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Celebrate Art at Feb. 7 Reception
January 31, 2014

Artist Marc Burnett will be honored with a reception at Walters State’s Catron Art Gallery at 1 p.m. on Feb. 7. The reception will also feature a performance by jazz musicians Kelle Jolly and the Will Boyd Project.

“Remnants,” an exhibit of Burnett’s paintings, is currently featured in the gallery, located inside the R. Jack Fishman Library on the Morristown campus. His paintings will be on exhibit through Feb. 14.

The reception is part of the college’s Mildred Haun Conference and is free. The public is invited to join in this opportunity to meet one of Tennessee’s most noted painters.

Burnett is known as a master of color. His paintings often depict the past century of African-American life in the foothills of East Tennessee or the pretty countryside of the area. Fine-inked lines mixed with broad watercolor and oil strikes define Burnett’s style. His subjects usually have blank faces, accented by movement and mannerisms instead.

His latest paintings, “Brothers in the Spirit” and “Sisters in the Spirit,” capture and share the Black Church experience, an integral part of his personal heritage. Burnett describes his art as being rooted in a memory. He imagines his artwork actually existed, both in time and space. That is one of the reasons his work is so captivating.

“My work is a memory or a legacy of how and why people have merged and integrated into what we are, without idealizing humanity,” Burnett said.

One of his favorite works is “Marm,” a depiction of a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse. The painting is actually a tribute to one of Burnett’s teachers. Burnett does dabble in abstract, with “Fusion” inspired by Picasso while “The Embrace” and “Spring” are rooted in a study of modern abstract works.

The exhibit also features his most personal painting, “Come Unto Me.” Burnett painted this work in the days after 9/11 to “express my anger, my sympathy, my hopelessness, but also my belief that God will carry us through in times of crisis.”

Burnett is vice president of student affairs at Tennessee Tech. He holds bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degrees in education. He is also pastor of Gainesboro First Baptist Church. He and his wife, Tamelyn, have been married for 29 years and have two adult children.

Prints of his work will be available at the reception. For more information, contact Walters State at (423) 318-2347.

CUTLINE: Artist Marc Burnett hangs one of his works featured in “Remnants,” an exhibit at the Catron Art Gallery, located inside the R. Jack Fishman Library on Walters State’s Morristown campus. The community is invited to celebrate Burnett’s work and meet the author during a reception on at 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7. The reception will also feature a performance by jazz duo Kelle Jo and the Willie Boyd Project.