Recent university alum Andrew Norris presents a new art exhibition titled “Replications” debuting Oct. 7 at Shakti in the Mountains.

Norris graduated last in May with a Bachelor’s in fine arts degree. During his time at ETSU, Norris painted several different pieces, figures especially, some from a traditional style and others from a historical perspective. The title “Replications” comes from Norris’ inspiration from various famous artists and their artwork.

Fifteen percent of the proceeds from the exhibit will go to the Little Free Pantry at Shatki in the Mountains, an organization that provides food and personal hygiene products to those in need in Johnson City.

“The local artist community is really close knit … A lot of people knew about Shakti in the Mountains … I was really into it,” Norris said.

Shakti reaches out to the community in several different ways. Among its commodities, the facility contains a library, Norris said, that allows people to trade in books in exchange for other books.

What Norris’ donation will help provide, though, is financial aid in stocking its food pantry. Shakti is generally open to all of the community but especially to those who may be in need.

In Norris’ exhibitions, he focuses on oil paintings of figures or people.

“I was never really good at landscapes,” Norris said.

During his time at ETSU, he intended to minor in sociology and said he was, “really focused on…society, concepts of gender…”

Norris is a recent graduate of ETSU, but this isn’t his first exhibition. His first was in New York this past summer while on residency.

Residency resembles paid internships. Artists are invited from different locations to come and create art away from their usual environment.

Once finished with their artwork, artists have the opportunity to display their works to the public.

The ability to join a residency depends on the quality of the artist’s work. Applications must be sent in and accepted in order for the artist to be a member of a residency.

Unlike “Replications,” though, his exhibit in New York was displayed as part of a group exhibition. As far as solo exhibitions go, “Replications” will be Norris’ second. His first solo took place during his senior year as a part of his senior thesis.

“I would say while being in school is stressful enough, thinking what you’re going to do next and getting ahead is the best,” Norris said. “Fine arts is a degree that has a reputation for not having many benefits or being reliable enough to get a job.”

For Norris, though, he has already made some monumental steps. He plans to return to New York next summer for another residency and will be doing as much as he can locally until then.

His advice to aspiring artists: “Start small and do local things and keep up the work.”