Opening July 3: ‘Organic and Mechanic’ at the Emporium Center

Friends since moving to Knoxville in the 1980s, Susan V. Adams and Barb Johnson have collaborated on a two-person show that is devoted to contrasts. Their show, Organic and Mechanic opens Friday, July 3, in the Balcony Gallery of the Emporium Center as a part of July’s First Friday events in downtown Knoxville from the Arts and Culture Alliance. A public reception will take place on July 3 from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. The show will run until July 31. Accompanying the opening is a Jazz Jam Session with Vance Thompson and Friends from 7:00-8:45 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre downstairs. The Emporium Center is at 100 S. Gay Street at Jackson Avenue.

Left: Susan V. Adams; Right: Barb Johnson

Left: Susan V. Adams; Right: Barb Johnson

From the artist’s bios:

Susan V. Adams loves to create. She is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, has exhibited in galleries and shows throughout Knoxville, and has done commissions for several private collections.  The focus of her art is botanicals of the East Tennessee and the Appalachian regions. For this show, she has also forayed into farmer’s markets for vegetables and berries, hence the reference to “organic” in the exhibition’s title. Adams photographs, collects and researches botanicals and draws inspiration from antique botanical art.

Barb Johnson finds art as a staple in her everyday life, translating scenes and subjects into works of art.  For many years she taught art in a Knoxville high school, which proved her full-time priority. Today, creating art is a full-time passion, and she offers private art lessons in her West Knoxville studio. The word “mechanic” in the exhibition’s title refers to Johnson’s series of acrylic paintings of the large Mendelson Warehouse in Dayton, Ohio, where old mechanical objects were displayed and sold. Every shelf in the warehouse provided opportunities for painting compositions. The “Mendelson” series has won several awards in area juried art shows, and one work is currently in Knoxville’s Arts in the Airport exhibition. For more information on Barb Johnson, please visit