Overview of Exhibition
Contemporary Focus is the KMA’s annual exhibition series designed to serve as a vital means of recognizing, supporting, and documenting the development of contemporary art in East Tennessee. Each year, the exhibition series features the work of artists who are living and making art in this region, and who are exploring issues relevant to the larger world of contemporary art.
The three artists selected for this year’s exhibition have a common interest in creating layered works dealing with memory, identity and the surrounding environment—whether suburban, rural, synthetic, or natural. Jean Hess produces dense, intricate collages made up of fragments culled from eclectic sources such as topographical charts, children’s writings, and the natural landscape. In addition to her studio practice, Hess is active as a freelance art writer and curator. Althea Murphy-Price is a printmaker and installation artist who uses hair—both human and artificial—rather than a drawn line as the basis for her elaborately textured compositions. Murphy-Price is an assistant professor of printmaking at the School of Art, University of Tennessee. Jessica Wohl is a mixed media artist based in Sewanee whose sprawling installations, obsessively detailed ink drawings, and sewn portraits are largely inspired by contemporary suburban life. She currently lives in Sewanee, Tennessee where she is an Assistant Professor of Art at The University of the South.