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See the world through the eyes of two local artists

Contributed • Oct 29, 2018 at 1:59 PM

Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts at the McKinney Center has two local artists in the spotlight, and their work may have a place in your home. 

The work of artists Kristin Colson and Don Burger will be on display through Nov. 16, and many of their pieces are for sale for the public. The exhibition will run through Nov. 16.

Heart and hope

Colson is a visual artist who creates with a vision of hope and a heart for humanity. Finding beauty in the discarded or overlooked, her abstract images suggest new perspectives and intriguing dimensions.

Themes of redemption are at the heart of her work as she incorporates vibrant colors from nature with subtle metallic nuances.

Through these reflective qualities, Colson seeks to stir the viewer toward deeper awareness of the Creator. Recent work includes mixed media and concrete jewelry.

Colson has enjoyed crafting with her hands since childhood. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Fine Arts from Milligan College, and she went on to complete a Master’s of Arts in Art Therapy. Many of her pieces are commissioned.

Colson has also done numerous art service projects including teaching lessons, overseas art missions and live painting within worship events. During the day, she works as an art therapist, helping others through their own creative processes to reflect on life and find hope in their journey.

Evolving imagination

Burger's art is the evolving product of an imaginative life. From childhood, he found inspiration and comfort in seeing and expressing more than the eye can see. Art was a private matter, however.

That all changed with adulthood, thanks to a mentor who saw the artist in Burger and encouraged it. His inner play with words, images and musical notes became an outgoing passion, played out on the stage of his work in family literacy.

As a street-based painter, he chose old, worn-yet-historic neighborhoods as his subjects. As a musician, folk music provided a medium for environmental and inter-cultural activism.

As an author/producer of various educational media, he sought to make a difference. As an actor/producer/director, he encouraged the portraying of previously untold stories.

It was parenthood, however, that provided dimension, as he encouraged the artist in his children, and they, in turn, inspired Burger to become an emerging sculptor, composer and outdoor enthusiast.

The ensuing 25 years of working with addictions, HIV, veterans and LGBTQ communities immersed him in miracles of overcoming and inspired a belief in the ever-present power of grace, so often experienced through artistic expression.

Since retiring in 2004, Burger's focus has shifted from global to local: teaching pottery, painting, musical instruments and facilitating artistic practices in the community.

Pottery became Burger's preferred medium for exploration of form and themes of unity and interpersonal connections. 

The McKinney Center is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, contact Theresa Hammons at [email protected]sborougtn.org or call 423-753-0562.

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