Exhibitions

THE BOTTOM: STORIES FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD

UT Downtown Gallery / 106 S. Gay St. June 1 - August 3rd (Reception: August 2 5:00pm - 9:00pm)

Ahmad George, Erin Leann Mitchell

In Southern Black communities, our stories aren’t simply passed down from one generation to the next—they serve as maps with markers for our future. This truth is evident in The Bottom, a neighborhood in East Knoxville, Tennessee. Despite its demolition in the 1950s due to urban renewal and systemic racism, its legacy lives on.

Curated by Good Black Art and grounded in the research of Dr. Enkeshi El-Amin, a local sociologist specializing in race, place, and Black communities, The Bottom: Stories from the Neighborhood is an exhibition that delves into life in the neighborhood beyond its destruction. While it highlights the narrative of Knoxville, it resonates with Black, Brown, Indigenous, and underprivileged communities across different times and places. The exhibition presents both familiar and imaginative interpretations by two Southern artists through a dialogue of folklore and futurism, drawing from oral histories of former residents and archival sources from The Bottom.

This exhibition is in partnership with Good Black Art, Dr. Enkeshi El-Amin, and The Bottom.