Art by Alan Vance on display at Clayton Center, reception planned for Jan. 25

Art by Alan Vance on display at Clayton Center, reception planned for Jan. 25

Jan. 17, 2019

Paintings by artist Alan Vance are on display in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Blackberry Farm Gallery and William “Ed” Harmon Gallery throughout the month of January.

A reception will be held in the gallery on Fri., Jan. 25, 2019 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. and will feature an artist talk by Vance, as well as a poetry reading and book launch.

Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. 

About the artist

Alan Vance brings to his paintings a complexity in layers of color, striking compositions, and subdued subject matters. He asks not to seek meaning about himself, as he sees the artist’s personal story only a distraction. Instead, the viewer is impressed upon to find substance, emotional or otherwise, in what are fleeting thoughts derived from his sketchbook.

Raised on a tobacco farm, Vance found himself in art school with little understanding of his abilities or even a world of art before him. After receiving his BFA at Columbus College of Art and Design, and his MFA at Miami University of Ohio, he returned to his hometown of Horse Cave, Kentucky. There, for many years, he was the owner of a small construction company restoring architectural components for historic structures. Vance now believes that he is entering a new period as an artist and art instructor at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College in Kentucky.

Reception to include book launch by The Heartland Review Press

The exhibit is supported by The Heartland Review Press, which was established in 2016 at ECTC and publishes two to five books per year. Vance’s work has been published in The Heartland Review Press’s biannual literary journal, The Heartland Review, which was founded in 1999.

The Jan. 25 reception will include an artist talk by Vance, as well as a poetry reading that will feature Christina Seymour, a poet and lecturer in English at Maryville College; students in Seymour’s advanced poetry class; and Ted Higgs, adjunct instructor of English, Italian and Latin at Maryville College.

The reception will also serve as a book launch for Higgs, who has served as an associate editor for The Heartland Review since 2001. During the reception, he will launch his second book, Plank by Plank. The full-length poetry book is published by The Heartland Review Press, which also published his chapbook, Archipelago, in 2016.

Higgs has taught language, literature and creative writing at the college level for over 30 years at several institutions, including the US Military Academy, the University of Maryland (European Division), the University of Kentucky, and Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. He is a retired Army officer and a linguist, having worked and translated in both Modern Greek and Italian. His poetry and translations have appeared in numerous journals.

In her review for Higgs’s Plank by Plank, Trish Lindsey Jaggers describes Higgs’s poems as “an unfurling, a ribbon of experience letting go of its spool, each coil a Möbius strip–how art and language and travel and nature overlap seamlessly to inform this poet and his poems.”


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the Fall 2018 semester is 1,154.