Dear Friends of the KMA, 


By the time this edition of Canvas appears in your inbox, I’ll already be adjusting to my new status as the former executive director of the KMA. What an honor and privilege it’s been to be part of such a great organization! I’m looking forward to doing new things in retirement, but will dearly miss a job I love and the staff, volunteers, trustees, and extended KMA family who have come to mean so much to me. 


I feel good about leaving knowing that the KMA is in such solid shape. The new, greatly expanded installation of Higher Ground that just opened represents a strong statement of the KMA’s mission and identity as an organization--deeply rooted in, but not confined to, East Tennessee--that resonates powerfully with our stakeholders and audiences. The growth and development of Higher Ground has contributed greatly to an ongoing community-wide effort to unearth stories that had been lost or buried. The KMA is today a more inclusive institution, in which more segments of our community can see themselves represented, but there’s still a long way to go. A broad base of donors, including generous and committed members like you, and auxiliary groups like the Guild, Art House, and Collectors Circle, will sustain and build on the KMA’s progress. It’s particularly exciting at this critical juncture in the KMA’s history to receive Ann & Steve Bailey’s transformational $3 million gift to endow the executive director’s position. The future looks bright indeed.


I also feel good about my successor. Steven Matijcio, who currently serves as director and chief curator at the Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston, begins his tenure as KMA executive director in early March. Stephen comes to the KMA with a wealth of curatorial and administrative experience and a solid track record of engagement with contemporary art and artists at a global level. Prior to coming to the Blaffer, Steven served as curator at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio (2013-2019) and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (2008-2013), and previously held positions in a number of important galleries and museums including the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg; Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto; Art Gallery of Ontario; and National Gallery of Canada. He holds a master’s degree from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, New York and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto. Steven is very much looking forward to coming to Knoxville with his wife Anita and new baby Maija Rose. I know you will welcome them warmly.  


I want to thank each of you, if I haven’t been able to do so one-on-one, for your support, encouragement, and engagement over these many years. I have gotten a ton of credit and praise for what the KMA has achieved, but none of it would have happened without you.  I am very grateful!  


Have a wonderful New Year, and enjoy the great exhibitions, programs, and activities planned for this season at the KMA.   

Thank you!  

Executive Director

David Butler


Soundscapes at the KMA

Friday, January 12 6:30-9:15pm

Join us in welcoming Karen "The VOICE" Bryant to the KMA stage! Formerly Alive After Five; new name; new lineup.

Members: $20 | Non-Members: $25

Purchase Tickets

Second Sunday Art Activity

Sunday, January 14  1-4pm

Children in grades K-6 are invited to drop in for a hands-on

art activity taught by a certified art teacher.

Free & open to the public

Learn more

Second Sunday Docent Tour

Sunday, January 14 2-3pm

Learn from a trained docent about the KMA collection and exhibitions on view. Meet at the front desk at 1:55pm.

Free & open to the public

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Opening Reception & Artist Gallery Talk

Friday, January 26 5:30-7:30pm

Join us for the opening of A Brand New End: Survival and its Pictures with artist Carmen Winant in attendance. Cash bar.

Free & open to the public

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Opens January 26

Carmen Winant A Brand New End: Survival and its Pictures

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Higher Ground: A Century of

the Visual Arts in East TN

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Currents: Recent Art from East Tennessee and Beyond


Currents: Recent Art from East Tennessee and Beyond

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Cycle of Life: Within the Power of Dreams and the Wonder of Infinity

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Facets of Modern and Contemporary Glass

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Land Family Sculpture Garden


Land Family

Sculpture Garden

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Through February 18

Marcia Goldenstein:

Women in Stitches

Learn more

KMA Education Gallery

Sequoyah Elementary School

Artwork: Conrad Schmitt

5th Grade


FREE ADMISSION would not be possible without help from our sponsors!


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Knoxville Museum of Art

Tuesday-Saturday: 10am-5pm  Sunday: 1-5pm

1050 World's Fair Park Drive, Knoxville, TN 37916

865.525.6101  [email protected]

The Knoxville Museum of Art celebrates East Tennessee’s rich, diverse visual culture and its connections to the wider currents of world art. 

This project is supported in part by federal award number 21.027 awarded to Knox County by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the

Arts & Culture Alliance, and by the federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S Department of Treasury.