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Enchanted Cel by Dana Lok

When you look at one of artist Dana Lok’s paintings, you may feel the urge to reach out and touch it to confirm exactly what you’re seeing.

Her work bridges the gap between painting and theater.

Through her use of vivid and detailed visuals, her paintings put the observer on the stage to see their subjects from two- and three-dimensional perspectives.

Dana Lok

This semester, students in UT’s School of Art have the opportunity to learn directly from Lok in classroom and studio settings as she participates in the school’s Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program. The program, launched in 1982, invites an artist each semester to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in drawing and painting. The artist is selected through a nomination and interview process.

Lok will speak about her artwork at 7:30 p.m. on October 25 in the McCarty Auditorium, Art and Architecture Building Room 109. The event is free and open to the public.

Jered Sprecher, a professor of painting and drawing in the School of Art, said the AIR program allows students to form bonds with artists they may later see in galleries or other prominent settings.

The program brings emerging artists from outside the university to engage with students in the realm of contemporary art, emphasizing artists working in influential art centers such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

The biannual artist-in-residence lecture “is a chance for anyone in the community who wants to hear the current artist talk about their work to get a firsthand account of what they do and how their work has changed over time,” Sprecher said.

Lok is an alumna of Columbia University and is based in the Brooklyn, New York, area. She has been part of numerous solo and group exhibitions in New York as well as in Italy, Denmark, and the United Kingdom.

She said her transition to Knoxville life has been unique and fulfilling.

“I really feel like Knoxville’s this awesome college town where a lot of stuff seems to be up and coming,” stated Lok. “The students in this school are so proactive about showing their work to each other, and that creates an extremely vibrant and supportive visual community.”

To learn more about Lok and past artists who have participated in the AIR program, visit the School of Art website.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,