Current Exhibitions on Display

Out in the Open: Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition
Aug. 5 – December 2018
Opening Reception: Aug. 4 from 6-8 p.m.
Sculpture Garden

William King Museum of Art is proud to announce the winners of our Out in the Open: Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition. WKMA’s permanent Sculpture Garden consists of seven works, with the three winners of the Out in the Open competition added on August 5, 2016. The newest sculptures are on display until December 2018

Ralph Slatton: Animal Nature
Opening Reception: June 1, 2017 from 6 – 8 p.m.
June 2 – September 17, 2017

Ralph Slatton is a professor or art at East Tennessee State University. His intaglio prints, notable for their raw, unbridled energy, power, and emotion, evoke at once a sense of unease and awe. Often, his animal forms are stand-ins for people and events in his own life but, in a broader sense, explore the trials, tribulations, and joys of the human experience.

Fred Carter: Primitive Things of Toil and Love
Opening Reception: August 3, 2017 from 6 – 8 p.m.
July 28 – January 14, 2018

Born in Duffield, Virginia in 1911, Fred Carter did not begin making art until his fifties when a foot injury left him temporarily homebound. A man of deep conviction, Carter spent the next 30 years of his life giving form to his beliefs in stonework, poetry, short stories, painting, and, of course, woodcarving. He displayed many of his works in his Cumberland Museum, the door of which was adorned with the simple message, “Primitive Things of Toil and Love.” This exhibit celebrates the life, legacy, and work of one of Southwest Virginia’s finest artists.

The Great War: Printmakers of World War I
Opening Reception: September 7, 2017 from 6 – 8 p.m.
September 1 – November 5, 2017

World War I, when it began in 1914, was called the war to end all wars, the Great War. It was, at that time, the bloodiest conflict in history, involving more than thirty nations and costing more than seventeen million lives. It was a war fought in the trenches with machine guns and chemical weapons. For the first time in a conflict, war planes took to the skies and armed submarines lurked in the seas.

The stories and emotional impact of the war are documented in 27 prints by British and American artists from the Frank Raysor Collection, on loan from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Their works show scenes of combat in France, life on the home front in the US and the UK, as well as countries coming to terms with the aftermath of the war.

In the Trenches
Opening Reception: September 7, 2017 from 6 – 8 p.m.
September 1 – November 5, 2017

As a companion exhibit to The Great War: Printmakers of World War I the William King Museum of Art has collected memorabilia from the Great War—uniforms, weapons, mess kits—to give visitors a chance to imagine the lives of soldiers and civilians who lived during this violent and uncertain period of world history.


From These Hills
Opening Reception: October 5, 2017 from 6 – 8 p.m.
October 5 – February 11, 2018

William King Museum of Art continues to celebrate the diversity of regional artistic talent with its biennial exhibition, From These Hills: Contemporary Art in the Southern Appalachian Highlands, a major exhibition of new works by artists working in all media in Southwest Virginia, Northeast Tennessee, Western North Carolina, Southern West Virginia, and Eastern Kentucky.

Dressed by Design
Opening Reception: December 7, 2017 from 6 – 8 p.m.
November 17 – March 18, 2018

Giorgio Armani, Alexander McQueen, Ralph Lauren, and Fran Keuling-Stout  –  three “haute couture” fashion designers and one woman who was their customer bring the world of fashion to William King Museum of Art.  The couturier takes the occupation of designing clothes to an art form. Only a few of their customers possess the personal flair that takes the art of dressing to the same level. These designers and others featured in Dressed by Design are well-known names, but their stylish customer from Big Stone Gap, Virginia, is known only to a few. This exhibition will joins them together, the designers and the dressed, for a glimpse into the realm of clothes where art, style, and fashion are fused into one.

Coal Country
Opening Reception: February 1, 2018 from 6 – 8 p.m.
February 1 – August 12, 2018

The southern Appalachian region was built on the back of coal. Generations of miners blasted their way into the mountainsides of Appalachia on their quest for rich veins of black diamonds and, wherever that treasure was found, communities sprang up around them. These company towns, or coal camps, were entirely self-sufficient. There were company houses, company stores, hospitals, churches, dance halls, even baseball teams. This exhibit examines the culture of coal in Appalachia—the towns built by the coal companies and the lives of the people who  called those towns home.

Suzanne Stryk
Opening Reception: March 1, 2018 from 6 – 8 p.m.
March 1 – July, 2018

For more than 25 years, Suzanne Stryk has recorded her experiences with nature in sketchbooks that are both journals of walks near her Bristol, Virginia, home and scientific documents of the flora and fauna she observes. These pages have served as foundations for hundreds of mixed-media works that blend the natural history of a place with Stryk’s own direct experiences with each environment. In her new series, Notes on the State of Virginia, based on Thomas Jefferson’s 1781 book detailing Virginia’s diverse animal and plant populations, Stryk has created more than two dozen place-based assemblages detailing her own travels through the state and the flora and fauna she observed on her journey.

Touching the Sacred
Opening Reception: April 5, 2018 from 6 – 8 p.m.
March 30 – September 16, 2018

Inspired by faith, the holy imagery has long been a part of many religions. These gloriously creative representations of the stories and holy beings began as a teaching device for the believers, many of whom were unable to read.

Touching the Sacred focuses on imagery from two branches of Christianity – the Orthodox and the Catholic traditions and how the depictions developed by each are similar and how they differ.

These depictions range from paintings of saints, angels, and the Holy Family on canvas, wood, bronze, and tin panels, to carvings of them completely in wood or with modeled heads and hands and cloth bodies which were sumptuously clothed.

Over the centuries, these venerated representations of holiness have evolved from teaching tools into a sacred art form.

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