Learning Opportunities

The Knoxville Museum of Art is a place of energy and excitement that provides an ideal environment for your students to connect to the culture of the region, and throughout time. Over a century of art in our collection and exciting special exhibits throughout the year will inspire creativity in your students and encourage understanding in a variety of disciplines. Listed are a range of programs and services available to teachers for enhancing the classroom curriculum in both art and non-art subjects. Contact us to plan a gallery tour or to take advantage of the many other services available. We look forward to your visit!

The KMA School and Adult Programs are committed to engage, educate, and serve a diverse community through its exhibitions, lectures, and classroom resources.


Kids lined up at KMA Summer Art Academy

2021 Summer Art Academy Brochure

Presenting sponsor




Lead sponsors

Lisa and Al Blakley
Emerson Automation Solutions
The Guild of KMA
L’Amour du Vin Fund-A-Cause

Additional Sponsors
Ann & Steve Bailey
Mary Ellen and Michael Mervis
American Alliance of Museums
Arts & Culture Alliance
City of Knoxville
Knox County
National Endowment for the Arts
Tennessee Arts Commission



Best in Show 2020 Lily Asbury, 11th Grade, The Days We’ll Look Back On and Smile, Acrylic Paint. Cocke County High School, Myra Amason, Art Teacher


Student Art Poster 2021

Exhibition Overview: 16th Annual East Tennessee Regional Student Art Exhibition

East Tennessee Regional Student Art Exhibition Entry Form

Check-in Card



Welcome to the 16th Annual East Tennessee Regional Student Art Exhibition, presented by the Knoxville Museum of Art.  The ETRSAE showcases the strength and diversity of art education programs in East Tennessee, celebrates talented middle and high school students, and supports arts education.  This annual exhibition provides the opportunity for students to participate in a juried exhibition and to have their artworks displayed in a professional art museum environment.  We are so delighted by the quality of the artworks, the dedication of the teachers, and the commitment of the museum staff to establish a museum/school tradition for our community.

Public, private, and home schools grades 6–12 in 32 East Tennessee counties were invited to submit up to 15 artworks per teacher. Categories for the competition include ceramic, drawing, digital imagery/video production, mixed media, painting, computer graphics, sculpture, photography, and printmaking. Each participating school is represented by one work of art.

The Best-in-Show winner receives a Purchase Award of $500, and the artwork becomes a permanent part of the collection of Mr. James Dodson, on loan to the Knoxville Museum of Art’s Education Collection.  The Best-in-Middle School winner receives $250.  The teachers of the winning student will receive $100.  Each student in the exhibition receives a certificate of participation and the “Best” in each of the 10 categories the winners receive a museum family membership.



Book Club 

The KMA Book Club meets every 4 months to review an inspiring piece of literature that relates our lives to those artists, history, and culture. Free and open to the public. Contact Margo Clark,, for details. See the events page for upcoming dates.


Cocktails & Conversations 

Join in a lecture and discussion time about the art and artists of the KMA collection and changing exhibitions. Enjoy a cocktail while you learn from artists, curators, historians, and professors on a variety of art media and styles. Lectures start at 5:30pm followed by a question and answer time. This event is free and open to the public.  For more information contact the Assistant Director of Education, DeLena Feliciano, at


Dine & Discover

Join a lunchtime lecture to learn about the art in the KMA’s collection and changing exhibitions. Hear from artists, curators, historians, and professors on a variety of art during your lunch break. Lectures begin at 12 noon, bring your lunch or order in advance by emailing the Monday before.




Lesson Plan:

Beauford Delaney Lesson Plan

Knoxville-born Beauford Delaney is widely considered to be among the greatest American modern painters of the twentieth century. Despite battling poverty, prejudice, and mental illness, Delaney achieved an international reputation for his portraits, scenes of city life, and free-form abstractions marked by intense colors, bold contours, and expressive surfaces.



Click on the video link below to see how students will use a variety of art-making techniques, materials, and processes to create a self-portrait that reflects the style of Beauford Delaney.

Beauford Delaney Self-Portrait Video


Charlie Parker Yardbird, 1958: Click on the video link below to see an art project inspired by the painting Charlie Parker Yardbird (1958) by Beauford Delaney.  Delaney was one of several prominent modern artists interested in combining color and pattern to suggest the sensory experience of sound.

Image credit: Beauford Delaney (Knoxville 1901-1979 Paris), Charlie Parker Yardbird, 1958. Oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the James F. Dicke Family

Beauford Delaney, Charlie Parker Yardbird video


Untitled (Abstract Circles) circa 1956: Click on the video link below for the latest project inspired by Beauford Delaney’s Untitled (Abstract Circles).  This piece expresses the artist’s new objective by way of exuberant, densely layered loops of pastel color that pirouette across the surface and appear to spin outward beyond its borders. The image’s iridescent hues may have been inspired by the stained glass windows Delaney observed at the Chartres Cathedral.

Image credit: Beauford Delaney, (Knoxville 1901-1979 Paris) Untitled (Abstract Circles) circa 1956, pastel and mixed media on paper, Knoxville Museum of Art, 2018 Delaney purchase

Beauford Delaney’s Untitled (Abstract Circles) activity video


Yaddo Art Activity Page



UnMasking is a creative way for children to learn self-expression. This project will give children a way to release their fear or thoughts through their artwork and feel excited about their accomplishments.

During a time when everyone is urged to wear physical masks, Knox Education Foundation and the Knoxville Museum of Art are encouraging Knox County students to ‘unmask’ their feelings about returning to school during COVID-19, through art.

“With all the uncertainty and changes going on around us, it’s easy to ‘mask’ our feelings and our fears. Art can provide a very natural and safe way for children to explore feelings that may be difficult to say in words,” explained Chris Letsos, Knox Education Foundation’s CEO. “We’re encouraging students to use art to explore and express their feelings – to find their voice.”

Before starting their art projects, students are asked to think about any feelings they may want to “unmask” about returning to school during these challenging times, and then TALK to their family members, teachers and friends about their thoughts. Students are encouraged to create a piece of art that expresses those feelings and then write a few sentences about how their artwork reflects their feelings about returning to school – in person or virtual. Students and families can take photos of their artwork and submit with the contact information, and description of their art to Knox Education Foundation at




CHARLES KRUTCH: Click on the video link below for the latest project inspired by artist Charles Krutch. Regarded as one of East Tennessee’s first painters to specialize in scenes of the Smoky Mountains, Krutch earned the nickname “Corot of the South” for his soft, atmospheric watercolor and oil landscape paintings of the mountain range that served as his sole focus.

Image credit: Charles Krutch (South Carolina 1849-1934 Knoxville), Untitled, late 1920s. Watercolor on paper, Knoxville Museum of Art, 2008 bequest of the estate of Frank B. Galyon.

Charles Krutch activity video


CATHERINE WILEY: Catherine Wiley(Coal Creek [now Rocky Top], Tennessee 1879-1958 Norristown, Pennsylvania) Wiley was one of the most active, accomplished, and influential artists in Knoxville during the early twentieth century. She taught art at the University of Tennessee, helped organize area art exhibitions, and was a driving force in the Nicholson Art League, a prominent local art association. She returned to Knoxville following her studies in New York and brought with her a mastery of Impressionism. Wiley specialized in scenes of women amid their daily lives rendered in thick, brightly colored pigment.  Morning features a more expressive variety of brushwork often seen in her late paintings. Wiley’s work is represented in museum collections around the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her promising career ended in 1926 when she was confined to a psychiatric hospital where she was without access to her studio supplies.  The exact nature of the artist’s illness remains unconfirmed.

Color Catherine Wiley




FRANK STELLA: Click on the video link below for the latest project inspired by internationally renowned artist Frank Stella’s “Circuit” series, which he produced during the early 1980s. The artist assembled and painted salvaged metal scraps left over from earlier art projects to create a groundbreaking synthesis of painting and sculpture.

Image credit: Frank Stella, Shards II, 1982. Acrylic and oil stick on etched, cut, assembled aluminum, Knoxville Museum of Art, 2014 gift of June & Rob Heller.

Frank Stella Activity Video


STUART NETSKY: This project is inspired by Hard, Fast and Beautiful which is part of Stuart Netsky’s series of abstract paintings on aluminum.  Netsky pours enamel sign paint on a smooth metal surface, creating rich, colorful planes of color swirling together.  You can do your own version of this beautiful painting with simple materials at home.

Stuart Netsky, Hard, Fast and Beautiful, 2005. Sign enamel and resin on aluminum, 60 x 60 inches, purchased with funds from Knoxville Museum of Art’s Collectors Circle in memory of Betsy Worden.

Stuart Netsky Activity Video





Due to COVID-19, the KMA is in compliance with the CDC Guidelines for social distancing, we are currently not offering in-person programs. As guidelines ease, we will resume in-person programs; please check back regularly for updated information. 

The KMA is currently offering only Unguided tour reservations for groups of 10 to 35 people per hour. To make a reservation for an unguided group visit please contact the Assistant Director of Education, DeLena Feliciano, at or by calling 865-934-2041.

The museum’s current hours are Wednesday-Sunday, 1-5pm and we can make a group reservation for you during those times. The Museum offers special arrangements for school groups for unguided visits in the morning between 10am and 12:30pm for a one hour visit  Wednesday through Saturday.  We would be happy to accommodate your group during those hours with a few weeks advanced notice.

We do ask that groups have one chaperone for every 15 students and that larger groups divide into 2-3 smaller groups for ease of going through the galleries.

We ask that visitors wear masks while inside the museum and maintain social distancing with other visitors. Photography is welcome without a flash and please remind students to keep a safe distance from the art. There are no hands-on areas in the museum at this time.

We look forward to hearing from you with potential dates and times for your visit.

Last updated 4/19/2021


General Tour Information – Temporarily Unavailable  

Groups of 15 people or more can schedule a guided or unguided tour 3-4 weeks in advance. Reservations for unguided tours are helpful in ensuring that you and other guests have the best experience possible.  Guided Tours are led by volunteer docents trained to lead tours of the KMA’s permanent collection and changing exhibitions. Group tours are offered to all age groups and can focus on specific areas of the museum or a general overview of the whole museum. Foreign language tours are currently offered in French and Spanish. Group tours should be arranged at least 3 weeks in advance by contacting the Assistant Director of Education, DeLena Feliciano, at or by calling 865-934-2041.


Planning Your School Tour – Temporarily Unavailable  

Guided tours are offered to students in grades K-12, when planning your visit please use the information below to help prepare your students, teachers, and chaperones for the visit. Please note that our docent tour guides are volunteers and make special arrangements and preparations for your tour. Tours should be scheduled 3-4 weeks in advance through the Education Department by contact the Assistant Director of Education, DeLena Feliciano, at or by calling 865-934-2041.


Rogers Transportation Fund

The Rogers Transportation Fund makes it possible for schools and students who otherwise could not meet the expenses of the bus and driver to participate in the unique learning experiences at the museum. Grants are made on a first-come, first-served basis.


2nd Sunday Tours – Temporarily Unavailable 

Join us on the 2nd Sunday of every month for a free docent-guided tour at 2 pm. This hour-long tour is offered in both English and Spanish.

Art2Go Travel Cases – call for availability

Art2Go travel case information

Use KMA’s ART2GO Travel Cases to take your class on a trip across America or around the globe free of any costs or fees! Each case is packed and ready to enliven your students’ imaginations. The ART2GO Travel Cases are prepared with authentic art objects, extensive teacher learning guides, visual aides, books, suggested lesson plans, and art activities that pertain to both visual arts and non-art curricula.

Meet the Masters – Temporarily Unavailable

Meet the Masters, a complimentary outreach program created by the Knoxville Museum of Art, brings active artists/educators and museum resources into your classroom. Area elementary and middle school students have the opportunity to personally work with a professional artist through this unique service. Each in-class session lasts 90 minutes and combines art history with hands-on activities. The program or museum focuses on current and upcoming Meet the Masters Outreach exhibitions at the museum and serves as a great opportunity to heighten students’ appreciation and insight into art. This program may stand alone, or be tied to a learning expedition experience with the related exhibition. The Meet the Masters program is free of charge.

Creative Corner – Temporarily Unavailabl

Creative Corner is a unique, interactive play area for children of all ages. Hands-on activities, books, drawing easels, and a wall light board encourage creativity in many different forms. Children can release their inner artistic abilities and create beautiful artwork to take home or to leave for future guests to enjoy. We ask that guardians accompany their children in the Creative Corner. Children age 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult to visit the museum galleries. Free admission.

2nd Sunday Art Activity – Temporarily Unavailable

Please join us virtually for 2nd Sunday Art Activities on YouTube!

On the 2nd Sunday of every month from 1-4 pm, KMA offers families a free drop-in art activity project for them to make and take home. Geared towards ages 3-13. Join in a docent-guided tour at 2 pm offered in English and in Spanish.

Family Fun Day

Family Fun Day is a free community event of arts and crafts projects, live music, food, and family-friendly activities and entertainment. Enjoy visiting the galleries and learning about the art from trained docents. Join us twice a year for this fun-filled day with your family at the KMA.

Due to COVID-19, the KMA is in compliance with the CDC Guidelines for social distancing, we are currently not offering in-person programs. As guidelines ease, we will resume in-person programs; please check back regularly for updated information.