Journeys of Women Art Show: For women, by women

Tony Casey • Aug 28, 2016 at 12:00 AM

It’s hard to imagine a more admirable and important endeavor than helping the women of East Tennessee who need it most.

But doing so by highlighting the artwork of the some of region’s best artists, makes it reach a brand new level. That’s exactly what the nonprofit Women’s Fund of East Tennessee has done and is doing with their upcoming fourth Journeys of Women Art Show. The women-focused event will be held at Jonesborough’s McKinney Center from September 9-17, and open to the public during those dates.

During those dates, the public can purchase these works of arts that span various artistic mediums. A massive portion of those sales will go directly to the organizations in East Tennessee that help transform the lives of low-income women and girls here.

In the past four years, more than $300,000 of grant money has been awarded by the Women’s Fund in the direction of groups like Tusculum College, Red Legacy and the Boys and Girls Club of Elizabethton. These are just three examples of the 25 recipients over that four-year duration.

This year’s exhibits will feature pieces put together using oil and acrylic paints, as well as fiber, mixed media and photography, among other.

Jonesborough’s Sharon Squibb shared her thoughts on being a part of this art show, which is locally-focused. She explained her individual journey.

“I feel blessed,” she said. “Each of my days is a day spilling over with color and song and the joy and challenge of being an artist and a teacher. My personal trek led me from my childhood in Johnson City to art school in Knoxville and Cincinnati, then on to New York where I was an art and antiques book editor. Along the way, I discovered the joy of singing and performing. Years later I returned home again to settle among those in the educational arena. I draw, paint, and sculpt. I sing and dance. I teach. I can’t imagine a more fulfilling life. And, I live in Jonesborough.”

Squibb is joined by many other artists, who all have their own stories and journeys, all of which will be represented in the artwork they’ve shared. Other artists included in the show will be Theresa Markiw, Bennette Rowan, Misty Dempsey, Chasidy Hathorn, Deborah Bryan, Sheryl Daniels, Marianne Gubler, Tina Collison, Dottie Price, Coralie Tweed, Linda Loffman, Margaret Carr, Nancy Jane Earnest, Mary Nees, Fredda Roberts, Fran Rathburn, Becky Chapman, Peggy Root, Melinda Tweed, Carolyn Tomko, Judith Flohr, Nancy Fischman and Leslie Davis.

It will be a juried art show.

The board of the Women’s Fund foundation is made up of 21 dynamic, professional women, all committed to lifting up those who especially need assistance. Carol Transou, Cynthia Burnley, Judy Ingala and Nita Summers are credited with being the founders of the Women’s Fund, shaping its goals and mission to serve these women.

The work of these passionate women was honored in 2015 as being named “Foundation of the Year” by the Great Smoky Mountain Association of Fundraising Professionals. That organization is endorsed by Gov. Bill Haslam for work on violence against women.

With the upcoming art show, the foundation believes they’re holding to their vision that “every woman is self-sustaining. And we believe that when you invest in a woman, you invest in a family, a community, and ultimately a region. By helping women and girls, we create better communities for all of us.”

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