If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, poking around the website, following us on social then you’re in the know: Knoxville is a nature-loving-adventure-seeking-ARTSY-kinda town! But you might not know about the Tennessee Triennial. If you’re into the arts, you’re going to want to know what it is, where to go, and how to experience this state-wide artistic event! 

What is the Tennessee Triennial? 

Tri-Star Arts is pleased to announce the artist roster, curators, and highlight weekend dates for the inaugural Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art: RE-PAIR, opening January 27, 2023 and on view through May 7, 2023. The recent changes and movements in the world inform our vision and the galvanizing spirit that centers on the rich history of the arts in Tennessee as a means to engage excellence in contemporary art. 

RE-PAIR is the concept and core thematic idea to launch the inaugural statewide Tennessee Triennial.  

“To heal, suture, and recompose fractured bodies. 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.” 

“RE-PAIR invites us all to participate deeply as artists, organizers and the public in the invigoration at the intersection of art and sociability. The overarching theme of RE-PAIR solicits an empathetic consideration of context and space, history and commons, deeply woven into the fabric of Tennessee’s roots.” 

- Dr. María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Consulting Curator and Ambassador for the 2023 Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art: RE-PAIR 

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

The Tennessee Triennial has chosen a statewide model that is set apart and unprecedented. Curators from institutions in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga have been invited to respond to the theme of RE-PAIR, authored by Consulting Curator, Dr. María Magdalena Campos-Pons. This horizontal approach allows for each curator to be active in selecting participating artists. The Tennessee Triennial is a collective endeavor that emphasizes Tennessee’s contemporary art community while including national and international perspectives. 

Where can people see this art in Knoxville? 

Big Ears Festival (Curator: Rachel Milford) 

Lonnie Holley 

Knoxville Museum of Art (Curators: Kelsie Conley and Stephen Wicks) 

Willie Cole 

Katie Hargrave & Meredith Laura Lynn 

Bessie Harvey 

Lonnie Holley 

Kahlil Robert Irving 

Suzanne Jackson 

Mary Laube 

Annabeth Marks 

Rosemary Mayer 

Althea Murphy-Price 

Betye Saar 

Faith Wilding 

Tri-Star Arts (Curator: Brian R. Jobe) 

Kenturah Davis 

Rubens Ghenov 

Hank Willis Thomas 

Additionally, we have community venues in Knoxville and across Tennessee with exhibitions or special projects that respond to the theme of RE-PAIR. 

The Knoxville Museum of Art is a partner with the Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art through hosting a celebration event and artist panel during the Knoxville Highlight Weekend: January 26- 28, 2023. Visit Knoxville is also a partner with the Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art. 

So many venues, so many things to see – what does the inaugural weekend look like? 


January 26 

3:30-4:30pm — Meet at GATOP to see Edra Soto's Graft Knoxville* curated by Tri-Star Arts. More info here. 

5:00-7:00pm — Welcome event* at Tri-Star Arts, Candoro Marble Building. More info here. 

January 27 

10:00am-5:00pm — Knoxville Museum of Art open hours. More info here. 

11:00am-5:00pm — Tri-Star Arts open hours. More info here. 

1:00pm-3:00pm — The Bottom Open House (Community Venue). More info here. 

3:00pm-4:00pm — EADJ RE-PAIR Artist Panel Discussion: Tahila Mintz. More info here. 

5:30pm-9:00pm — TN Triennial Opening Reception* at the Knoxville Museum of Art. More info here. 

January 28 

10:00am-1:00pm — Gallery 1010 Opening Reception (Community Venue) More info here. 

10:00am-5:00pm — Knoxville Museum of Art open hours. More info here. 

11:00am-5:00pm — Tri-Star Arts open hours. More info here. 

1:00pm-2:30pm — Tennessee Triennial Artist Panel* at Knoxville Museum of Art. More info here. 

3:00-4:00pm — UT Downtown Gallery Reception (Community Venue). More info here. 

* Key Event 

About the 2023 Consulting Curator and Ambassador: 

María Magdalena Campos-Pons is the Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair Professor of Fine Arts. Campos-Pons interdisciplinary practice has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Canada, among other institutions. She has presented over thirty solo performances commissioned by institutions like the Guggenheim and the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. She also participated in the 49th Venice Biennial, the 55th Venice Biennial, Documenta14, Johannesburg Biennale, Liverpool Biennial, 3rd Biennial of Bahia, Prospect 4 and Havana Biennials. Her works are held in over 50 museums around the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Perez Art Museum, Miami. A survey of her practice was held at IMA in 2007. 

Campos-Pons is the founder EADJ Vanderbilt and of Intermittent Rivers / Rios Intermitentes project in Matanzas, Cuba. Campos-Pons is the recipient of numerous awards. 

About the Tennessee Triennial Organizer: 

Tri-Star Arts serves Tennessee by cultivating and spotlighting the contemporary visual art scenes in each region while fostering a unified statewide 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, annual Current Art Fund project grants, the forthcoming 2023 Tennessee Triennial, statewide collaborative projects, and the LocateArts.org web resource.