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Artist explores biological and archaeological themes

By Grace Reff
On November 14, 2012

Andrew Scott Ross, assistant professor and foundations art coordinator at the Department of Art and Design at East Tennessee State University, recently exhibited at Tipton Gallery in downtown Johnson City from Oct. 31 to Nov. 9. The show, entitled "Partial Ear Of A Marble Statue," was presented by the Department of Art and Design and Slocumb Galleries in partnership with the Urban Redevelopment Alliance.
The exhibition featured new installation work by Ross that explored cultural and scientific institutions and intersected "biological and archaeological themes with personal and primitive mythology." The installations were created with materials that would be considered both common and ironic within the subject matter.
He says in his artist statement, "My art practice explores the elusive framework of cultural beliefs, and our often-peculiar relationship with the natural world." It is Ross's hope to "portray a museum-like environment that is both messy and deeply personal - an open institution that seems to be stuck in a curatorial drift."
Works included glass containers similar to fish tanks filled with water, several large sculptures made of mud, paper and wood, as well as 2D works on the wall. Two video pieces were also installed. One, entitled "HABITS," featured live worms forming a circle on a light table, and was projected against the entire back wall of the gallery. The second video featured a black pigeon picking at birdseed against a black background, again exploring images of nature and wildlife.
Ross received his MFA in Sculpture at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006, and BFA in Painting and Drawing from the Atlanta College of Art in 2003. His work has been exhibited nationwide in places such as Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as overseas in France, Switzerland and Israel. He also received academic training from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Drawing.
Ross currently has another exhibition of his work at the Knoxville Museum of Art entitled "Rocks and Rocks and Rocks" in the museum's "Contemporary Focus" show.
For more information of Ross's work, visit his website at and for more information about Tipton Gallery exhibitions, contact Director Karlota Contreras-Koterbay at

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