Jonesborough art show to raise money for women's issues

Nathan Baker • Aug 25, 2019 at 12:00 AM

An art exhibit in Jonesborough will help improve the lives of women in East Tennessee and showcase area artists.

A group of philanthropic women established the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee in 2011 to support initiatives in 25 counties to expand options for low-income women and girls related to life skills, work skills and education. The organization also advocates for legislative changes related to violence against women and girls.

Through fundraising, the group supports a network of organizations working to encourage young women and girls to further their education beyond high school. It gives several grants each year to organizations in its network to help fund programming.

The Journeys of Women VII Art Exhibit helps raise money and awareness for the Women’s Fund and brings recognition to local artists.

“It enables all of us to do what we can to leave our part of the world a better place than we found it,” said Judy Ingala, chair of this year’s art show.

Now in its seventh year, the Journeys of Women show opens to the public Aug. 30 at the McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School in Jonesborough. The artwork will remain on display until Sept. 7.

Sam Yates, Director and Curator for the Ewing Gallery of Art and Architecture at the University of Tennessee and the school’s Downtown Gallery, will judge the entries.

For more information about the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee, visit womensfundetn.org.

The McKinney Center, 103 Franklin Ave., Jonesborough, is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about its art programs and classes, visit mckinneycenter.com.

Artists’ biographies for pictured artwork:

Donna Bird
Donna Bird is a realist painter who uses traditional oil painting methods to interpret contemporary subjects. Her subject matter covers the disciplines of still life, landscape and portraiture. Donna prefers to paint directly from life and is particularly interested in pushing the nuances of color in her subjects. The colors are juxtaposed to create atmosphere and convey her response to the moment. Her work is influenced by both modern day and traditional painting masters such as Emile Gruppe, Max Ginsberg, Edgar Degas and Joaquin Sorolla.

Katie Walser
Nowadays the barrage of images and information thrown at us on daily basis can be incredibly overwhelming. To help me sort through the “information overload,” I pull inspiration from images in photos, in nature, and in daily life and distill the images into drawings. I love creating works inspired by things my younger self would have taken for granted.

Bill and Tina Collison
Bill’s early days in his father’s workshop and Tina’s interest in decoy carving fueled their interest in wood as the medium for their endeavors. They both viewed wood as strong, solid, substantial, and lasting…all great qualities as a medium for artwork. Wood is warm and tactile; it yearns to be held, rubbed and touched.

Trees downed by storms, age, disease, or in the path of progress, provide us with an ample supply of raw material. Bill turns burls, natural edged bowls and platters; Tina creates the surface embellishments by carving, piercing, burning and coloring designs on the turned pieces, moving the work from high quality craft into Art.

A piece of wood on the lathe serves as a blank canvas would for a painter. The various chisels and embellishment tools are the pigments and brushes. Unlike the painter or potter who may rework a flaw in their work, working with wood on the lathe is a one-way process. Disappointments or errors in form or technique are usually final; that piece finds its way to the "designer firewood pile."

Their work has been influenced by exposure to many mentors through their membership in numerous artistic associations over the past 15 years, including Tennessee CRAFTS. They were granted membership in the Southern Highlands Craft Guild in 2009. Their work has been juried and received awards in numerous juried exhibitions.

Monique Carr
After growing up in Montreal, Canada and spending 10 years in the Cayman Islands, Monique Carr and her husband Hank Carr made East Tennessee home in 1999. The style that emerges in Monique’s work bursts with energy as she combines expressive colors and intriguing textures. Her florals are fun and full of energy. “My contemporary landscape and floral paintings are a fusion of experience, experiment and emotion.”

Annette Zimmerman
Tenderly cuddling a newborn. Getting your child ready for the day. These are two moments, universal to motherhood, that exemplify a female’s love for the future she’s created.

My work shows these shared, fundamental gestures to plead for the preservation of helpless victims of our consumer culture. I chose pastel to create the softness reminiscent of a fond memory.

Will these fleeting moments soon be gone forever?

Monet LaClair
I have been creating textile art for 20 years and teaching art for 11 years. Over the past few years, I have been drawn to tapestry weaving because of its slow meditative process. As a mother of 2 small children and a full time elementary art teacher, my art-making time is limited. My woven necklaces have been essential to maintaining my art-making practice while juggling life as a working mom.

Mary Nees
My two-dimensional investigations are responses prompted by a long-term interest in ancient scripture, and current glimpses in nature — which are signs of the same. My colors, brushes and marking tools start moving and crafting to echo the ideas. Herein is not explicit communication, but rather a gestural sense that I hope moves the viewer toward her own investigation.

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