This Friday is the opening of Self-Rising, an exhibition of paintings by Sarah McFalls inspired by vintage flour sacks, originally created for The International Biscuit Festival (IBF). The opening will be from 5-7pm at the With Bear Hands Gallery located at Magpies, 846 N Central St in Knoxville. The show will last through the end of April.
I've known Sarah for several years now and have admired her work even longer. She typically makes more conceptual work, but she humored the IBF Art Committee, which I serve on, when we asked her to create paintings with a biscuit theme for the festival.
Sarah is the Collections Manager at the University of Tennessee's Ewing Gallery, which also means she does a great deal to put on the shows at UT's Downtown Gallery on Gay Street. And when I say a "great deal," that's an understatement. That crew works like crazy to put those exhibitions on, mentally and physically. Please shake their hands and thank them frequently.
Sarah and I have been studiomates at 17th Street Studios as well as the Salvage Shop. We both share a deep affinity for cats. Most importantly, we are both from Memphis, which means she probably knows me better than most people in Knoxville by default, considering I've been displaced from there for so long. I do love Knoxville (I willingly chose to reside here after all), but Memphis is forever my home. It's got a soul and grit like no other city in Tennessee, and I miss it a lot if I think too much about it, which I try not to. I'm thankful to know that Sarah knows how I feel about this without having to explain it.
Just so you know, the With Bear Hands Gallery is a space that Peg, the owner of Magpies has generously given to me as a token of her support. I'm beginning to feature some of my favorite artists there every three months. My hope is to have one First Friday opening there with each artist and to eventually showcase multiple artists at a time. It would be a tiny step toward having a space dedicated to some artists that don't really have a gallery setting at the moment in Knoxville that fits them too well, myself included.
I always have artwork there, as well as a vast array of fine art prints of my work. Right now, I have the Cats and Tennessee Wooden Cut Outs and the Dusk Love screenprint series featured there. I am also using the space to showcase a lot of older work, to help clear out my studio in what I have been calling the WBH Studio Purge.
I hope you'll come out this First Friday for free cupcakes, to meet Sarah and me, to buy some work OR you can visit the Gallery anytime Magpies is open. Their hours are:
All artwork may be purchased at the Magpies sales counter and on First Friday, you can find me or the featured artist if you need assistance.
Please let me know if you ever have any questions about the work there. You can contact me through this site or at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you Friday!