Reinvented Virtual Reality: Works by Denise Stewart-Sanabria On Exhibit

April 5—June 7, 2019

From Krishna Adams, Director of Visual Arts, Craft, Media and Design –

“These works are part of a series concentrating on the large-scale representation of contemporary people. Humans give off subtle clues as to the culture and social groupings they inhabit. Most of my reference material comes from observing people at art receptions. The virtual reality concept I focus on is intensified when the images of the people are returned, as drawings, to the environment they were found in. 

When a group of humans inhabits a space they observe certain territorial rules that govern where they are and what direction they are moving in relation to where others are located. They form predictable geometric patterns that are replicated in everything from the herding and flocking behaviors of other species, to wild seed and plant scatterings, to even star and constellation patterns.

I prefer to use the medium of drawing with charcoal on large sheets of plywood in order to take advantage of graphic monochromatic impact. Its directness lets me concentrate on the human presence of my subjects. I am also able to transform them into three-dimensional inter-related groupings and conceptual dramas by cutting them out with a scroll saw and using wood base locks to make them free standing.”

Stewart-Sanabria received an Individual Arts Fellowship in FY 2019 from the TN Arts Commission. She is also a freelance writer with her work read in Number: Inc. (an independent arts journal published in Memphis), and other publications such as the Nashville Arts Magazine, Knoxville Mercury and others. Her people sculptures and hyper-realistic paintings and can be found in the permanent collections of the Knoxville Museum of Art, Evansville Museum of Art and Science in Indiana, Huntsville Museum of Art in Alabama, and the Tennessee State Museum and Opryland Hotel in Nashville among others. Find out more about her work at

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