Mark Hall exhibition is gift to MC community; entries being accepted for prints and drawings 

Mark Hall exhibition is gift to MC community; entries being accepted for prints and drawings

Oct. 23, 2019

An exhibition by Maryville College Professor Emeritus of Art Mark Hall will be on display in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Blackberry Farm Gallery and William “Ed” Harmon Gallery throughout the month of November.

A reception will be held in the gallery on Fri., Nov. 15 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. 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.

The exhibition includes 21 drawings and prints in the mandala form, which were created after Hall retired from Maryville College in 2016 and started with a series of stippled black and white ink drawings.

“I love the texture created by stippling which creates a type of star-filled space as if looking up at the Milky Way on a cloudless night,” Hall wrote in his artist statement. “I played with basic shapes within the mandala utilizing circles, triangles and squares and went from minimalist compositions to expressionistic elements. After I was able to build a studio and get access to my printing press, I began work on a series of linocuts that were based upon the works found in the Helen Gardner art history survey Art Through the Ages.

Hall said he has had an obsession with the mandala form since he was a small child.

“It may be from growing up in Indianapolis known as ‘Circle City’ with its central road that circumnavigated a 22 story Civil War Memorial or from the hours spent in front of a 12 inch black and white R.C.A. television watching from sign on to sign off,” Hall wrote. “There was always a test pattern on before the early and after the late broadcast times with a circular pattern surrounded by other geometric forms. The mandala form has been used by artists from multiple cultural/religious traditions. Buddhist, Medieval Christian to Native American, the radiating form can symbolize the circle of life or the radiating nature of the soul.  In Early Christian art one often finds an image of Jesus as the Christ encompassed by the mandala.”

A practicing printmaker who has exhibited works all over the country, Hall taught at Maryville College from 2001 until 2016 and served as chair of the MC Division of Fine Arts from 2001 until 2011. He taught classes in art history, drawing, printmaking, cooking, design, senior ethics and art appreciation. He holds degrees from Hanover College, Christian Theological Seminary, the University of Louisville and Indiana State University. 

Art available to community, entries being accepted

When the exhibition is over, Hall does not plan to take the drawings and prints home with him; instead, he is doing something different, as a gift to the Maryville College community during MC’s Bicentennial.

One of his works, “Buzz Lightyear – To Infinity and Beyond,” will be presented to the Maryville College Department of Art. The rest of the works in the exhibition are not for sale, but Hall has come up with a creative way to allow community members to have his art.

“Not everyone has my opportunity of living or working with art. Our consumer society often makes it difficult to purchase art because by the time the artist has gotten their pittance and the gallery has taken their cut the price is far more than a Twinkie,” Hall wrote in his artist statement.

“It was recalled by people who visited the early 20th century gallery ‘291’ to see and possibly purchase an early work by Picasso, Marsden Hartley or Georgia O’Keefe that the proprietor, Alfred Stieglitz, would get in a conversation with visitors about the works displayed testing their understanding and appreciation for what they saw. If the visitor did not meet Stieglitz’s test of understanding, he would refuse to sell them the work. Whether true or not, it got me thinking about meaning and that a work to be appreciated should be understood. Therefore, none of the works in this exhibition are for sale. They are not Twinkies! However, all are available and will be presented to people. … All people should have the opportunity to live with and appreciate art.”

If those who visit Hall’s exhibition find works they relate to and that hold meaning for them, they should submit to the MC Department of Art a brief statement (no more than a page) that explains the meaning they find in that work and why they should have it, Hall explained. Entries can be submitted for more than one of the prints and/or drawings. MC art faculty members Dr. Carl Gombert, Morgan Manning and Adrienne Schwarte will read these entries, and one work per person will be awarded to the most appropriate entry. All decisions by the jurors will be final. The prints and drawings will be presented at the conclusion of the exhibition and posted on the Department of Art’s website.

Please email all entries to by 5 p.m. on Fri., Nov. 22.

Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”