Friday May 5th at Bistro

Art House will have the incredible honor of hearing from Dr. Monique Wells at Bistro by the Tracks on Friday, May 5th.  The topic of conversation?  The life and art of Knoxville-born, Beauford Delaney.   Delaney is considered by many as one of the greatest American abstract painters of the twentieth century. Despite battling poverty, prejudice, and mental illness, Delaney achieved an international reputation for his portraits, scenes of city life, and free-form abstractions marked by intense colors, bold contours, and expressive surfaces.  This is very timely, as the art exhibition featuring his work opens on Thursday, May 4th.


A 24-year resident of Paris, Dr. Monique Wells co-founded the travel planning service Discover Paris! and created the company’s Entrée to Black Paris tours and activities that bring the African-American experience in Paris to life.  Dr. Wells has shared stories about the African Diaspora’s rich history, culture, and contemporary life in Paris in newspapers, magazines, and e-publications, including the International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and New York Times. She is co-author of Paris Reflections: Walks through African-American Paris and author of Black Paris Profiles, which features the stories of 24 contemporary African-American and Afro-Caribbean expatriates.

Her first book, Food for the Soul, was named Best Nonfiction Book of 2001 by The Sistah Circle Book Club and was featured on Al Roker’s Food Network television show Recipe for Success.  With a preface by Michelin-star chef Alain Ducasse, the French edition of Food for the Soul has helped introduce African-American culinary art, history, and culture to France.

Dr. Well’s freelance writing led her to uncover the story of Beauford Delaney’s unmarked Paris burial place.  She subsequently founded Les Amis de Beauford Delaney (Friends of Beauford Delaney) as a French non-profit association. In her endeavor to raise funds to place a tombstone at Beauford’s previously unmarked grave, she became increasingly passionate about this artist’s story and about his art.  She recently organized the first-ever exhibition of Beauford’s paintings from Paris private collections, which may come to Knoxville in the fall of 2018.

Delaney-Self Portrait, 1963

Here is a link to her blog about Beauford Delaney:

For more information about the KMA’s upcoming exhibition Gathering Light: Works by Beauford Delaney

Lastly, the New York Times recently did a piece about why the revival of Delaney’s work is so important:

Please email Carla Pare, if you are able to attend, as there is limited seating.  You will be able to order dinner from the full menu at Bistro by the Tracks.

Spring Events

We have an exciting few weeks ahead for Art House, starting off with Saturday, April 29th when we gather on the top floor of the KMA.

Here is a recap of all the events, we hope you can make it!!!

Artists On Location
April 29th 5pm – 6pm
Third Floor, KMA
We will hear from featured guest Mary Morris before KMA’s Artists On Location Awards Reception and Art Sale.  We have an incredible opportunity to learn even more tips of the trade from an expert gallerist just in time to put that knowledge to good use at the main event!  Cash bar, and art will be available to purchase!!!  You are invited to bring a friend to this open event.
Exclusive Dinner with Dr. Monique Wells
May 5th 7pm
Bistro By The Tracks
Dr. Monique Wells is the founder and director of the Paris “Friends of Beauford Delaney.”  She will share stories about food, art, and the American artist, Beauford Delaney.  This is an incredible opportunity to hear from Wells in an intimate settings, as Delaney is remembered for his work with the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930s and 1940s, as well as his later works in abstract expressionismfollowing his move to Paris in the 1950s.  Full menu available for individual purchase.  Space is limited; reservation required – email
Kick-Off to Summer

Friday, May 12
7pm to midnight
*Dressy casual

We will dance to the music of party band the Atlanta Showstoppers and enjoy a cocktail buffet.  Tickets are $125 per person, however, we are offering a $25 discount to Art House members.

To receive the exclusive Art House discount of $25 off, tickets must be purchased before April 30.  Click here:

Kick-off to Summer Discount

Each May, the Knoxville Museum of Art lets its hair down to kick off summer!  This includes a truly spectacular party, complete with a live band!  And The Atlanta Showstoppers are just that!!!  Show.stopping.  Mark your calendars for May 12th!

Our own Art House committee member, Annie Colquitt is co-chairing the event.  Tickets are $125, but a special rate of $100 is available for Art House Members until April 30.

Portal Image

Here are the details of the fundraising event:

Kick-Off to Summer at the KMA

Friday, May 12
7pm to midnight
Dressy casual

Dance to the music of party band the Atlanta Showstoppers
Cocktail buffet
$125 per person

To receive the exclusive Art House discount of $25 off, tickets must be purchased before April 30.  Click here:

It’s going to be an awesome party!  And as members of Art House, there’s no better way to celebrate all that is the KMA than the Kick-off to Summer party!

Save the date: Artists on Location April 29th

Join Art House at the Knoxville Museum of Art for a cocktail (or two) and conversation with featured guest Mary Morris before KMA’s Artists On Location Awards Reception and Art Sale.  We have an incredible opportunity to learn even more tips of the trade from an expert gallerist just in time to put that knowledge to good use at the main event!

Morris has worked in the fine art gallery business for twenty-nine years and currently owns an art advisory company based in Knoxville that works with corporate and private collections such as Scripps Networks Interactive and Children’s Hospital of East Tennessee. She will be speaking exclusively to Art House members and friends about the art of collecting.  What a way to follow-up the spectacular event at Bobby and Todd’s earlier in the month.

The event starts promptly at 5pm on the 3rd floor terrace.  No tickets required for this event!  Members are encouraged to bring friends.  There will be a cash bar.

At 6pm, we’ll head down to the Artists On Location Awards Reception and Art Sale, presented by The Guild of the KMA.  A perfect opportunity to add to your collection, the sale will feature all the original artwork produced at locations around Knoxville by 34 participating artist earlier in the week at affordable prices! (Now, if you want to watch the artists in action between the 26th-28th, the locations and schedule will be listed on and in mid-April.)

Look out for an email invitation as well!
About Mary Morris:
Mary Morris has been in the fine art gallery business for twenty-nine years and began her career with globally renowned Marlborough Gallery in New York City. There she organized national and international exhibitions for such artists as Fernando Botero, Red Grooms, Francis Bacon and Claudio Bravo along with the production of numerous art publications. During the late 90s she took over the directorship of Bennett Galleries in Knoxville, Tennessee, and created an exhibition schedule to highlight regional artists including Carl Sublett, Richard Jolley and Andrew Saftel as well as create a series of distinguished solo and group exhibitions of nationally renowned artists. In 2004, Ms. Morris returned to New York to join art dealer Leila Heller in reopening her Manhattan gallery. Initially focused on the resale art market, the two lead the development of the burgeoning contemporary Middle Eastern art market in New York and abroad. This brought the gallery to international recognition through a series of exhibitions and art fairs in the US and abroad including London, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Istanbul. Presently, Ms. Morris owns an art advisory company based in Knoxville working with corporate and private collections such as Scripps Networks Interactive and Children’s Hospital of East Tennessee.  She also provides professional support to numerous community art projects and non-profit institutions.

Art Collecting Recap

Nearly 40 Art House members gathered at the stunning West Knoxville home of Todd Richesin and Bobby Brown to partake in a special evening that combined delicious food, fabulous French wine, Italian art, and fantastic conversation.

The owners of Bobby Todd Antiques in Sweetwater, as well as UPSTAIRS and Todd Richesin Interiors in Knoxville, opened their home, also known to friends as Casa Real, to share their tremendous collection of art.  While Bobby and Todd purposefully collect art on their travels abroad, the pair inspired Art House members to look locally too.

“What you’ll find with our collection,” said Todd during one of the tours, “Bobby and I are attracted to light and that’s what you’ll see is a common denominator in most of the oil paintings.”  With subjects ranging from pastoral Italian scenes to 18th century religious art, the vast collection was not limited to paintings.  “We have collected sculptures and furniture that speak to us as well,” continued Todd.  One incredible example was a secret painting on the edges of a book.  (See photo above.)

Art House members were free to ask questions and learn more about starting collections of their own, or moving art from room to room in their own homes.  Bobby and Todd agreed that one of the mistakes people make is limiting a piece to a particular room or place above a mantel or sofa.  “We move art around constantly, especially when there is a new piece that we bring in from auction, or wherever,” said Bobby.

No tour of Casa Real would be complete without a stop in the couple’s closet, featuring the preppiest plaid wall to wall carpeting!  What a fun, fantastic night – a complete feast for the eyes!  Huge thanks to our gracious hosts, Bobby and Todd!