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KNOXVILLE – International learning and art will be center stage when a 320-piece artwork exhibit and a group of Japanese artists arrive at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, this week.

JIAS Exhibit
JIAS Exhibit
Traditional and contemporary Japanese ceramics, calligraphy and paintings will be on display beginning Friday through July 2 at the Ewing Gallery and the Ewing Gallery Annex, both in the Art + Architecture Building, and the university’s Downtown Gallery located at 106 S. Gay St. In conjunction with downtown’s First Friday celebration, opening receptions will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. at all three venues. A reception welcoming the artists will be held at the Ewing Gallery, at which the visiting artists will present the university with a sculpture.

The works were created by 300 artists from the Japan International Artists Society (JIAS), an organization which travels the globe exhibiting artwork to increase cultural awareness and understanding.

“We are honored to host these distinguished artists at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “The Japan International Artists Society members have traveled far to share with us their works of art, and we are honored to host their visit and share their work with our community.”

Twenty-eight of the JIAS artists will visit UT Knoxville. For most of them, this will be the first time their work has been exhibited in the United States. A group of JIAS members last visited Knoxville 20 years ago. Throughout their 25-year history, member exhibitions have been held in Cuba, Spain, China, Canada, France and Russia.

A sculpture, titled “Real Cube,” will be presented to the university from society members as a gift on Friday. A special artist lecture about the piece will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday in Room 113 of the Art + Architecture Building. Two engineers are traveling from Japan to construct the artwork in the north courtyard of the Art + Architecture Building. The monumental origami-inspired work allows for visitors to enter the space for contemplative reflection. A more permanent on-campus location for the sculpture will be chosen later.

All of the exhibits are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Several other special events also will take place as part of Friday’s exhibit opening:

– Ceramic artist Sadato Ichinose will provide a pottery throwing demonstration at Ewing Gallery beginning at 6:30 p.m.

– Master calligrapher Bokuzan Takada will conduct a calligraphy demonstration at the Ewing Gallery at 6 p.m. and at the Downtown Gallery at 7:30 p.m.

– A special calligraphy workshop with Takada will be held from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday in Room 341 of the Art + Architecture Building.

Designated parking for the calligraphy workshop and the opening reception at the Ewing Gallery will be in Lot 23, which enters from both Pat Head Summitt Street and Andy Holt Avenue, near the Clarence Brown Theatre on the UT campus.

A complimentary shuttle will be provided for traveling between Ewing and the Downtown Gallery from 5 to 9 p.m.

For more information, visit or call the Ewing Gallery at 865-974-3200.

C O N T A C T :

Cindy Spangler (865-974-3200,
Sam Yates (865-974-3199,
Kristi Hintz (865-974-3993,