published Sunday, November 10th, 2013

UTC grad has first solo show at AVA


* What: “Some of Them Are Dead. Most of Them Are Not. All of Them Are Living: Works by John Stone.”

* When: Through Nov. 30.

* Where: AVA Gallery, 30 Frazier Ave.

* Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

* Phone: 423-265-4282

* Website:

The figures in all of John Stone’s painting are based on very personal moments, memories and people in his life, though none of that is revealed to the viewer.

Instead, he says, each person looking at the 23 monochromatic works in his solo show at the Association for Visual Arts gallery is challenged to ask and answer their own questions about each piece, particularly the figurative pieces.

Stone’s work was chosen Best in Show in the 2012 AVA Juried Members Exhibition by independent judge Paul Lee, an art teacher at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Lee chose each of the works for the show last year and, from those, selected a Best in Show. As the winner, Stone, a 2004 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga graduate, was awarded the one-man exhibit. which is on display through the end of the month.

“I picked John’s work because it was very unusual,” Lee says. “They are very gestural and the paintings are sort of mysterious when you look at them. I often like artwork that makes the viewers ask more questions than answering them because it prolongs the process of looking at the artwork, and I find that very interesting and unusual.

“They required the viewer to think about what they had seen before in order to answer what they had looked at.”

The title of the show is “Some Of Them Are Dead. Most of Them Are Not. All of Them Are Living: Works By John Stone” and the pieces have titles such as “Bay and Chuck,” “Chris and Walter” and “Brother and Dad.”

Six of the paintings are based on airplanes that Stone’s grandfather flew at one time or another, and the rest are based on people in his life, past and present. Some appear as shadow figures and lack defining detail, appearing like an image from a dream or an out-of-focus photographic negative.

“That’s a good description,” he says. “Everything is in the gray scale and they are pretty lean. Everything is made in one session. That can take 45 minutes, or it can take six to eight hours.”

He uses the impasto technique, in which the paints, usually oils, are applied fairly thickly. When the paint dries, it gives an almost three-dimensional appearance to the works.

The solo show is his first in a gallery, says Stone.

“It’s an amazing opportunity,” he says. “It is the biggest opportunity I’ve had to date.”

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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