Art can be found in the most unexpected of places.
The UT Downtown Gallery was teeming with visitors at the presentation of its new exhibit this past Friday night. The exhibit, entitled "Ossuary," was created by Laurie Beth Clark, an artist who doubles as a professor of art at the University of Wisconsin.
An ossuary is a repository of bones, and this exhibit features 300 artists' interpretations of a skeleton.
The unique aspect of the exhibit is what draws people in, said Joanne Logan, UT professor in the biosystems engineering and soil sciences department.
"The exhibit is just so unusual," Logan said. "This isn't a typical art gallery that you can see on any First Friday."
The collection continuously grows between iterations, and the peculiar theme of the collection gives artists a chance to offer insight on the art that can be found in bones.
Kathleen Connelly, senior in philosophy, said she appreciated how the theme gave attendees the chance to see the different interpretations of the artists.
"The best part of the collection is that there is so much variety," Connelly said. "You get the chance to look at all of the art through the eyes of several different artists."
For senior architecture student Marianela D'aprile, the size of the exhibit is eye-catching, with hundreds of artists contributing to Clark's "Ossuary."
"This exhibit has a lot of content, and the artifacts are attention-grabbing," D'aprile said. "People want to know what all of this stands for."
The exhibit featured a multitude of different types of art including sculptures, eclectic paintings and everyday objects that represent the presence of bones in our world.
Lindsay Lee, senior in math and Spanish, said the use of commonplace items makes the exhibit interesting and thought-provoking.
"It is interesting to see how all the artists have explored a different concept of bones by using objects we wouldn't normally think about," Lee said. "Before seeing this exhibit I wouldn't have thought of old computer parts or the seams of clothes as types of skeletons."
The artistic contributions of the exhibit are also used to represent the political statements and personal feelings of the artists.
Chloe Lane, senior in architecture, said that she was surprised at the ideas expressed by the exhibit.
"I never would have thought that the collection could display works from such a broad range of topics," Lane said. "Who knew that bones could be used to express political ideas like feminism?"
The exhibit is an opportunity to get a glimpse of the cultural opportunities that Knoxville has to offer, and Lee said she hopes it will initiate more cultural projects throughout Knoxville.
"The 'Ossuary' shows the amount of artistic initiative in Knoxville," Lee said. "There is plenty of room for more of it in our community."
The 'Ossuary' gives a new perspective on the definition of a skeleton, and it provides a message that hope and beauty can be found in the most unlikely places, attendees said.
"This exhibit will open your eyes to a different point of view," Lee said. "It shows us how we can see art in nearly any object, even in bones."
The "Ossuary" will be on display in the UT Downtown Gallery through Oct. 26.