Tipton Gallery (ETSU) / 126 Tipton St., Johnson City, TN February 4, 2021 - March 19, 2021

Beizar Aradini, Leticia Bajuyo, Miyuki Akai Cook, Sonya Yong James, Meena Khalili, Marta Lee, Vy Ngo, Elena Øhlander, Sisavanh Phouthavong, Halide Salam

The ETSU Department of Art & Design and Slocumb Galleries Curatorial Fellowship, in partnership with ETSU Student Activities Allocation Committee, MALS, Multicultural Center, Language & Culture Resource Center, Langston Centre, Africana Studies, Women’s Studies Program, Department of Appalachian Studies and the Tennessee Arts Commission’s APS & ABC Grants present Welcome Home: The Liminal Asian-Appalachian Experience curated by José Ardivilla and Kreneshia Whiteside from January 19-February 25 at Slocumb Galleries and February 4-March 19 at Tipton Gallery. A Panel on Women: Asia, Art & Home will be presented on March 3, Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m., via ZOOM ID 710 908 4999.

According to curator Kreneshia Whiteside, Welcome Home: The Liminal Asian-Appalachian Experience is "a creative exploration into the geographic, emotional and psychological journey of Asian female artists adapting to the liminal realm of the Appalachian life.” Furthermore, the exhibition "honors the overlooked voices of our Asian female counterparts in regards to their perspectives of our nation and their complicated settlement into the shifting slopes of Appalachia.”

The participating artists are Beizar Aradini, Leticia Bajuyo, Miyuki Akai Cook, Sonya Yong James, Meena Khalili, Marta Lee, Vy Ngo, Elena Øhlander, Sisavanh Phouthavong, and Halide Salam.

Curator and panel moderator José Ardivilla further elucidated the concept of ‘home’ as “to subject oneself to many doors, and portals to pass through, to take pause, and to situate oneself between taking stock of the present and gauging the future paths while careful not to lose the present to the periphery.” He added, “to be Asian-American, a woman, and an artist, one is confronted with such hyphenated existence, some of which are polar, yet overlapped which gives ease to crossing and causing many portals.”

The portals that Ardivilla invoke are encapsulated with the sub-themes in the exhibition design, works at: (1) Tipton Gallery situates transit, arrival and obstacles, cited as “Contact and confrontation,” while (2) For Slocumb Gallery I, brackets the works dealing with identity and politics, posited as “threading through narratives,” and (3) Slocumb Gallery II offers glimpses on issues associated with migration marked as “the Greener Pasture is always a border issue.”

As both curators recognize that the works in this exhibition “overlap the themes and intersect those with issues of being a woman and working with the perceived limitations to broker for accessibility and validation in America,” they reiterate that “the women’s works are allocated in different galleries to situate the complex navigation one has to go through in an insistence of home. 

All events are free and open to the public, live simulcast via ETSU Slocumb Galleries’ Facebook Page Live and https://etsu.zoom.us/my/slocum... or Zoom ID 710 908 4999. 

The Slocumb Galleries are located at 232 Sherrod Drive, ETSU campus, open weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tipton Gallery is located at 126 Spring Street, Downtown Johnson City, Thursday & Fridays 5 to 7 p.m. and by appointment.