above: Greg Smith, Fall 2014 Diane Marek Visiting Artist, speaks to students about his exhibition "Breakdown Lane Orrery" at the Cress.

homepage image: Upcoming Spring 2016 Diane Marek Visiting Artist Amy Elkins at the Houston Center of Photography in 2015 (photo by Sharad Patel).

Diane Marek recognized the importance of the visual arts in all lives as art proved to her to be a "glimpse" to a path beyond oneself and a means to image a new personal frame through the inspiration of another's vision.

Established in 2006, the Series now brings an average of two to four artists of national and international reputation to Chattanooga yearly with visits of five to seven days for events each academic semester.

All Diane Marek Series Artists appear in association with an exhibition of their work in the Cress Gallery supported by the Friends of the Cress Gallery.

Diane Marek artists participate in a program of both one-on-one and group activities with UTC Department of Art student majors, members of the University's campus, students and educators from other Chattanooga area academic institutions both public and private, and the citizens and artists of the Chattanooga community and beyond. The Diane Marek Visiting Artist Series provides the region with a provocative level of exposure to contemporary artists and artistic production encompassing a full range of media and aesthetics. This exposure spans demographics and geographic boundaries to address the broader essence and significance of today's artistic investigation, practice, and expression.

Exhibitions in the Cress and all Diane Marek Series events are open to the public. Admission is free.

2015 - 2016 Diane Marek Visiting Artists.

Carmen Papalia (Vancouver, Canada)  How to Close Your Eyes, Oct. 20 – Dec. 08, 2015

Diane Marek Visiting Artist Series events Oct. 26 – 30.  Lecture Oct. 27, 5:30pm

Carmen Papalia is a social practice artist who creates participatory projects on the topic of open access as it relates to public space, the art institution, and visual culture. Ultimately Papalia works to build and promote trust, as the artist’s own access is defined by a visual impairment. Papalia’s survey exhibition for the Cress will include two new works created in collaboration with UTC students, faculty, staff, and others, alongside previous works of multi-layered perceptual experiences.

Amy Elkins (Los Angeles, CA.) Black is the Day / Black is the Night and Other Projects, Feb. 09 – Mar. 26, 2016

Diane Marek Visiting Artist Series events Feb. 08 – Feb. 12   Lecture Feb 09, 5:30pm

Photographer Amy Elkins explores the human condition through intensive strategies of portraiture. Her long-term research focused upon the occupants of death row in our nation’s prisons received the Lightwork Artist-in-Residence Prize (2011), a Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant (2015), and the prestigious Aperture Portfolio Prize (2014).

Previous Diane Marek Visiting Artists: Monica Cook, Greg Smith, Keetra Dean Dixon & JK Keller, Michelle Segre, Michael Scoggins, Summer Wheat, Matthew Deleget, OKAY Mountain, Wendy White, Ian Pedigo, Nicholas Kahn & Richard Selesnick, Michael Vasquez, Rose Freymuth-Frazier, Rob Nadeau, Jered Sprecher, Jade Townsend, Sarah Wagner, Johnston Foster, Christine Gray, Mark Andreas, [dNASAb], Ryan Wolfe, Norman Lundin, Dannielle Tegeder, Roger Ricco, Frank Wick, and Joe Ramiro Garcia.