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. 

March 2019 Art Happening Featuring Audrie Prince

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Warmer weather made it nice to get out and about on Thursday so I was excited to arrive downtown for the Art Happening. Featured artist was Audrie Prince.

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The street was busy for 5:25 in the afternoon due to the Art Happening and a bustling dinner crowd at Graze Burgers.

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The weather was so nice that the doors remained open to enjoy a breeze.

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Audrie Prince also goes by the name Autumn Leaf in her work. She and her husband relocated here from Maine to enjoy the mountains and do what they love: art and aviation.

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Her work is beautifully displayed on the wall of the Arts in Common Gallery downtown. Prince is a multimedia artist who draws, paints, uses textiles and metals in her work.

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I, of course, chose the bear carving as a favorite.

Audrie has Penobscot roots; therefore, much of her art reflects nature and animals. The natural world. Prince is the only artist in the world who uses birch tree bark via paper cutting . She carves it using exacto knives and other implements.

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My colleague, Lee Anne Litton, would love this pig painted on feathers. So sweet! I have never seen anyone paint on feathers so that is unique.

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Fans and friends of the artist gathered around the collection.

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These are friends who have also acted in local theater productions with the artist. From left to right: Isabella Otter, Rendi Johnson, Judy Caldwell, and Cindy Johnson. After talking with them, I realized that I need to see some local productions soon!

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Audrie Prince also creates jewelry. These necklaces, modeled by her friends, were stunning!

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Also attending the Art Happening downtown were Rita Eakin, Jenny Dennis, and Catherine Fain Talbot. If I am not mistaken, Jenny’s paintings are featured on the walls  in the background of this picture. She already has two works commissioned in Knoxville.

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George and Jara Gillett enjoyed the Art Happening at the Arts in Common Gallery.

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Music sets the mood and it was nice. Tony Negron played some Smoky Mountain Delta Blues for the event. Find him on Facebook at   https://www.facebook.com/tcnegron/

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Refreshments at each Art Happening are unique and delightful, especially after a long day at work. These were wonderful!

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My favorite treats were the home made Petit Fours. Amazing! My compliments to the chef.

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IMG_3700Sevier Commons Arts Council board member, Crystal Lynn, and Audrie Prince take a moment to address attendees on the importance of the arts in our community.

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Audrie Prince also goes by the name ‘Autumn Leaf.’ Here is a beautiful necklace and some ways to contact her.

artisticadventureswithautumnleaf.com

https://www.facebook.com/ArtistAutumnLeaf/

IMG_3688There are more things being offered at the Arts in Common Gallery downtown. The Make It and Take It Workshop above will take place this Saturday, March 23 from      10:00 a.m. -12 p.m. Find more on the organization Facebook page.   https://www.facebook.com/CommonsArtsCouncil/

The Sevierville Commons Arts Council offers many opportunities to enjoy the arts in downtown Sevierville. Take advantage of these wonderful events. See you there!

A Visit to the Art Happening in Downtown Sevierville, February 2019

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The light from the Arts in Common Gallery was a beacon to all on a cool, rainy February evening. I parked across the street and hurried inside. Fighting off a cold or something going around, I still wanted to pop in to meet featured artist, Joan Swanson, and to see some of her work. It was a nice event and I was glad that I could make it.

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Street parking was still available, but you had to walk a little due to the Art Happening and the newly opened restaurant, Graze Burgers. It is always good to see busy streets in downtown Sevierville!

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My car was parked just steps away from the Arts in Common Gallery.

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I quickly ran into Andrea Wilson, board member of the Sevierville Commons Art Council, and featured artist, Joan Swanson. I like this area reserved for featured artist work because it invites you to look and linger a while. Natural light from the windows, wood flooring, and neutral wall color makes a perfect stage for local art. Swanson’s landscapes were well presented and I enjoyed taking my time to peruse them. Beach and mountain scenes are my favorites.

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Joan Swanson specializes in landscapes and pet portraits. You can find her pet portraits on the website Pawsofloveart.com .

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Look at these amazing pet portraits! They are extraordinary!

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I could not tell the difference between oil and pastel paintings. Joan told me that pastels go behind glass in a frame and oils do not. A simple fact, but something cool that I learned last Thursday at the Art Happening. Ask artist questions for you will learn a lot.

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I always enjoy going into the Arts in Common gallery to see the displays. There is always something new to see.

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Music was provided by Tony Negron, an instrumental, finger style guitarist. It was delightful.

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There are always refreshments so come to the Art Happening right after work.

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Everything is beautifully displayed.

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You are sure to find a gift at the Arts in Common Gallery. Shop while you visit.

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Arts Council board member, Laurel Kiewitt talks with Cheri Auman during the Art Happening.

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Local artist, Jenny Dennis, was enjoying the event. Look carefully at the four paintings on the wall because she created those pieces. You will be seeing more of her work in the future!

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Arts Council board member, Andrea Wilson, took a moment to address the crowd, encourage involvement with the group, and to detail upcoming spring events.

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I met Art Happening attendees Cheri Auman and David Freeman. Freeman has been a featured artist before and will soon be again.

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I always admire the beautiful, distressed brick walls in the gallery. The inset bookshelf is a lovely way to display art for the public. You can also purchase things if something catches your fancy.

Alas, an hour soon passed and I was ready to head home from a long day. Find the Sevierville Commons Arts Council on Facebook at this link. https://www.facebook.com/CommonsArtsCouncil/

See you at the next Art Happening on March 14th. The featured artist will be Audrie Prince. It is one of the best ways to be out and about in Sevierville. 

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Donuts to Dancing: Fundraiser for the United Way of Sevier County

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I was running late for a noon appointment in Knoxville, but had just enough time to run into Courthouse Donuts and check up on two contestants in their fundraiser for the United Way of Sevier County in advance of the Dancing With the Stars competition next month.

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The competition, as I understand it, has two parts. Fund raising and dancing. This a lot for someone to take on so I wanted to stop by and help these two hard working members of the community who have a long history supporting the United Way of Sevier County.

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Parking is so easy on Saturday mornings. I parked in front of the new yoga studio and walked around the corner to Courthouse Donuts for the fundraiser. Courthouse Donuts is the heart of downtown Sevierville, in my opinion, so that was a good place to be this morning.

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When I arrived around 11:00 a.m., the competitors were a whirlwind of energy. Pictured left to right: Marcie Shrandt with dance contestants Mike Comer, and Jaclyn Kile.

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I knew that $5 from each order of a dozen doughnuts went to the fundraiser so I looked at the menu to make a decision. An assortment was the easy option. I just looked at the last line on the menu and will order that next time!

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Jennifer Dyer was busy preparing the treats for all customers. She is a strong supporter of multiple organizations in Sevier County.

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Amy Barnett showing her support for the Comer/Kile team at the fundraiser.

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As I picked up my order, many people were starting to line up for their donuts too.

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Team Kile/Comer supporters from left to right: Amy Barnett, Amy Harper, Jodie Everhart, and Marcie Schrandt.

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It was time for me to run so I took one last look at the activity behind the counter. I asked the team if they have danced before. Mike Comer replied, “hell, no!” Asked if he would do it again? The same answer! For those reasons alone, I think that it would be great fun to attend the main event next month!

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Jaclyn Kile and Mike Comer have been practicing for their performance 2-3 times a week in addition to fund raising for the United Way. I can’t think of anyone better to win the mirror ball for dancing or the fundraising award for the United Way of Sevier County.

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The Best of 2018 in Photos: Out and About in Sevierville

Here is the best of 2018 while out and about in Sevierville. I’ll let the photos tell the stories, and there are many. What a year! (Because of the great amount of photos, I recommend using a desktop or tablet for quicker photo loading.)

Sevierville, it has been my pleasure…

January 2018

 

February 2018

 

March 2018

 

April 2018

 

May 2018 

 

June 2018 

 

July 2018 

 

August 2018 

 

September 2018

 

October 2018

 

 

November 2018 

 

December 2018 

 

Today Makes 200 Blog Stories!

I glanced at the analytics and noticed there are now 200 blog stories on this website—a milestone—so time out for a quick celebration!

This blog is mainly about a little town in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. I write about people, places, and events that are interesting to me, and maybe to locals and visitors too. My goal for the blog was to have a creative outlet while supporting the local art scene, charities, and small businesses. It has forced me to be more outgoing and less of an introvert. Consequently, I have met some remarkable people out and about in Sevierville and made some new friends. It has been quite a fun project.

Many of my stories have had a series: farmers markets, Sevierville Commons Arts Council Art Happenings, and KaTom cooking demonstrations. Other stories are special one-time things: Sims Barbershop, Frank Allen’s Market, the American Eagle Foundation.

Here are some statistics screenshots that are interesting.

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Can anyone guess which event prompted the all time best views on May 23, 2016? Who ever guesses correctly wins a free coffee! 

 

More people read stories in 2018 than the past two years so that is a growing readership, whether locals or tourists.

Look below for some of the top stories of the year. 

The story that I just published yesterday rocketed up to number 5 most read story this year! Crust and Crumb Opens Downtown!

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I am not sure why, but readers look up the story on Dumplin Creek Critter Care almost daily. If you go to her Facebook page then you get to see some delightful pet pictures each day. That story just keeps going! 

If I write about a business or event and they share the blog story then the story can go viral for about 48 hours. I watch the story analytics several times during the day so it is fun for me to watch the numbers increase. So share away! 

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Bloggers are busy with their own writings so I appreciate the support of 30 other WordPress writers. Also, 362 friends on Facebook from which I usually launch stories. Also, several readers opt to subscribe by email.

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This shows a break down of which search engines are used most for this blog. I have the blog linked to two Instagram accounts so I can tell that is working well to attract new readers.

 

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The screenshot above shows that people are clicking the links in the stories. It also shows that Reality Break Massage is quite a popular business since the links have been clicked over 68 times. That reminds me—I need to make my own appointment for next week!

 

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Over 55 countries have clicked on the Out and About in Sevierville blog. The screenshot above shows the top countries. I am not sure why someone from the Ivory Coast, Gibraltar, or American Samoa would be interested in reading it…but welcome to Sevierville!

Here’s to a good year in 2019. I may give it one more year and see how it goes. Cheers to our little town!

See you out and about in Sevierville. 

 

The Best Little 5K in Tennessee: The SCHS Foundation Turkey Chase 2018

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It was a chilly morning, but people came from 18 states and Canada to race in the SCHS Foundation Turkey Chase 5K race on Thanksgiving day. Although I couldn’t race due to hamstring issues, this was my third year to visit and it may have been my favorite. Follow along and see the ‘Best Little 5K in Tennessee.’

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Racers make the holiday run fun with festive headgear.

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Nancy Trundle Hewitt was busy checking in runners at the registration desk. Her team always pulls off a great experience with this event.

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The refreshment team was ready to work.

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A benefit of the race: all the doughnuts that you can eat from the Donut Friar in Gatlinburg.

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Fun photo ops with mascots.

 

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They are always such good sports with pictures. I hope that they weren’t freezing.

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Registrants receive a nice swag bag. I loved the T-shirts this year!

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These sisters attend the race every year. Nickelle was my ‘pace setter’ last year because I was behind her for the entire race.

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The Start/ Finish line was ready to go.

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Local runners were up bright and early.

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My colleagues, Heidi and Kathy, were ready to enjoy the morning.

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Great the t -shirts! Love purple and white!

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The sign-in desk gets really busy between 7:40-8:00 a.m.

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My fellow HIIT class friend, Anne, and her husband.

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I saw Judge Wade signing in and ready to run.

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This is a really fun race. I saw more festive headgear than ever before. I asked this gentleman if this hat was aerodynamic.

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These runners were from North Carolina.

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Race supporters come in several species. Cute pups were cheering on the leader just a few minutes later. This family came from South Carolina.

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Close to 200 racers were lined up on the starting line and ready to …GO!

This was the start of the 5K race. All runners will go around the track once then off to the front of the school property, then circle around to the track. Repeat 2 more times.

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And they were off! The course starts on the track then moves to the front parking lot of the school.

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All the encouragers used humorous signs to spur the runners on.

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This one prompted a few chuckles.

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One reason that I was glad to not be racing this year is the opportunity to take beautiful photos of fall racer scenes such as this one. The trees and morning sunshine were glorious.

This is my favorite spot on the 5K course.

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The front part of the course has beautiful trees that are just peaking the past couple of weeks. The flat course is also very popular.

IMG_0051 More race signs to encourage the runners.

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 Water break station in front of the Smoky Bears stadium.

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The final lap begins for my friend.

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My friend Heidi crossing the Finish line and we celebrate! She placed in her age group too!

I caught a hilarious race between the 3 mascots: a turkey, a chicken, and a Smoky Bear.

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If you look carefully, you may see a celebrity at this race. Drake was a participant!

Actually, that was Nicholas Fox from Charleston, South Carolina. This was his first 5K race ever! A powerlifter and Crossfitter, this runner said that he liked the race and hopes to come back every year. His family stays in a cabin and he found the race online. “The course is not too aggressive and there are some serious people here, but it is a relaxed race.”

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These racers came from Maryland and Florida. For one, it was his first race at SCHS. For the other, it was his first 5K ever. The racer on the left won 2nd place in his age group!

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Local athletes supported the SCHS Foundation 5K. From left to right: Emma Hamilton, Cindy Hamilton, Dean Hamilton, and Jennifer Whaley. I am going to visit their business, Sevierville Massage Therapy, soon to see if they can help me with my hamstring. Dean said that is one of the top three things that he addresses in his work.

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These racers have a good idea: do Thanksgiving on Wednesday and use Thursday to run 5Ks and do more activities. Heather (pictured left) comes from Ohio. Michelle and Chris are from Seymour.

IMG_0084 4 Bryan McCarter and his wife enjoying the program post-race. They are SCHS Foundation supporters and good 5K runners.

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If you run this race, you have a really good chance of winning a door prize. They are good too!

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Both the student and teacher volunteers did an extraordinary job hosting the event and post-race activities. I stayed for the whole thing! Well done.

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The overall winner of the 5K was Liv Paxton, a student from Rock Hill, South Carolina. It was her first time to race the SCHS Turkey Chase. Liv attends William and Mary College and runs on their track team. Her specialty? The 5K.  I saw her warming up in the parking lot as I arrived at the stadium and noted that she meant business. Her time will be hard to beat: 17.31.   Train hard for next year, people!

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Many, many thanks to Nancy Trundle Hewitt, Executive Director of the SCHS Foundation, and her team,  who orchestrate this event each year. She gets up at the crack of dawn on Thanksgiving morning to run the best little 5K in Tennessee. Nancy and my friend Heidi pose with Heidi’s award.

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Look for the race on eventbrite next year.

For race results, click this link.

http://knoxvilleyouthathletics.org/results/2018-smoky-bear-turkey-chase-5k/?fbclid=IwAR0geAfyl5TSDvzLYQwWCvuv_fpzImeYeEReBKHnccyzd-aDlhK8TuRr1ao

 

For more pictures, go to my Facebook page for blog pictures. I’ll load them after 9:00 tonight.

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

Art Happening November 2018: Featured Artist, Marilyn Davenport

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It was growing dark on Bruce Street as I parked and headed toward the Sevierville Arts in Common Gallery. The occasion was the November Art Happening in downtown Sevierville, featuring artist Marilyn Davenport. I have admired her work so this Art Happening has been anticipated for a while. Although I had to hurry to another event after 6:00, the Art Happening was nice and I wanted to linger.

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Upon entering the gallery, I first ran into Marilyn, her husband, and her niece. Pictured left to right: Scott Williams, Yvonne Williams, Marilyn and Bill Davenport. Some of the artist’s creations are featured on the wall behind them.

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Here are the ways to contact the artist and see more of her work. Isn’t this the most beautiful business card?

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I enjoyed seeing examples of the materials that Marilyn uses to create her art.

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Mendy Hodges and Scott Davenport attend the November Art Happening. Scott is Marilyn’s son and we were talking briefly about his mother and her workshop. Scott said, ” She loves to do this art and she, in turn, puts a lot of love into it.”

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It is nice to run into other local artists at the Art Happenings. Bobbi Lovell, pictured left, has paintings in the gallery. She is from Sevierville and has a studio near Douglas Lake. Jo Levkoff, pictured right, is a storyteller from Del Rio, Tennessee.

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Davenport’s jewelry is exquisite.

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Davenport uses polymer clay. It is especially interesting because the clay contains particles of silver, gold, bronze, and copper with the material.

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There is a sparkle and shine that is delightful to the eye.

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I love a fall table! The Art Happenings always feature refreshments so you can go straight there from work, grab a bite, enjoy art, and mingle.

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A sign of the season.

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Music was provided by New Mountain Grass. They have at least two CDs. One was recorded at Stella Parton’s studio in Nashville.

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Some things caught my fancy on the way out the door. Love these macrame trees.

I enjoyed this event and only regret not having more time to spend there. Happily, you can visit the gallery during the week if you need more time to look around. Some beautiful things are in there.

There will be a December Art Happening that will also serve as a Holiday Open House. That one will end the Art Happenings for 2018 quite well. See you then!

 

 

 

A Fashion Extravaganza: Fashion For a Cancer Cure 2018

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One of the hardest working groups in our area put on a fashion show last week and it was truly a ‘fashion extravaganza!’ Heavy hors d’oeuvres, a silent action, and fashions from local boutiques entertained us for a few hours while raising money for continued research to eradicate cancer. What a fine event it was!

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You could buy tickets in advance or at the door as well.

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The fashion show took place in the Sevierville Civic Center. I love the 3D mural on the wall.

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Silent auction items were lined up along the wall. The tree had gift certificates. I see one now that I wish that I had bought.

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I know that the lovely table settings were a pleasant greeting for attendees after a hard day back at work on a Monday.