Denise Stewart-Sanabria as May’s Featured Artist

This month, you might have noticed a few really big pictures of food hanging on our walls in Market Square. They aren’t there to entice you, although they have pulled the strings of hunger for some of the servers who forgot to eat before their shifts. The large pictures of food are there as our art gallery for May. We have been very pleased to host the Culinary Drama of Denise Stewart-Sanabria.

The exhibit is a collection of Vanitas, or Still Lifes, which were art categories originally associated with domestic images that symbolized life and death. Stewart-Sanabria’s collection plays upon the same vein by acting out dramatic narratives inspired by human actions that entertain, amaze, or horrify the artist. Her use of color is very appealing, and the oil paintings seem strangely surreal, yet that if one could reach into the canvas, they would already know the texture of anything depicted.

Denise Stewart-Sanabria earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Originally from Massachusetts, she has lived in Knoxville since 1986. Her work has been featured at the Ewing Gallery at the University of Tennessee, the Union Street Gallery in Chicago Heights, the 26th Tallahassee International at the Florida State Museum of Fine Arts, and many, many more museums, galleries, and universities. After seeing only this exhibit in our gallery, it is easy to understand how immensely wonderful her talent is.

It is hard to miss these almost pop-art images, but if you did miss them we forgive you. There is still time to see them downtown, as they will be displayed through the first few days of June, then move to our location on Kingston Pike for the month of June. Take your time looking at them, and try to decipher the human emotion behind each food prop. We promise not to look at you strangely if you’re standing in the middle of the restaurant staring into the food. It’s easy to be lost in good art.

Surrounded by Eggplants