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28th annual Positive/Negative exhibit reflects the complexities artists face

staff report • Feb 16, 2013 at 6:31 AM

Slocumb Galleries and the Department of Art & Design at East Tennessee State University are teaming up with the college’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, Black Affairs Association and Student Government Association to present the 28th annual Positive/Negative National Juried Art Exhibition, opening Monday.

“Minority Rule” is the theme of this year’s exhibition, which features works in diverse media and perspectives — described by juror Michael Ray Charles as “nuanced artworks that reflect the complexities artists confront today.”

Kingsport’s Patti Lawrence is one of 38 artists from across the country whose work was accepted into this year’s exhibition. Also participating are: Aaron Bernard, Julia Brown, Neil Callander, Eugene Campbell Jr., Tracy Deer, Theresa Devine, Latefy Dolley, Addie Fisher, Dilenia Garcia-Carpio, Brian Glaze, Troy Gua, Lauren Hill, Kevin R. Kao, Jung Han Kim, Iva Kinnaird, Lily Martine Lee, Joe Levickas, Alisha Lewis, David Marquez, Cynthia Marsh, Dele Mercier, Althea Murphy-Price, Lindsay A. Nissen, Tony Ortega, Shani Peters, Bryan Petersen, Sam Romero, RaMell Ross, Melissa Ann Vandenberg, David Versluis, Sara Vida, Xiaomiao Wang, Margi Weir, Charles Williams, David Willison, Tammy Jo Wilson and Amelia Winger-Bearskin.

Charles is an African-American painter based in Texas and one of the first in a group of artists showcased on “Art21,” a PBS series highlighting top artists of the 21st century. A 2003 article in “Black Issues in Higher Education” acknowledged Charles as one of the top future African-American scholars under 40. In 2000, he was a consultant on Spike Lee’s film, “Bamboozled,” and his work was included in the 2006 documentary “Race is the Place.”

Charles has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and as a juror for the Bush Artist Fellowship in St. Paul, Minn., and the Inaugural Biennial Underground Railroad Exhibition at Northern Kentucky University.

He lectures and exhibits nationally and internationally. His work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in New York, Germany, Paris, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Miami and Santa Fe, and is included in private and public collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Austin Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art.

Currently, Charles is a professor of art in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin.

Charles will present a lecture at 5 p.m., Monday, March 4 in the Ernest C. Ball Hall Auditorium, with a reception to follow at Slocumb Galleries, where “Positive/Negative” will remain on display through March 8.

Slocumb Galleries is located in Ernest C. Ball Hall along Sherrod Drive on the ETSU campus in Johnson City.

Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with extended hours during receptions and scheduled group tours.

All events at Slocumb are free and open to the public.

For more information, call Slocumb director Karlota I. Contreras-Koterbay at (423) 483-3179 or email her at contrera@etsu.edu. For event updates, visit www.etsu.edu/cas/art/slocumb or “Like” Slocumb Galleries on Facebook.

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