Tri-Star Arts is pleased to announce the launch of the inaugural Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art, slated to open January 27, 2023 and run through May 7, 2023. The recent changes and movements in the world have led to a renewed vision, new dates, and a galvanizing spirit that centers on the rich history of the arts in Tennessee s a means to engage excellence in contemporary art.

Visual art offers a tool towards a common language fostering dialogue across communities, around the state, the country and internationally. The Tennessee Triennial will serve as an experience to help us process this moment and propel us forward. It will be a geographically fluid conversation that engages people of all ages and backgrounds.

Dr. María Magdalena Campos-Pons will serve as inaugural Consulting Curator to exhibitions across the state with an advisory curatorial body. Campos-Pons is an artist and the Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair Professor of Fine Arts at Vanderbilt University. She is the founder for the Engine for Art, Democracy and Justice (EADJ), GASP Gallery in Brookline, MA and she is the founder for Intermittent Rivers, a biennial project in Matanzas, Cuba. Campos-Pons has had solo exhibitions around the world, and she has participated in biennials from the 49th Venice Biennial, the 55th Venice Biennial, to Documenta 14.

The 2023 theme and core concept authored by Campos-Pons for the inaugural Tennessee Triennial is RE-PAIR; a collective set of cultural and social healing gestures, paths that suture, and recompose fractures in society and the imagination. We propose a new site of encounters, with yet undefined edges, borders, territories. These will be cartographies of the mind as well as geographies of the land. This theme is contained in full in the accompanying document.

Tri-Star Arts is grateful to past Tennessee Triennial team members Lauren Haynes (former Co-Curator), Teka Selman (former Co-Curator), and Andrea Zieher (former Director) for their work in the evolution of this project.

The Tennessee Triennial is a unified multi-site, multi-city exhibition. Participating venues will act with more agency by selecting artists and curating their own exhibitions, utilizing the 2023 Tennessee Triennial theme under the counsel of Consulting Curator, Campos-Pons.

Current participating Tennessee Triennial venue partners include:

West TN: Tone Memphis (Memphis, TN), Memphis River Parks Partnership (Memphis, TN), Memphis Brooks Museum of Art (Memphis, TN), UrbanArt Commission (Memphis, TN)

Middle TN: Fisk University Galleries (Nashville, TN), Engine for Art, Democracy & Justice (Nashville, TN), Frist Art Museum (Nashville, TN), Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery (Nashville, TN), Parthenon Museum (Nashville, TN), Cheekwood (Nashville, TN)

East TN: Stove Works (Chattanooga, TN), Hunter Museum of American Art (Chattanooga, TN), Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (Chattanooga, TN), Knoxville Museum of Art (Knoxville, TN), Big Ears Festival (Knoxville, TN), Tri-Star Arts at the Candoro Marble Building (Knoxville, TN)

About Tri-Star Arts:
Tri-Star Arts serves Tennessee by cultivating and spotlighting the contemporary visual art scenes in each region while fostering a unified state-wide art scene. Tri-Star Arts programs promote art dialogue between the different cities in the state, and between the state and the nation. 

Tri-Star Arts initiatives include a gallery space and artist studios at the historic Candoro Marble Building, Current Art Fund grants, state-wide exhibition projects, a speaker series, digital content, the forthcoming Tennessee Triennial, and the web resource.

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Press Contact:
Brian R. Jobe,
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Tri-Star Arts & Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art