The Central Collective

923 N. Central St. Knoxville, TN


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Utility: First Friday with Melissa Everett


From Artist Melissa Everett:

My journey as an artist began with the comfort and connection associated with quilt making.  I taught myself to quilt in 2012 upon the arrival of my first son.  It was one of those huge transitions in life when you don’t really know what is about to happen next but you hold on and go for it.  Much to my surprise, this “little hobby” I was embarking on would lead to huge personal growth, branching out and meeting some of the most inspirational people here in Knoxville.   

Domestic life was a difficult adjustment for me, and through quilting I was able to find beauty and calm in the day to day hustle of child rearing.  The historically woman-dominated craft of quilting was becoming a way of life for me, as it has for so many before me.  For many years, women have been making these utility objects to provide warmth and security to their loved ones, pouring their prayers and hardships into each one and weaving broken pieces back together.  A quilt’s utility is so appealing and practical to me, yet what goes into making the surface design of each quilt is so much more than useful.

There is a movement happening within quilt making which has spurred me to keep exploring, asking questions and searching for more.  My work is evolving, centering me and satisfying my need to be stimulated visually through color, composition and concept.  I’ve been influenced greatly by cut paper collage, abstract expressionism, print making and a love for what I call organic geometry.  The calculated imperfections that come from creating by hand and being a work in progress are also very satisfying.  There’s a great deal of beauty in life’s imperfections.  This show is about being more than UTILITY.

This show is dedicated to the women who have taught me and encouraged me to explore.


I am a textile artist and self-taught quilter who finds joy in the expressiveness of improvising colors and shapes. With an eye for transformation, I utilize existing materials to fabricate unique and original pieces.  Textiles give me an outlet to express my thoughts and hopes.

I grew up in the belly of Appalachia, where quilting is a folk tradition driven by functionality, art and storytelling. I now live in Knoxville, Tennessee, with my husband and two sons. When I'm not deep into my next project, I'm often enjoying the outdoors with my adventurous boys and gaining inspiration for the next piece.

Later Event: April 15
Good Sport Night