Current Exhibitions

Detangling/Unraveling the Politics of Hair:

Marginalization, Resistance and Empowerment in Black TN

Curated by Karlota Contreras-Koterbay and Karen Sullivan

Diverse and Beautiful: African American Art in TN and Appalachia


September 6 to 28, 2018, Tipton Gallery

Performance of ‘Madam C.J. Walker’, from slave to first African American woman millionaire by storyteller and musician Valarie Houston during the reception and festival


Sponsored by the ETSU Student Activities Allocation Funds & partnership with the Language & Culture Resource Center, Multicultural Center, Department of Anthropology & Sociology, School of Continuing Studies, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Johnson City Public Library, and select public schools in the East TN region.


The exhibition explore the politics of hair and its nuanced roles in the negotiation of identity and race. The artists invited employ hair as agency, either as subject matter or media, as intentional element in their reinvestigation of African American historical narratives, with conscious effort for self-representation, and to reconnect to their cultural heritage to reveal the mechanisms of marginalization, stereotyping and construction of identity towards more empowered future.

October 1, 8 and 17, Sponsored by the Brooks Museum and Memphis College of Art, Memphis TN

October 6, Sponsored by The University of Memphis Lambuth Campus, Jackson, TN

For Freedoms is a platform for greater participation in the arts and in civil society. We produce exhibitions, installations, public programs, and billboard campaigns to advocate for inclusive civic participation. Inspired by American artist Norman Rockwell’s paintings of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms (1941)—freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear— For Freedoms Federation uses art to encourage and deepen public explorations of freedom in the 21st century.


Founded by Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman, For Freedoms Federation encourages new forms of critical discourse. Our mission is to use art as a vehicle to build greater participation in American Democracy.




For Freedoms Federation is a sponsored project of Artadia, a non profit arts service organization. Contributions to For Freedoms are tax-deductible and support educational programs, exhibitions, and partnerships with museums and other not for profit organizations. For Freedoms Federation is supported by The Quiet Fund, The Surdna Foundation, The Bromley Foundation, Open Box, VIA Art Fund, The Westridge Foundation, The Muriel Pollia Foundation, the For Freedoms Advisory Committee, and many generous individuals.