Art Happening Featuring David Freeman , April, 2019

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There was a nice warm breeze as I wandered across Bruce Street to see the April 2019 Art Happening at the Arts In Common Gallery. The Sevierville Commons Arts Council had announced a presentation featuring local artist, David Freeman. I had seen his work before and had read a recent news article about him that was interesting so I knew that this would be a particularly interesting event.

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Featured artist, David Freeman, and Lee Murray. Interestingly, Lee is the subject of the portrait which is displayed behind them in the photo. You have to see it closer to appreciate the colors and light in the painting.

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Freeman is clearly a talented portraitist. The portrait to the left is the artist’s mother.

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These events are sure to have other artists in attendance. Aiden, Chuck, and Levi Ottolini enjoyed the April Art Happening. Chuck is a well known local artist in Sevierville. He is known for stained glass that has beautified many a church window in East Tennessee. Ottolini has also created some amazing things for local businesses. Go to Sevier Distilling Company and see the beautiful things in the tasting room.

IMG_4770Katie and Austin Williams came by to visit with a couple of very special guests!

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The music was quite relaxing and lent a nice ambiance to the event. Local musician, Tony Negrðn, plays many genres of music and makes the event feel so comfortable. His specialty is Smoky Mountain Delta Blues.

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David Freeman uses pastels, acrylic oils, and water colors in his art. A Cocke County native, Freeman is naturally inspired by the scenery and beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.

IMG_4775Freeman grew up in Cocke County and attended Cocke County High School. He took classes in college and ended up majoring in art at ETSU.

 

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Freeman worked as a graphic artist for a while, then started doing pastels, pet portraits, and portraits in general.

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The table held beautiful displays.

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Refreshment was perfectly tailored for the event and for those who enjoy a treat after work. The cheesecake bites were perfect!

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Lee Murray created a beautiful table and delightful hors d’oeuvres. It was lovely.

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It is not near Christmast time, but I was really wanting this figurine!

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During the program, Freeman addressed the attendees and told about his path to being the artist that he is today. Most interesting, he told about creating a portrait of Christ during a church or revival service. It took him only 15 minutes and the final painting stood over 6 feet tall.

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Freeman has been painting large scale murals. This is a plan for one that will soon begin in Jefferson County, off of exit 417. He unrolled a template so that we could see what he was describing. Freeman has already painted a mural in Gatlinburg at the Blue Green Mountain Loft Resort. That mural is 12 feet tall and over 90 feet long. A must see!

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I was especially happy to run into an old friend at the event, Jack Maples, pictured right. David Freeman was the winner of a $1,000 prize in a widely publicized mural contest last year for Maples Motor Inn. The other local finalists were award winning artists Shannon Kelly and Mark Smothers. Jack Maples has commissioned a mural to be painted on the back of his motel, which faces LeConte Center. They are waiting for the city of Pigeon Forge to approve a new ordinance to allow it. I can’t wait to see this mural some day!
My friends know that I love murals and finding them in our travels. I have not known exactly how to explain this love of murals until I heard Freeman talk about it at the Art Happening last week. He said that he likes murals “because you feel like you stepped right into a painting.” Bingo! That explains why I love them so much.

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During the event, I chatted with several other artists. One artist creates figurative sculptures. This one is called What’s Up, Cupcake? These are amazing art dolls for collectiions.

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Here is her contact info. You can see three more of her figurative sculptures at the Arts in Common Gallery on Bruce Street.

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I admired these delicate creations by Emily Kelly Ede. Each was light as a feather and lovely. The prices are very good as well.

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She has more jewelry on display at the Arts in Common Gallery. These earrings are available in the gallery.

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It was soon time for me to go so I bid farewell to the artist and the attendees. Here are two of the Art Happening attendees and fans of David Freeman’s work. I love all the colors in this photo!

David Freeman is an outstanding local artist and I am excited to see the new murals that he will be creating, both in Pigeon Forge and in Jefferson County. This Art Happening allowed me to learn more about the artist and his work, especially in my favorite genre: murals.

Sadly, the Arts in Common Gallery may be closing in July because grants will soon be finished and they are not sure about the future. That means that you will have at least two more opportunities to visit an Art Happening in the Bruce Street gallery before anything changes. I encourage you to come spend a little time in their gallery. It is such a lovely place for visiting, relaxing, or their many ‘Make IT and Take It’ sessions. Even more, it enriches our community.

Art Happenings are one of the best ways to enjoy getting out and about in Sevierville. 

United Way of Sevier County Presents Night at the Derby 2019

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It was a perfect April evening as people walked the red carpet to enter the United Way’s fifth annual Night at the Derby event held at Walters State Community College. Excitement was in the air as we anticipated food, beverages, races, prizes, seeing friends, and fun. Even more, supporters showed up in their finery to support one of the hardest working organizations in Sevier County due to the fact that it supports 17 agencies in our area. Come along and see these supporters, fabulous derby fashions, food, and entertainment. Welcome to Night at the Derby 2019!

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I arrived a few minutes before 6:00 so I could take pictures before it got busy.

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You couldn’t ask for a better greeting!

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After checking in, the first stop was the Kapture booth with a custom photo made to commemorate the event. This is included in the ticket price and a really nice memento of the evening.

A regular photo booth is old news—this is new technology and the perfect event souvenir. Veronica Watson Walter utilizes a ‘green screen’ and you choose custom backdrop Veronica creates for the event. Just a lot of fun!

 

 

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Executive Director of the United Way of Sevier County, Amy Harper, greets attendees with Maggie Atchley, a Derby event committee member and, according to Amy Harper,  “an asset to the team.”

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I slipped into the main room to see the beautiful tables. The centerpieces were created by Dustin Manning, owner of D. Garden in downtown Sevierville. Fabulous tulip arrangements!

IMG_4815 Bryan McCarter, Vice Mayor of Sevierville, served as Master of Ceremonies for the event. He is pictured with his wife, Anna White McCarter. I have attended ballgames and other events in which Bryan has led the commentary. It is fast paced and humorous. He has generated many, many a chuckle from me and my friends so I knew that the night was in good hands.

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Ladies were dressed in their Derby finery! From left to right: Sonya Brackins, Paula King, Jodi Ramsey, Pam Ithli, and Amy Harper.

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Of course, Mint Juleps are always the the signature cocktail of the Kentucky Derby.

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Old Forge Distillery was set up and ready to serve attendees with refreshments. Do you notice what is on the far left side of the table? Those wonderful specialty chocolates!

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This decor is lovely! Run for the roses!

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Janet Barnes and Harriet Berrier were present and ready to support the United Way. Hats were from Sassafras, in the Old Mill complex in Pigeon Forge.

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Ready for service. Shaken, not stirred!

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United Way of Sevier County Derby volunteers, Delinda Summers and Jessica Popek, are with Senior Citizens Home Assistance.

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Brandy and Ashley Burnette were ready at the funny money payout table. They are veterans for the event and ready to go.

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Bob and Becky York, from the Sevierville Civic Center, were ready for a busy evening.

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Jane Howes, from the Civic Center, also volunteered for the event.

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Donna Huffaker and Bobby Vann support the United Way of Sevier County. Donna just competed in “Dancing With the Stars” to support the organization.

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It was wonderful seeing Melanie Webb and Kelly DeBord. I believe that Kelly is the ♥♥ of Sevierville.

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People in Derby attire continued to enter the event from the red carpet.

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Surely, Hunter and Jessica McIntosh must have been contenders for the best dressed couple.

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It was easy to find Derby fashions everywhere. United Way supporters pictured left to right were Hayley, Ashley, Reed, Dustin, Thomas, and Amber.

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Margit and Earl Worsham were enjoying the evening. They are always strong supporters of the United Way and it is truly a pleasure to talk with them.

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Allison Rosenberg, Grant Rosenberg, Kelly and Dana Headden attending the Night at the Derby. I love Dana’s cabi Primrose dress from the cabi Spring ’19 collection.

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Larry Waters, Mayor of Sevier County, enjoys a conversation with Dr. Bozeman.

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A table of Derby fashionistas enjoying the evening.

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There were so many beautiful hats and dresses at Night at the Derby!

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Emily Whaley is pictured left, with Amy Harper, Executive Director of the United Way of Sevier County. Emily Whaley is clearly a driving force that makes Night at the Derby so successful. Amy Harper said, “Emily has co-chaired this great event for five years with Allen Newton, both board members of the organization. They have given their time, talents, and leadership  in making Night at the Derby a huge success for the United Way! ( I admired Emily’s cabi Untamed Dress from the spring ’19 collection. )

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It was soon ‘off to the races!’ Things started to get busy at the tables.

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Mike Comer and Marcie Shrandt were ready for the ‘run for the roses.’ In addition, Mike was a contestant in the recent Dancing With the Stars fundraiser for the United Way.

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Jeremy LaDuke and Pinkie Mistry were dressed for Derby fun.

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Mark Ross, Chief Professional Officer of Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains, chats with Michael Maddron, County Commisioner for the 5th District of Sevierville.

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John Matthews and Derby fashionistas supporting the United Way.

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Josh Chambers and Keener Shanton had a chat and enjoyed the evening.

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The special moonshine filled chocolates by Old Forge Distillery were shaped like jockey caps  this year. Loved them! They were probably my favorite thing.

When things slowed down, I went back to the Kapture photo area to talk to Veronica. I have known her for a while and was excited to hear more about this amazing, modern ‘photo booth’ that she has created to use at events.

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Veronica showed me how it works and I was amazed. What you see in the photo above works kind of like a giant IPad. She is a graphic artist so you have an unbelieveable choice of backgrounds for your special photo. And, yes, she used to be a model!

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It was so nice to run into Joel Brannon and Heather Freshko. I last saw Joel at a SCHS Turkey Chase 5K race. Heather owns the new Mountain Zen Yoga Studio on Bruce Street downtown. Soon, I will try to attend one of her classes on Tuesday or Thursday evening at 6:30. The ‘Rest and Restore’ class is just what I will need this spring.

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Carol and John Linsenbigler enjoyed the Derby event. She is a teacher and he is chief of the Seymour Volunteer Fire Department.

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United Way supporters from Seymour also included Elaina Delozier, Mark Dixon, Shannon Dixon, and Austin Dixon.

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I checked on the festivities and saw that Bryan McCarter was quite busy and doing a great job. I think that he should be the ‘Voice of the Vols’ some day. Don’t you?

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These United Way supporters from the Helen Ross McNabb Center are tres chic!

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You can eat healthily at these events. We are always glad to see Healthy Balance—it is always good!

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I was impressed with the offerings by Wilderness at the Smokies. Wonderful offerings!

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The Gatlinburg Convention Center was not to be outdone with desserts and roses for the ladies. Smoky Mountain Foodie chose the  Margarita Mousse was her favorite dessert. This booth was very special, from decorations, roses, desserts, to the award winning chili. They won the 2018 Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff.

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You would have liked the Hot Pimento Cheese and Crab Dip by Muligans at the Sevierville Golf Course. I wish that I had some right now.

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I was excited to see Brick and Spoon at the Derby event because I follow them on Facebook and love looking at their foodie pictures. They had macaroni mixed with shrimp,  three cheeses and a truffle sauce. The jar shows a drink that they have on hand for breakfast and brunches: infused vodka.

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Courthouse Donuts is always a local foodie favorite. Little did people know, but the table was manned by a member of the award winning wrestling team from Pigeon Forge that competed at the state level this year. A star athlete was in our midst.

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Without a doubt, there was a nice variety of food and beverages—more than I could try.

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It was time for me to go so I took one last look at the races and action—all in fun to benefit the United Way of Sevier County. This will help them support over 17 agencies in our area. They deserve all the support that we can provide them.

I really enjoyed the Night at the Derby event. It was a pleasure to see the fashions and friends. Food and beverages were outstanding. All in all, those things plus the entertainment and prizes were well worth the admission price. In my opinion, it is the best event of the year in Sevierville.

Hope to see you next year at the Derby finish line while out and about in Sevierville. 

Pick Your Own Flowers at Rivers and Roots in Sevierville

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A new page popped up on Facebook this week and I was intrigued. There is a new ‘pick your own flowers’ place on the river, just off Robert Henderson Road. I talked three friends into going with me today and we discovered the most charming little place on the  river.  Put on your garden shoes and come along with us to Rivers and Roots in Sevierville.

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I went onto the Rivers and Roots Facebook page to find a map and hours. The navegation starts at National Fitness Center because that is where I was when I thought to look it up online.  I had never noticed this road along the river before. Turn right before the bridge.  https://www.facebook.com/riversandroots/  

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It was fun to explore to little River Road!

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Keep driving down River Road until you see this sign. Park in a dry area and walk on the wood chips avenue to the flowers. Or you could drive on the woods chips up to the main area.

IMG_4441Walk up to the green house area. There are flowers inside, and outside, beyond view.

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We were met by the owners, Sydney and Titus. They welcomed us and explained how things work. It has only been open 2 days!

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Prices are really good and you can cut a lot to fit a small bucket. My friends got to work while I took pictures. We all love flowers so excitement was in the air!

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We started outside the greenhouse because the flowers were beckoning us.

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Janice looks beautiful amidst the daffodils.

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Anita stands by the greenhouse area for the flowers. I need to find out what that is called!

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It was just too beautiful for words!

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It was a feast for the eyes under the canopy.

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Music was playing from the small building. As I was standing there, a song resonated with me and that exact moment. Good one! Click the link for a live shot—and to hear the song. My new favorite song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7rO6MDicvM&list=UUZ6cmtdU5I9jm7TPRaqgpbA

http://tinyurl.com/y528rufq

An attraction to Rivers and Roots is not just found in the lovely flowers; it is also the highly photographable things on the property. I found them to be irresistible and was drawn to several areas.

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But in the end, the flowers are the main attraction to Rivers and Roots. Amazing!

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Pick your own flowers and pay at the little stand.

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Elaine created the perfect nosegay. Bet you haven’t heard that word in a while! But it came to mind for this picture.

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So beautiful!

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Sydney and Titus bid us farewell. We will see them again soon!

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We headed back to the car.  Good friends, a good place, and a good day.

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Anita had to head out ahead of us. Follow the River Road back to Robert Henderson Road and you are back in town. It is only a hop, skip, and a jump away when you are out and about in Sevierville. 

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This is truly a special place. Wear old shoes or garden shoes and plan to stay a while. Come by and see the beauty at Rivers and Roots in Sevierville. So far, it is my favorite place of the year. You will like it too!