People flying in and out of McGhee Tyson Airport are members of a fairly exclusive cultural set — visitors to an art exhibit that only they (with exceptions) can see.
The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority and the Arts & Culture Alliance are presenting Arts in the Airport, an exhibit of works by 45 East Tennessee artists. The artwork will be exhibited in the secure area behind the security checkpoint through October.
Three of the artists received cash awards:
Best of Show: Lil Clinard for her watercolor Pawleys Island Pier.
Award of Merit: David Gilliam for his photograph Hitchhiker.
Award of Merit: Michelle O’Patrick-Ollis for her coffee and pencil painting That Dog is a Nuisance.
“The 2023 Arts in the Airport exhibition presents a captivating array of artworks, offering travelers and art enthusiasts a chance to immerse themselves in the extraordinary talent and creativity of local artists,” Claudio Gómez, executive director of the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Tennessee, said in a statement.
While not the same as seeing the art in person, the works can be found online here.
Though the exhibit is behind the security gate, non-flying visitors may arrange to view the art by appointment by calling Becky Huckaby, director of public relations for the Airport Authority, at 865-342-3014.
Meanwhile, people don’t need a boarding pass to check out the works in this year’s Art in Public Spaces Sculpture Exhibition. Dogwood Arts is placing 26 featured sculptures in prominent locations throughout Knoxville, Oak Ridge and Alcoa. Combined with eight permanent pieces, the exhibit will contain 34 sculptures on display through June 2024.
Artists from 13 states are participating in the exhibit. Knoxville locations include Krutch Park, Emory Place, Maker Exchange, UT Gardens, Zoo Knoxville, The Muse, and the Northshore branch of ORNL Federal Employees Credit Union.
The pieces are available for purchase. A list of sculptures, prices, sponsors and locations can be found here.
Since the Art in Public Spaces program began in 2007, Dogwood Arts has installed more than 290 sculptures in public spaces in the greater Knoxville area.