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Dunn recognized for work with seniors

Cristy Dunn is a local artist with ties to highly respected groups in the art community, including the International Guild of Realism (IGOR) and American Women Artists. She has a long history of awards and is featured in galleries all around the globe. Online photo

By Meg Dickens
Staff Writer

Cristy Dunn is a well-known name in the Johnson County area. The former high school art teacher has been getting her name out in the world through her art for many years. Now the Tennessee Arts Commission is recognizing Dunn for her work with an older audience.

For those who are unaware, the Tennessee Arts Commission partnered with the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability and the Tennessee Department of Health to launch the Creative Aging Tennessee program in 2017. Dunn officially became a teacher through this program in 2021. She uses her talents in art and teaching to bring joy to local seniors and encourage creativity.

“I’m really excited to be part of this important program,” Dunn exclaimed. “The Tennessee Arts Commission is the best! The training was excellent, and I can’t wait to put it into practice in our community and beyond.”

Dunn is the director for the Johnson County Center for the Arts, where she spreads the message that “art is for everyone.” Through the center, she partners with the Johnson County Senior Center to offer various art classes. When asked about the seniors’ experience, Senior Center Director Kathy Motsinger said, “I love seeing the older folks engaging in art activities and how it truly does improve the quality of their lives. The senior adults at the senior center enjoy art with Cristy. It’s like taking a field trip even though it’s across the street to do art projects once a month.”

Dunn agrees that learning new skills is beneficial to the senior population, stating that research shows it “protects against dementia, slows the onset of Parkinson’s Disease for those at risk, counters depression, and promotes positive social bonds.”

“For as long as I can remember, making art has been my passion,” Dunn said in a previous interview. “At a very early age, I somehow realized that Art has the power to help us transcend the difficulties of life and connect us to a Creator that is infinitely more powerful than we are.”

Visit Dunn at www.cristydunn.com or the Johnson County Center for the Arts at jocoartcenter.org.