Huntsville, Ala. – On Sunday, October 7, 2018, the Huntsville Museum of Art (HMA) reveals the newest exhibition, Encounters: Denise Stewart-Sanabria, with a Gallery Walk and Reception with the artist. The exhibition will be on view through January 20, 2019.

The Encounters series is a long-standing showcase for outstanding regional contemporary art. This installation of Encounters focuses on the distinctive work of celebrated Tennessee artist, Denise Stewart-Sanabria, who paints hyperrealist “portraits” of everything from animated produce to subversive jelly donuts, often reflecting on human behavior through anthropomorphic narratives. Stewart-Sanabria is also known for her life-size figurative drawings on plywood, which are cut out, mounted on wood bases, and staged in conceptual arrangements.

“I specifically do not label my work as ‘still lifes,’ which I consider an archaic and inaccurate term for what I am creating,” Stewart-Sanabria says. “Still lifes have traditionally been genre paintings of domestic items and food, often with symbolic references attached to them connected with life, death, and survival. What I am doing is pure observation — how the eye perceives my subjects in all their beauty as light hits them, intensifying the color saturation. I am also interested in their ability to create complicated abstract compositions when combined in groups or scattered across the picture plane.”

A native of Massachusetts, Stewart-Sanabria received her BFA in Painting from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and has lived in Knoxville since 1986.

The Gallery Walk and Reception on October 7 lasts from 2-4 p.m. Admission is free for Museum members and is included with the cost of general admission for non-members. For more information about the Huntsville Museum of Art and to see what other exhibitions are on display, visit


Lead Sponsor: The Kuehlthau Family Foundation
Additional Support Provided By: The Alabama State Council on the Arts; Altherr Howard Design; The Huntsville Museum of Art Guild