With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day quickly approaching, the Bijou Theatre is finding its own way to remember the civil rights movement and one of its most profound leaders.
The Bijou is opening its doors to the Gallery of Arts' Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute exhibit Friday, and will feature work from students and teachers from Knox Country Schools who have been personally influenced by Martin Luther King, Jr's impact on society during the civil rights movement.
Caitlin Seidler, an art teacher from Sarah Moore Greene Elementary School, will be one of several local teachers displaying their work on Friday. This will be the second year Seidler's work has been showcased.
"Since Sarah Moore Greene was a civil rights leader in Knoxville, I wanted to do something with my students, and I got ideas based on that," Seidler said.
Seidler's work has been in a number of galleries, but she said the Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute is one she is very passionate about.
"It's given me a chance to reflect on how civil rights impact our society," she said. "There is a message you can take away from his legacy."
Seidler said contributing to the gallery impacts her personal growth as an artist and teacher. Mike Combs, chair of marketing and public relations for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Commission, said he's proud of the relationships the tribute builds between students and teachers.
"Students from over a dozen schools in Knox County, as well as their art teachers, have contributed works to this show. I am especially pleased that the show represents a real cross section of Knox County School(s) as well as teachers and students," Combs said.
He said this event ultimately allows the public to gain an understanding of Martin Luther King, Jr. through the eyes of local students and educators, continuing to learn and teach the impact of the civil rights.The Gallery of Art Tribute runs through February to commemorate Black History Month as well as MLK Day. The Gallery of Arts' MLK Tribute opens Friday at 5 p.m., beginning with a short reception, and lasts until 6:30 p.m.
The showcase will be open to the public for viewing, free of charge, during regular Bijou business hours. Tickets are required for the gallery during other Bijou events.