Knoxville: Recent Developments

An exhibition about the present state of Knoxville, TN

In 2006, Chris Molinski of the Art Gallery of Knoxville asked CUP to produce an exhibition about building community in Knoxville, Tennessee. We obliged, sending a research team to research and represent the curiosities of Knoxville’s development politics. Artist Lize Mogel, and writer Angela Starita led the ground crew. Valeria Mogilevich and I produced research and graphic design from the home office. Using the temporary privelege of being an outsider, we built some new relationships between local institutions in Knoxville (an african-american historical archive, a University planning department, the Knox County Historical Museum and a mall developer) and uncovered some patterns -both typical (a history of exclusionary land use policy, million-dollar downtown boondogles) and truly surprising: Knoxville’s spidery shape comes mostly from the fact that it’s a wet municipality in a dry county. Roadside restaurants seeking liquor-licenses have lobbied succesfully for the narrow annexation of the land adjacent to the major inroads to the center city.