same title featuring 25 engaging essays by Dr. Cogswell and over 150 of Dixon’s photographs is available for purchase in the KMA Gift Shop.

The Tennessee Arts Commission contracted Nashville photographer Dean Dixon to provide visual images to compliment Cogswell’s expressive essays. Dixon spent over 18 months traveling the state and provided stunning photography for the book. A supporting touring exhibition, produced by the Commission in partnership with The Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, highlights the photography. The first showing of the exhibit opens at the Hunter Museum on September 26, 2010 and will travel throughout the state to selected venues for a 3-year period.

The book and supporting exhibition testify to the strength and diversity of Tennessee’s grassroots cultural life, and to the importance of everyday people who continue to sustain art forms and practices through their mastery and dedication. The subjects—mostly individuals and a few pairs and trios of people—represent different parts of Tennessee, different ethnicities and different cultural specialties—from music and crafts to cooking and marble-playing. Dixon’s photographs capture the personalities of these interesting and mostly unsung people in settings significant to them.

With offices located in Nashville, the Tennessee Arts Commission is a state agency created in 1967 to fund and support quality arts experiences that add value to the lives of every citizen, and enhances the quality of life in Tennessee communities.

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