TOP PHOTO:  An art installation by Jellico Art students is on display at Woodson’s Mall. The exhibit is part of an outreach through the Campbell Culture Coalition.

The art exhibit consists of interchangeable art panels.

By Charlotte Underwood

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – An art installation by Jellico Art students is on display at Woodson’s Mall.  Titled “Face it! We’re all the Same”, the installation is part of an art outreach program through the Campbell Culture Coalition. It is located in the mall near the Burkes Outlet entrance and was installed in mid-March.

The exhibit consists of a multitude of art panels that represent the facial features of different ethnicities and cultures. The art panels are interchangeable so that different facial features can be combined. According to Manuel Mesa, president of the Campbell Culture Coalition, the idea behind the art is to “illustrate how different people, cultures and ethnic groups all have similarities; we’re all people of the planet.”  The art installation was created by Jellico High School students last spring. They worked on it for the whole semester. It was exhibited in Jellico and then again at the Louie Bluie Festival, where it was well received, according to Mesa.

Titled Face It! We’re all the Same, the art exhibit is near the Burke’s entrance. The above artists participated in the project.

Mesa said he came up with a vague concept for the art work and approached the Jellico High School Art Teacher Dee Day. She then put the idea to her students and asked them to brainstorm on an art project that would show the similarities of people and how we are all connected.

Art students did research into various ethnicities and cultures, studying different images before choosing different facial features to paint. Each student did six art panels that could interchange and that when put together create a human face.

Students in the creative writing class in Jellico composed a poem to exemplify the spirit of the art project.

After learning about the project and seeing the art panels, Jellico English students compiled a poem to “exemplify the spirit of the project.” A copy of that poem was also included in the exhibit.

“It’s always great to see the kids get involved, their input on these projects is what makes them progress and come together,” Mesa said.

Artist William D. Sarno also helped as an art instructor on the project.

The art installation was made possible through a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/08/2020-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S CHARLOTTE UNDERWOOD)