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Jered SprecherKNOXVILLE–Examples of abstract art and the everyday items that can inspire artists are the focus of this week’s College of Arts and Sciences Pregame Showcase. The showcase, titled “An Exploration of Humanity Through Abstract Painting,” will be led by School of Art associate professor Jered Sprecher.

The showcase will take place Saturday, October 8, before the Vols’ home game against the University of Georgia. The showcase will begin at 5:00 p.m., two hours before the game’s kickoff. Featuring a thirty-minute presentation followed by a fifteen-minute question-and-answer session, each showcase is free and open to the public and held in the Carolyn P. Brown Memorial University Center Room 213. Light refreshments are provided, and guests have a chance to win door prizes. Guests who complete a registration form receive a ten percent discount coupon for game day purchases from the UT Bookstore.

The presentation will include examples of Sprecher’s work and a range of images of art from the present and the past. It will center on humanity’s long history of altering its environment through making images and objects.

“The presentation won’t be limited to ‘high’ arts expressions but will include some surprising yet common images, objects, and events that we encounter every day, that beg us to take a closer look,” said Sprecher.

“I see this heritage embedded with a deep longing to communicate, to connect with others,” said Sprecher. “My grandmothers’ quilts, diamonds, graffiti, renaissance painting, kindergarten toys, documentary photographs, and modern architecture are just a few examples of the influences upon my own work.”

Sprecher’s work is based on an eclectic aesthetic. He finds inspiration in objects of all kinds, from a cash register receipt to a precious gemstone, and then creates paintings that capture singular moments from day-to-day-life. He has had twenty-five solo exhibitions and more than seventy group exhibitions in galleries and museums in the United States and Europe. Most recently, his work appeared at the Steven Zevitas Gallery in Boston and Gallery 16 in San Francisco. His work also was featured in a five-page article in the publication New American Paintings. Sprecher has received the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Fellowship, and the UT Knoxville Chancellor’s Award for Professional Promise in Research and Creative Achievement.

Sprecher teaches both undergraduate and graduate classes in drawing and painting. He has presented his work in more than twenty-five workshops and lectures and has donated his paintings for various arts benefit auctions throughout the United States.

The rest of this year’s Pregame Showcase lineup includes:

  • October 15—Michael Best, associate professor of chemistry, presents “Bioorganic Chemistry: Advancing the Frontiers of Medicine.” His research involves the design and synthesis of organic molecules, which can be used to understand biological processes relevant to disease. One aspect of his research is geared to the making of enzyme inhibitors, which are used in an array of applications in modern medicine, including the development of new drugs to treat various diseases.
  • October 29—Tom Burman, department head and professor of history, presents “Christians’ Reactions to the Koran in History.” His remarks will provide an overview of Christian-Muslim relations throughout the ages, drawing from his scholarly work which focuses on the intellectual and religious interactions between Latin Christendom and Arab Islam, especially as these can be seen in the transition and circulation of Arabic works in medieval and early-modern Europe.
  • November 5—Casey Sams, associate professor of theater, will present “Creating Choreography for the Clarence Brown Stage,” as she examines the role of a choreographer in theatrical production, using examples from two of this fall’s Clarence Brown Theatre productions.
  • November 19 – Michael Knight, professor of English, presents “The Typist: An Author’s Translation of History Into Fiction,” talking about his inspiration for and the writing of his novel about an American soldier working as a typist in General Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters in post-war Tokyo.

The Pregame Showcase is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences. Sponsorship is also provided by WUOT 91.9 FM, with support from the UT Knoxville Office of Alumni Affairs and UT Athletics. For more information, visit

C O N T A C T :

Beth Gladden (865-974-9008,