Robert Tino and Sugarland Cellars Release “Dance of the Fireflies” to Benefit Friends of the Smokies

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Something special was happening at the Robert Tino Gallery on Saturday, June 24th and I knew that I had to see it. It was the release of the Dance of the Fireflies wine label on Sugarland Cellars summer wine. I dropped by after noon and this is what I saw at the gallery.

First, I always love walking into the Robert Tino Art Gallery. To say that it is beautiful inside and out would be an understatement.

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The house that holds the gallery is lovely.

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It is especially beautiful in the summer.

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The release party was to be held from 10:00-3:00 p.m. There would be a tasting and specials on wine and art. It is a delightful collaboration.

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I walked through the front door and immediately saw the new print framed and sitting on a table. I just now noticed this special frame and may have to go back and get it. Notice the front part of the frame. The whole thing is enchanting.

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This table is perfection!

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I wandered into the next room and was met by Holly Jones and David Elrod. Holly serves as Director of Community Outreach and Strategy for Friends of the Smokies. David is a manager for Sugarland Cellars. He explained how this summer wine comes from 3 grapes, the most interesting being a ‘Niagra’ grape. It is the same grape used to make Welches white grape juice. I noted that it was a semi-sweet wine with a nice taste of real grapes.

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A taste allowed gallery customers try it before purchase. It was very good! Elrod explained that it is a white table wine; therefore, it needs to be consumed within ten to twelve months. It does not age well. Pair it with chicken, fish, pasta, or salad.

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I asked the price and it only costs $20 a bottle—including the signature of the artist! I was not expecting such a reasonable price for a collectable bottle. The print is stunning and the wine completely surprised me so I bought one for a gift. Look how beautiful the label is above!  The blue bottle is perfect.

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Robert Tino explained that he has gone to the mountains, mainly Elkmont and Greenbrier, many times to see the fireflies. The idea of painting the fireflies became more clear to him as his considered what to paint for the wine label this summer.  In all, this is the sixth label of the series for Sugarlands Cellars. There is a limited number though—only 1,000 bottles are available.

Tino began the collaboration with Sugarland Cellars in 2012. In all, Holly said that it has contributed over $100,00 to the Friends of the Smokies through the years. A percentage of each sale adds up.

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This is Ginger, a Tino fan from Knoxville with family roots in the King’s Branch Road area. She bought two prints to take home. I may have to go back and get the one on the right for myself!

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I got confused for a moment about terminology, but David Elrod explained how ‘cellars’ indicates wine, while ‘distilleries’ create other spirits. Sugarland Cellars is located in Gatlinburg. The address is 1133 Parkway in Gatlinburg.

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Artist, Robert Tino, signs a bottle of Sugarland Cellars wine with a gold marker.

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You can see his signature on my bottle above. The gold signature complements the gold text on the label. It is exquisite.

Because it is a collectible, one must be careful not to throw the bottle in the trash just by habit when it is finished. That would be unfortunate!

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I was excited to buy a signed bottle of Sugarland Cellars “Dance of the Fireflies” wine with a signature by artist Robert Tino. That is the least that I can do to be a Friend of the Smokies! After the year that they have had, we need to go the extra mile.

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There are so many beautiful things to see at the gallery. I must return soon.

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Remember that there are only a limited number of bottles. Get yours soon!

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It was a great way to get out and about in Sevierville while helping Friends of the Smokies.

 

 

Charlotte’s Creative: A New Arts Center in Downtown Sevierville

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If you are interested in opening a business in downtown Sevierville then I recommend that you make haste because spaces are filling up quickly—which is great news! Several art galleries and a restaurant are taking shape. I visited an art space last Friday after the farmer’s market and can’t wait to go back. Let me take you to Charlotte’s Creative on Bruce Street.

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I saw mention of Charlotte’s Creative grand opening on Facebook so I knew that I could nt miss it. It is almost across from Sims Barber Shop on Bruce Street. It is very near the Sevier County Heritage Museum. Here is a link to her Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/Charlottes-Bruce-Street-Creative-318553705267269/

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Charlotte’s Creative is beautiful inside! The front section is like a combination shop/gallery. Love the rugs! Everything is arranged beautifully!

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Artist, Charlotte Wear, and a friend, are ready for the grand opening event on Bruce Street.

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Books for sale by a local author.

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The violins are beckoning!

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Charlotte Wear has taken classes from the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, as well as the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The artist has finally created her dream space in downtown Sevierville. In this space, there will be a shop, a teaching area, a working area, and maybe a performance area. She will teach classes with diverse kinds of media. Her goal is to teach at least classes 3 days a week using metal, glass, textiles, or clay, and more. My friend and I are trying to decide which class to take first.

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Paige McClure attending the grand opening of Charlotte’s Creative.

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A gallery wall.

Entertainer, Sam Lewis, played music for the evening event. Charlotte told me that she had heard him play at Barley’s in Knoxville and enjoyed his music very much.  Sam Lewis has opened for Leon Russell and played with Chris Stapleton. That sounds like a good pedigree to me!

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You can hear Lewis’ music on these CDs. Here is a link to his Facebook page. You can see that he has a busy schedule!

https://www.facebook.com/samlewistunes/

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Artists and family attend the grand opening evening event.

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These earrings are beautiful. Must shop here soon when I have more time. You can always use another set of earrings!

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Charlotte Wear introduces singer, Sam Lewis to a full house.

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Remember that name—Sam Lewis. He is a rising star.

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As I went to my car to go to a cookout, I noticed that there were many cars parked downtown. Some were at Charlotte’s Creative. IMG_3867

Others were arriving to get a good seat for the movie, “9 to 5” with Dolly Parton.

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Things are busy on Fridays now in downtown Sevierville—and that is a very good thing. Get out and enjoy!

See you at Charlotte’s Creative for a class some time when we are out and about in Sevierville. 

Farmers Market + Celebrity Canine Visit+ New Art Opening + Visit to United Way Office= A Lively Day Downtown: Friday, June 17, 2017

IMG_3688You may remember my previous story about a visit last Friday from Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund and his brother Oakley. I was just walking to the famers market and there they were! Mayor Waters came out to welcome them to the city. I texted Anita that I would be a few minutes late.

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The dogs and their owners spent the week in Sevier County and then did a book signing in Knoxville on Saturday. Such cute pups and well behaved!

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Next, I met Anita at Courthouse Donuts for coffee, but there was there was not much time to chat. By 11:30, time was passing quickly for the market closes at 1:00. We were off to the market.

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First stop, the ‘make-it-and take-it’ booth, sponsored by the Sevierville Commons Arts Council.

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I tried my hand at screen printing a t-shirt. I chose hot pink animal paws on a white T-shirt. There was also a jewelry making table and more. It was free and very busy. IMG_3753

People created a design on their shirt then let it dry while they shopped. This was the last “make-it-and-take-it” opportunity for the year. Council members obtained grants to provide the sessions this summer. If you are a business and would like to help them provide more sessions this summer, just contact the Sevierville Commons Art Council. Here is a link to their website and contact info: https://www.seviervillecommonsartscouncil.org

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These kids loved the ‘make-it-and-take-it’ booths at the farmers market. Look at the necklaces that they made! I admired them and wished that I had time to make one too. Their mother and I do HIIT classes together at NFC.

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We saw our friend, Gina Davis. She had bought a basil plant because some kind of wildlife has been eating the basil at her home.

IMG_3756My favorite things at the farmers market!

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A downtown worker taking a break and walking through the market.

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I like this vendor from Grainger County. Always friendly.

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Sophia Conerly, member of the Sevierville Commons Association talking with Jim McGill, Membership Co-Ordinator for the Chamber of Commerce.

IMG_3795I saw a lot of Methodists downtown last Friday!

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More shoppers enjoying the market.

No music in the gazebo last week. Only the sound of a chain saw working it’s magic.

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I missed the chain saw artist at work, but hope to catch him again in the future. These bears are adorable!

There is a new creative space on Bruce Street and it is good! Stay tuned to my next blog story for more about Charlotte’s Creative Space, by local artist, Charlotte Wear.

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Jim McGill, Chamber of Commerce Membership Co-Ordinator, is happy to see busy vendors and shoppers downtown.

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The plants downtown have never been more beautiful!

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A new restaurant is going into the Fox Building and it is going to be exciting. There will be a back patio, as seen in the drawing posted in this window. This is one of the best restaurants in Market Square in Knoxville, but there is a usually a long wait for a table. It is coming to our town soon. Stay tuned for more info!

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I noticed a new corporate office downtown.

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On the way to another store, Melinda and I ran into Amy Harper, Executive Director of the United Way of Sevier County. Amy asked if we wanted to come up to see their office. And what a nice space it is!

IMG_3829 I loved her view of the courthouse. She often sees people/tourists/visitors taking pictures at the Dolly Parton statue and has the perfect view from her window. Wonderful natural light coming in through the windows.

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Amy Harper and Emily Whaley in the United Way office. Emily just chaired the Night at the Derby fundraiser last April. Make sure you go next year!

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In the meantime, get ready for Drums on Dam, part 2 !

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I barely had time to do everything on my agenda so next week I will plan on arriving much earlier to the downtown Sevierville farmers market. It was a busy Friday while we were out and about in Sevierville. See you there!

Farmers Market and Downtown Visit: June 2, 2017

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It was a warm June day—perfect for a summer farmers market in downtown Sevierville. My first stop was the booth you see above. The Sevierville Commons Arts Council was conducting two ‘make-it-and-take-it’ sessions, one painting and the other for making old fashioned ‘church’ dolls.

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Crystal Lynn Sharp coaches some young painters at one ‘make-it-and-take-it’ booth.

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Everything is set out and ready to use. So convenient, so step right up!

I took an empty seat at the doll-making session and decide to try my hand at it.  Susan Thacker, doll-maker, explained that they were called ‘church dolls.’

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A long time ago, parents would make toys by hand. A hard, heavy toy could fall on the floor during church and make a loud noise; thus, it was necessary to make something that was quieter. The church doll was made of cloth so it made no noise at all.

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I liked the doll that I made so much that I asked to make one for my niece. I remembered a lot of the steps and made it quickly.

The lady who makes the beautiful bars of soap is back. My friends will be glad to see her!

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Excited to see these!

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Sevierville Commons Arts Council members and artists: Crystal Lynn Sharp, Andrea Wilson, Jill Green, and Bobbi Lovell.

These flowers were amazing. Take some home on a Friday!

IMG_1282The city is doing an outstanding job with the flowers and greenery downtown. The one below is exceptional.

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I stopped by Courthouse Donuts to find them extremely busy for the Free Doughnut Day nationwide. They were hard at work.

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If you go to the downtown farmers market then it is a good idea to stop by other businesses to see what is new. They are open after the market closes at 1:00 and waiting to serve you. With this, I walked just a few doors farther to visit another artist, Bev Gwinn Jones and Two Coyotes Studio.

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It is next to D Garden. I could hear the music next door at D Garden and wished that I had more time to go in. Next time!

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Go up the stairs and you will find yourself in the studio.

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There is so much to see. It is a feast for the eyes and the soul.

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Bev is a well known artist in town. I love the earrings and jewelry. The prices are very affordable too! Look around and find the picture of her with a famous rock star. I won’t tell who it is, but you will have some questions when you find it. So fun!

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This is the store where you can buy the necklace pictured above. I love mine.

As I exited the store, I took a moment and saw no tourists taking pictures with the Dolly statue. The courthouse was looking good in the bright light so I leave you with this picture.

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There will be two more Sevierville Commons Arts Council ‘make-it-and-take-it’ sessions left. Bring the kids and enjoy!

See you out and about in Sevierville at the downtown farmers market.

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Sevierville Commons Arts Council Presents the March 2017 Art Happening

Every Sevierville Art Happening event is quite unique; however, this time I felt like I was in Asheville, North Carolina. The vibe was relaxed and chill. My favorite piece of art portrayed green forests. The March Art Happening was very enjoyable! Here is what I saw last Thursday evening. 

 

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Featured Artist for March 2017 is Christina Crofoot, pictured left. Karah Mullins, pictured right, is a friend who traveled to Sevierville for the opening.

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Karah Mullins and Ty Hayter traveled from Bristol to attend the event.

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Keener Shanton, Christina Crofoot, and Lynette Hill in front one of Christina’s paintings. This one is my favorite!

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Crystal Lynn Sharp, Christina Crofoot, Lee Murray, and Chong O’Leary chat about art in Sevierville.

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Katie, Mark and Samantha Smith enjoying the sights and sounds.

Entertainment was provided by Ross Heatherly. I realized that I had heard him before at the Bruce St. Brewfest in October. Ross has a band called Sweet Leaf and also plays solo. He can be found at this link on Facebook.    https://www.facebook.com/Rossdafareye/

Ross is a 2010 graduate of Sevier County High School and played offensive line for the Smoky Bears. Later, he played football for a couple of years at TN Tech. He had played a gig the night before in downtown Knoxville at the Concourse. I asked him to play some Jimi Hendrix that I had heard last October and he was glad to oblige. Here is a new clip of the song.

 

Christina Crofoot is a quilter and painter, incorporating geometric shapes into her work. She says that she is inspired by fabric, quilting, and by nature and uses a lot of color and abstracts. She works out of her home in an old farmhouse, which sounds perfect for artistic creativity and inspiration. img_5319.jpg

My favorite painting is the one featured above with the forests and trees.

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Attendees pictured here are Tom, Kathy, and Laurel Kiewitt, along with Joyce Eick.

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Sevierville Arts Council board members pictured here are Andrea Wilson and Jill Green. Tammy Busman is pictured right.

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Sophia Connerly, Sevierville Commons member, chats with Andrea Wilson about upcoming projects for the spring and summer. An important event coming up is the Co.Starters, which begins on April 10th. The Sevierville Commons Arts Council has been awarded a $15,000 grant to present a Co.Starters program for those who wish to open a small business. Instead of a $500 fee, the grant allows only a $100 fee for the 9 week workshop. Please contact the Sevierville Commons Arts Council if you are interested in this opportunity. Here is the link to their webpage, email address is located at the bottom of their page.

https://www.seviervillecommonsartscouncil.org

Here is a link to learn more https://costarters.co

I got a late start to the Art Happening due to a HIIT class at 5:00 so I stayed until the end of the event. As I strolled down the street, the sun was setting on the courthouse. I love to photograph it different kinds of light. Then, I noticed something else.

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Just a few feet away, a family from Hartsville, Alabama was taking pictures at the Dolly statue so I helped them take a few photos and they allowed me to take one of them for this story. You see people taking photos there all the  time, but wonder where they are from.

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It was a nice March evening out and about in Sevierville.

Art Happening Downtown Sevierville: February 23, 2017

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The Sevierville Commons Arts Council is off to great start in 2017 with Art Happenings downtown. They presented the first Art Happening of 2017 on Thursday evening and it was full of attendees from Sevier County, Maryville, and beyond. I arrived a few minutes late, but was in time to enjoy a nice event. Here is what I saw…

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I walked in to see quite a crowd. In fact, the biggest crowd so far for an Art Happening in downtown Sevierville. The featured artist this month was Mary Ruden, an artist who is inspired by the natural world, particularly butterflies, orchids, and other flowers. She is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists and the American Botanical Society. She creates paintings, photography, and sculpture. This creation below was so beautiful that I had to touch it. Don’t tell.

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I was impressed with her banners that once hung in downtown Knoxville in the Arts District.

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Every table was full of attendees. I saw quite a few people that I knew so it was quite a lively evening.

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Music was provided by Munson and Wear. When I walked in, they were singing a song by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. One of my favorite groups! It was great and their music provided a nice ‘vibe.’

Art Council board member, Jill Green, pictured left. Mary Phillips, center, is a local artist and book author/illustrator. Arts Council Board member, Laurel Kiewitt, pictured right.

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Randy and Karen Bable pictured with Jim McGill.

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I am taking a picture of Jeff Ferrell, of the Mountain Press, who is taking a picture of the Art Happening featured artist. A picture of a picture.

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I like this painting called “Little Justice.”

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Patsy Wallace, pictured right, came to hear her friend, Charlotte Wear. We enjoyed the musical entertainment and hope to hear them again very soon. More Tom Petty too!

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Susan and Richard Gehring will be moving here from Florida.

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Art Happening Featured Artist for February 2017, Mary Ruden.

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She designed this for the event coming in April. Here is a link. http://www.springwildflowerpilgrimage.org

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Artists talk about their work and it is always interesting. I always learn something new.

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The evening was so nice that the front doors were open to the breeze.

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I love the big windows in Dyers Downtown that face the courthouse.

You can see the reflection in the window above!

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As I walked down the street to my car, I couldn’t resist taking just one more picture of the  courthouse…

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…and the Dolly Parton statue.

There were no tourists around so I snapped a picture in peace; however, passersby probably thought that I was the tourist.

The Sevierville Commons Arts Council will install the next artist’s work next month and the next Happening is tentatively scheduled for April. Stay tuned to learn more!

Here is a link to their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CommonsArtsCouncil/

and their website.  https://www.seviervillecommonsartscouncil.org

See more of my pictures on the Facebook page just for my blog pictures. Here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1254469567899261/

It is an enjoyable event and I always look forward to the Art Happenings. See you at the next one when we are out and about in Sevierville. 

Amazing Art Studio in the Smokies!

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Lately, there is fun trend: painting with friends for a relaxing hour or two. As a blogger, I need to learn Photoshop and digital photography skills. Amazingly, there are some studios in our county where you can do these activities. In fact, I found a studio where you can do both, and more! This is the first art studio that I have visited and it impressed me. Here is what I found at the Art Studio of the Smokies. 
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I took the back roads to the Glades, where it intersects with Highway 321 in Gatlinburg. At the traffic light, you barely turn right then you will see Buie’s Landing on the left, location of the Art Studio of the Smokies. This studio is owned by Camille Barton Spires, an artist from Augusta, Georgia. Camille has 20 years of teaching experience and is a certified art and graphics instructor. She relocated to Gatlinburg to realize her dream to open her own art studio one and a half years ago.   
The address for the studio is
 1360 East Parkway, Suite 6, Buies’ Landing,
 Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738. 

Here is a link to her website.

http://www.artstudioofthesmokies.com

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It is quite an attractive doorway, as you would imagine. So pretty!

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I admired the comfortable sunroom like waiting area by the front door.

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This is the view from one of the sofas. I can imagine that parents would be happy here waiting for children to finish their classes/projects.

Camille is pictured below on the right. I took this photo at a  Sevierville Commons Arts Council Art Happening last summer. You can make some helpful contacts at those Art Happenings gatherings and learn some helpful skills! Plus, the people are really super nice.

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When I arrived, Camille told me that WBIR Channel 10 had just contacted her to ask permission to film her studio for a segment on Live At Five At Four. I was alternately excited for her and chagrined that I had worn an older sweater in case I was to be filmed. Lesson learned—always dress nicer than you think. It was exciting to know that the station was sending a reporter nonetheless!

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The painting room set-up is excellent. You can see the natural lighting from the big windows and the aisle from which the instructor can stroll and coach students with their creations.

Camille says, “I love teaching art lessons so that people grow confident and develop their own approach and love of art….both locals as well as vacations and school breaks when people can relax and explore new ways to get creative and have some ‘me time’.” She says that the ratio seems to be about 80% locals who visit her studio.

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Look at all the art fun that you can have with friends!
Art parties, art camps, ‘paint and sip’ get-togethers. theme parties, birthday parties, showers, etc.
Art classes work especially well  in groups. Individual instruction may also be scheduled.

 

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An art teacher’s dream setup for materials!

Camille says, “Couples painting is a big hit with dual canvases that go together…for anniversaries and honeymoon memories….and Valentine’s is coming up! Also, personalized paint parties with friends or family painting is a great indoor activity for the winter months. In addition, birthday parties and painting certificates as birthday gifts are growing in popularity.” It is the perfect winter activity.

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Here is a student project in progress. I like the projection on the screen to enhance instruction.

Here are a few student projects.

 

 

The computer lab is upstairs. I was amazed at what I found.

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I was expecting 2 or 3 computers, but this lab can accommodate 8-12 people at a time. This is quite impressive!

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The desktops have a perfect view of the screen which was projecting a slideshow of student projects. We sat down for about an hour comparing Photoshop to Lightroom and which may best suit my needs. Camille guided me through some basic Photoshop points, creating messages and watermarks on pictures. I can’t wait to go back and learn more.

The reporter from WBIR-TV 10 arrived on time and taped quietly in the back of the room during my lesson. It was warm enough upstairs that I changed from the old sweater to my long sleeve black T-shirt. You can only see part of my face in the last seconds of the video shown today so all was well! Click this link to see the WBIR TV segment today on Camille Barton Spires and her Art Studio in the Smokies. The segment is only a couple of minutes, but gives you a good overview of her studio. It is fabulous!

http://www.wbir.com/news/local/five-at-four/studio-appeals-to-artists-of-any-age-and-skill-level/384510680

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Here are some things that you can learn in the computer lab.

  • Digital and computer based instruction in photography and Photoshop
  • Illustration and graphics
  • Compositions and layout techniques
  • Portfolio development

These are listed on the brochure for live sound and digital recording

  • basics for running live sound
  • beginning classes for digital recording
  • instruction on analog and digital consoles

This is an outstanding studio in which to learn, create, and enjoy your time. Call to find an open appointment with Camille. I highly recommend a visit soon.

To see these pictures and more, go to my blog Facebook page for pictures only. Click this link to go there now.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1254469567899261/

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