Kevin Cole

Kevin Cole’s Work to be featured at Cress Gallery of Art at UTC

Kevin Cole tells this story: "When I turned 18 years old, my grandfather stressed the importance of voting by taking me to a tree where he was told that African-Americans were lynched by their neckties on their way to vote. The experience left a profound impression in my mind."

Since 1992, Cole’s work has evolved from the use of the necktie as an icon, motif and symbol of power. He has emphasized the relationship between color and music, particularly jazz, blues, rap and gospel music because of its strong presence in the African-American community. The works incorporate patterns and textures from traditional African cloths such as the Kinte and Adinkra cloths.

"Throughout all of my work, I continue to investigate the existence of polyrhythmic space and overlapping planes, the raw emotional power of color and texture," Cole said.

"Jitterbug Waltz II"
Mixed Media on Plywood

The exhibit Kevin Cole: Conversation with my Soul features painting, drawing and wall sculpture and it will be shown February 12-March 14 at the Cress Gallery of Art, UTC Fine Art Center, at Vine and Palmetto Streets on the UTC campus. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Sunday, February 17 from 6:30-10 p.m.

From 10 a.m.-2 p.m. February 13, 14 and 15, Cole will be set up in the lobby of the UTC University Center. As an "artist in residence," he will begin and complete an original work of art, answer questions and discuss his work with visitors.

"Tomorrow Robins Will Sing II"
Mixed Media on Paper

On Thursday, February 14, Cole will present a lecture at 5:30 p.m. in room 356 of the UTC Fine Arts Center, and a reception will follow.

These events are free and open to the public.

The exhibition and lecture is made possible with funding from the Friends of the Gallery, the UTC Speakers and Special Events Committee, and the UTC Association for Campus Entertainment.

Gallery visitors arriving between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. may request a visitor’s parking pass from the UTC Parking Services Office in the lobby of the Administrative Services Building, 600 Palmetto Street. After 5 p.m., free parking is available on any level of the Lupton Library parking garage, next to the Fine Arts Center on Vine Street, or in Lot 16 next to the Administrative Services building, at Fortwood and Palmetto Streets. Handicap parking and unloading zones are at the main entrance of the UTC Fine Arts Center.

For more information, call Curator Ruth Grover at 423/425-4600 or e-mail

"Peaceful Journey"
Mixed Media on Paper

"and the band played on"
Mixed Media on Wood