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Featured Artist: Art is a family affair for Gray's Rod Haaland

Jonathan Roberts • Sep 2, 2019 at 4:44 PM

For Rod Haaland, Saturday’s inaugural Mill Spring Makers Faire in Jonesborough was as much of a family outing as it was a business one.

Haaland’s family, his wife, Roseanne, his son, Curtis, and his two daughters, Katy Greene and Cari Muse, are all artists, though only Rod Haaland and his two daughters set up shop in Mill Spring Park on Saturday.

“It’s very satisfying to see everyone flourishing in their craft,” Rod Haaland said. “Some of them didn’t think they would be (artists).”

Muse, Haaland said, didn’t think of herself as an artist growing up and took very few art classes. In fact, Muse’s time was spent on the field as an All-State soccer player in high school, later playing in college as well.

“I just love creativity,” said Muse, who does textile work and loves patterns. “I think it’s very healthy to make things with your hands.”

And though her sister works with jewelry instead of fabric, she feels the same way about art.

“Even if you’re not an artist as a career, it’s such a healthy tactile expression of emotion and interpreting beauty that you encounter,” Greene said.

The best part for them though, is the family aspect.

“It’s awesome,” Greene said of being part of an artistic family. “We all encourage each other and we can always bounce ideas off each other, but it’s also intimidating because they’re all super talented.”

“Katy ended up with a visual arts degree at East Tennessee State (University), and now I collaborate with her,” Haaland said. “She does drawings and I convert them into a ceramic decal -- it’s her drawing on my pot.”

And though parents often try and push their kids away from art, and schools frequently cut art programs, both Greene and Muse are hoping to imprint their artistic leanings onto their children -- much like their parents did with them.

“I think it gives you freedom…it creates open mindedness,” Muse said, adding that her four-year-old is already getting into drawing.

“Definitely my kids are going to be doing some art projects and they’re going to like it,” Greene joked.

If you’re interested in checking out their work, they’re all on Instagram @rodhaaland, @musetextiles, @greeneriverstudio and @freehillblades.

“Arts draw out, from your mind and your heart, a way of learning that’s different than (anything else),” Haaland says. “There’s just enjoyment, joy and a depth of understanding and appreciation you get from arts that’s hard to get otherwise.”

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