Beauty through diversity is a widely talked about subject in today’s society. The art department at ETSU hopes that by featuring exhibitions that embody this, it will start a conversation.
Karlota Contreras-Koterbay, director of Slocumb Galleries at ETSU, is involved with organizing and featuring an artist named Althea Murphy Price to honor this goal.
“Althea Murphy Price is a Knoxville based print maker and artist,” Koterbay said. “Last January we included her for an exhibition about drawing, so her work is really something that navigates various disciplines.”
Price’s work involves both traditional and modern methods of making art. This is one of the things that makes her stand out.
“What’s wonderful about her work is that she uses the traditional practice of print making like lithography and screen printing, but at the same time uses technology,” Koterbay said. “So, she uses different techniques to make a very distinct print making product.”
By using hair and hair products in her art, Price hopes to exemplify how important and complex these are, particularly within the African American community.
“Being in the category of African American and a woman, her work is very formalistic,” Koterbay said. “She uses synthetic hair as material and focuses on the hair as a member of a marginalized society.”
Although her work is not overtly political, Price’s goal is to relay a message and get people talking.
“Her work has that degree of trying to open a discussion or a conversation about beauty, identity and being a member of that marginalized society,” Koterbay said.
Because of the vast talent that Price exhibits through her work, her art is anything but boring.
“To see the scope and breadth of the work that she does is just amazing,” Koterbay said.
Price believes that both internal and external values are important in the way we see and perceive beauty. Through her physical art and the message it holds, Price wants to educate and open the minds of the people viewing it.
“Surface takes a form of metaphor and physical expression in my work, and its significance is central to ideas of which human perception revolve,” Price said. “Both our interior and exterior perception of ourselves and others dictate how we exist in the world.”
Price’s work is available for viewing in Ball Hall in the Slocumb Gallery through Sep. 21. Additionally, there will be a panel held Thursday, Sep. 20 at 6 p.m. in Ball Hall where Price will be discussing her work.