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Art Gallery in Unlikely Place to Feature Regional Artisans
at Inaugural Art Exhibition on
June 1, 2012

KNOXVILLE, TN –- An art gallery in a most unlikely place will open on Friday, June 1, 2012 in downtown Knoxville.
The Gallery at
Main Street, located at First Baptist Church in downtown Knoxville, will feature regional artisans at its inaugural art exhibition on June 1.
The exhibition will feature predominantly floral art. Mediums represented will include watercolors, oils, stained glass, acrylics, quilts, steel, photography, woodcarvings, and pottery.
Two commissioned artisans, Darlene Bakos and Mike Oliver, will be exhibiting.  

Darlene had the privilege of creating a private collection for the prestigious Blackberry Farm in
Walland, Tennessee. The eight quilts are labeled "The Blackberry Farm Quilt Collection." She also completed a commission for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). This included three sister quilts that documented the 75-year history of the TVA via photos. One of these quilts goes on display at the American Quilters Society Museum in Paducah, Kentucky in mid-September, 2012.

Mike has been carving for more than 30 years.  His work graces the homes of collectors all over the world including Germany, Japan, Spain and most recently one of his carvings was given to the Mayor of Bethlehem in the Holy Land. He and his carvings have been featured on HGTV's "Country At Home" program as well as on several local television programs. Several businesses have also commissioned him for client and employee gifts and to decorate their lobbies and offices. In addition to teaching woodcarving classes at local and regional craft schools, Mike is also past-president of both the Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers and the Foothills Craft Guild.

The exhibition serves as an opportunity for artisans to exhibit their art or handcrafted items and also allows the public to tour the historic church listed on the National Register of Historic Places and one of Knoxville's most beautiful structures.

The church wants to let the community know that they are there for them whether they are community leaders, downtown workers, or homeless or impoverished people.
“First Baptist has been seeking ways to reach our downtown neighborhood in fresh ways,” said
First Baptist Church senior pastor Dr. William Shiell.  “This event, in coordination with First Friday, extends the hospitality of our congregation to people who enjoy the best of beauty and creativity.”
The gallery will be open from 10:00 a.m. until
9:00 p.m. on Friday, June 1.  First Baptist Church is located at 510 W. Main Ave., next to the City-County Building.
"First Baptist is proud to partner with our downtown neighbors on First Fridays.
Knoxville is blessed with great talent in the arts community, and First Baptist welcomes our guests into a historic space of hospitality and grace,” said Dr. Shiell.
Box lunches and beverages will be available in the church's Blue Room between
11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  Admission to the exhibition is free and open to the public.  To reserve a box lunch, please email lunch@galleryatmainstreet.com.
Upcoming exhibitions to be held on the first Friday of each month will include Tennessee art, landscape art, a wildlife exhibition, and a quilt show.  The quilt show will coincide with a chili cook-off to be held in October on the front lawn of the church.
More information on The Gallery at Main Street can be found at http://www.galleryatmain.com.


Travelers, for more information about First Baptist Church of Knoxville is available online at http://www.fbcknox.org or by calling the church at 865-546-9661




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