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Clay Palmer

Have a Seat


The Batesville Area Arts Council is pleased to present Have a Seat, an exhibition by Clay Palmer, at the BAAC Gallery on Main August 15 - September 30, 2023.


Friday, September 29, 5 - 7 p.m.

Members Only Happy Hour: 4 - 5 p.m.

Artist Statement

My work examines contemporary Southern life through genre scenes that address the anxiety of living in a period of history ravaged by ideological, economic, and socio-political friction. Images of poverty and wealth placed near each other illustrate how Southern middle-class families exist in a state of flux between these two economic poles.


More recently, the imagery and narratives within the work have taken a more personal direction and are directly related to the anxieties of my newfound role as a father. As I navigate this unfamiliar territory, I find myself meditating on my own paternal relationships, reflecting on my childhood, and analyzing my many shortcomings to gain some insight into the everyday challenges and joys that becoming a new parent imparts.


Clay Palmer holds an MFA in Painting from the University of Memphis and a BFA in Studio Art as a University Scholar from the University of Tennessee at Martin. While in graduate school, Clay was the recipient of the Harold and Martha Robinson Scholarship in Painting. He has been included in numerous regional, national, and international exhibitions including the 2022 Valdosta National, the 13th Annual International Drawing Discourse Exhibition, and the 2021 FL3TCH3R Exhibit.


Clay is the Gallery and Events Coordinator and a Lecturer in the University of Tennessee at Martin’s Department of Visual and Theatre Arts. He currently resides in Trenton, Tennessee, with his wife, Olivia, and their son, Theo, along with their dogs, Scarlett and Byron, and their cat, Bukowski.


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