Do you like the birds or the waterfall?

0 Comments 📅September 20th, 2010, 20:05

kcc_art-300x260The $1 million art collection at the KCC has something to inspire everyone.

It’s rarely quiet at the Knoxville Convention Center. Last year alone, we hosted 209 events accounting for 647 event days. I know that is more days than are in one year. But often we have multiple events going on at the center, and many events last for more than a day.

There is something going on virtually all the time. Whether they are hustling in the kitchen preparing for a luncheon or evening gala, or crews are setting up the event center for the next show or convention, people are constantly bustling around this great facility.

But if I get here early enough, or if there is a break in the action, I try to spend a minute or two enjoying our incredible permanent art collection. It is a Knoxville treasure that is sometimes overlooked.

This amazing collection valued at more than $1 million contains works in a variety of art forms from paintings and sculptures to tapestries, ceramics, murals, glass and art in mixed media. Everyone has their favorite.

Our director of sales and marketing, Leanna Belew, is especially impressed by the historical photo of the Ramsay Cascades, a Smoky Mountain waterfall, replicated by Mike Mandel as a ceramic tile mural that rises more than 38 feet tall in our Park concourse.

The sculpture of KC and Rocky, our wood carved bears, attracts a lot of attention as they greet guests at the Clinch Avenue entrance to the center.

The 79-inch by 80-inch quilt entitled “Under Tennessee Skies,” a gift from the Village Quilters Guild of Tellico Village in honor of the 2009 American Quilters Society Expo here, is one of our most recent local acquisitions.

But my personal favorite is William’s Walk by Emily Wilson of Memphis. I just love the birds in this iron and wood sculpture on the third floor. The detail is so intricate; you have to spend time with it to take it all in.

Much like a museum, we have placed descriptions with each piece of art to give browsers information about the artist and materials they used.

Next time you are at the facility, spend some time with our art collection. Or just drop by sometime to check it out. Then let us know which piece inspires you.

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