Johnson County Center for the Arts will feature an Artist of the Month or a special theme every month.
The first theme will be a show entitled “My Appalachia.” It will showcase around 20 artists who have submitted work and been accepted into the show. The “My Appalachia” exhibit will be on display throughout the month of December.
The featured artists for September were Jean Ann Savery and Lynn Walker. Jean Ann has lived in the Appalachian Mountains of Northeast Tennessee most of her life. She is a former middle school science teacher and incorporates nature as a common theme in her jewelry and pottery pieces. Her pottery is made using real leaves from the area into food safe, stoneware dishes. She believes that the beauty in nature is in its imperfection. Capturing the beauty of leaves in various shapes and forms is her challenge. Jean Ann and her husband, Joe, have three children and four fantastic grandchildren. She loves teaching and offers pottery and jewelry classes to children and adults in her studio and at the Center for the Arts on College Street in our own Mountain City, Tennessee.
Lynn R. Walker of Mountain City has been drawn to art and wood since he was in his teens, when he carved Grecian columns for a school project and painted sets for plays. As an adult, he was employed sandblasting wooden signs, carving sculptures and building furniture. Throughout his 20 years in the Navy and another 20 years working for the Department of Defense, art in many mediums, photography and woodworking have been a hobby and a passion. While in the Navy, he received an Associates Degree in Commercial Art, which he continues to use in the pyrography and other artistic elements in his wood bowls. About three years ago Lyn took a beginner’s class on wood turning, and he found his niche. He finds time between bowl turning, to read articles and watch videos that teach and inspire him. He harvests some of his turning blanks while cutting firewood, and often people who know of his interest offer him trees or beautiful specimens of wood.
Tia Thomas was the featured artist for October. She is a self-taught professional photographer who enjoys sharing the beauty and diversity of Appalachia. Her goal is to show the world as she sees it through her art. Tia was raised in Johnson County. She continues to live here and raise her family. Her goal is to help her two children both understand and appreciate their Appalachian heritage.
John Andrews and Temple Reece will be the featured artists for November.
Andrews is a self- taught artist working with wood and metal. He built his own blacksmith shop and even has a mobile one that he will be bringing to the Johnson County Arts Center for demonstration during the month of November. He designs many of his works and can look at a photo or drawing and create a beautiful work of art.
Andrews and his family built a chicken coop featured in Backyard Poultry National Magazine as the “Best Little Henhouse in Tennessee. They used all recycled or repurposed materials. He has designed and built many other functional items used for his business in tree work and around the house. Johnny is married to April Andrews and they have a daughter Lillian, age nine, and son Fields, age three. Both Johnny and April are creative and artistic and love passing these traits on to their children. John is kind hearted, is often doing things to help others and loves the Appalachian Mountains and the people. John will be featuring blacksmith works as the featured artist and the Arts Center is looking forward to showcasing some of his talents.
Temple Reece has taught classes to many children, in addition to providing art supplies for many projects. She developed Sunshine and Smiles program, in addition to holding a series of workshops and classes in the “Budding Artists” program. She has also worked with the arts council to provide over 20 scholarships for graduating seniors. She has over 15 years of service. Currently, Temple serves on the Long Journey Home board and the Johnson County Center for the Arts. Temple was chosen to paint an ornament for Tennessee’s First Lady Haslam. She also placed third in the Long Home Journey art show.
Temple is the wife of Johnson County Sheriff, Mike Reece. She has two sons, and Sheriff Reece has one daughter. They have four grandchildren. Family is important to the Reece family and they enjoy being an important part of their lives.
Each featured artist is honored with a reception at the Center for the Arts including refreshments, music and is open to all guests. The receptions have been wonderfully attended and it has been great to hear the talking, laughter and music inside the Arts Center. Come by and see the work of the featured artist each month and all the other work on display. Most work is available for purchase. You may visit the website at jocoartcenter.org to read more about each artist and all the events and happenings of the Center for the Arts.