By Paula Walter

The Johnson County Center for the Arts held a reception this past Friday to celebrate My Appalachia. The works of over 20 local artists were featured as they explored what Appalachia means to them. Participants were invited to create a work of art in response to the theme of My Appalachia. The artists could use any medium to express what Appalachia means to them. There were those who submitted paintings, quilting, and photography, among others.
“Most folks had never shown anything before,” said Cristy Dunn.
The featured artists are as follows, along with their choice of art medium: Mona Alderson- quilting; April Andrews-photography; Lillian Andrews- painting; April Blevins-photography; Jeana Chapman-abstract painting; Lewis Chapman-painter; Lisa Clark-pencil drawing; Diana Darocha- ceramics; Cristy Dunn-painter; Tyler Earp-ceramics; Madisyn Farrow-painting; Jason Hughes-woodworking and wood-burning; Gail A. Larson-vintage doll clothing; Frank Icenhour-photography; Andrew Matherly-painting of his “Sunset-Mountains and Trees”; Sandra Moody-photography; Carol Peterson-painting; Shirli Pollard-quilting; Bobbie Puleo-stained glass;Temple Reece-painting; Richard Righter-painting; George San Filippo-woodworking; Jen Keller Sarskuan-mosiacs; Dennis Shekinah-photography; Mike Taylor-wood carving; Tia Thomas-photography; Andrew Whitaker-string art and Kadee Worlock-photography.
The winners are as follows: City Mayor Award- first place goes to Frank Icenhour for his “Where I come from”. The first place for the County Mayor’s Tennessee Music Pathway award goes to Lewis Chapman for “Wilson Jam,” second place goes to Mona Alderson for “My Appalachia,” and third place goes to Jeana Chapman for “Singer.”
The Johnson County Soil Conservation District Natural Beauty Award first place goes to Mike Taylor for his “Wood Santa,” second place to George San Filippo goes for his “Acorn Tea Box,” third place goes to Shirli Pollard for her “Mountain Music,” and Honorable Mention goes to Gail Larson’s doll clothing collection.
The Johnson County Soil Conservation Farmland Heritage Award first place goes to Kathy Dawson for “Tobacco Barn. Second place award goes to Mona Alderson for “My Appalachia. Third place award goes to Kadee Worlock for “Reuben” and Honorable Mention goes to Frank Icenhour for “Country road, take me home.”
The Chamber of Commerce first place award goes to Bobbie Puleo for “Harvest Moon, My Appalachia. Second place goes to Dennis Shekinah for “Forge Creek, Tennessee.” Third place goes to Tyler Earp for “Tall Vase.” Honorable Mentions go to Richard Righter for “Maiden in the Mist,” Jen Keller Sarskuan’s “Mosiac Birdhouse,” Jason Hughes for “Banjo,” and April Blevins for “Scarecrow.”
The Johnson County Art Council Youth Participation Award goes to Tyler Earp, Andrew Whitaker, Lillian Andrews, Andrew Matherly, Madisyn Farrow and Kadee Worlock.
The Johnson County Center for the Arts offers a warm and inviting atmosphere to come in, sit down awhile, and take a look at the artwork by local people. It’s a perfect place to pick up some Christmas gifts, such as Santas carved out of walnuts, homemade soaps, wooden frames, earrings, stoneware, prints, leaf bowls, photography and more.
A pop up Christmas card activity for children is planned for this Saturday from 10:30 to 11:30. Painting classes have been held and plans are in the works for the center to offer leather-working classes. A spoon carving class is also in the near future with Brenden Bohannon.
The art center is currently open Monday and Tuesday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, Thursday and Friday from 10:00-5:00 and Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Check with the art center as these are the hours the center will be open before Christmas.
While the winners have been announced, the People’s Choice Award is still ongoing through December 16th and ballots can be cast for your favorite artwork.