The songs of hometown churches tell a story about Chattanooga’s past. From Sunday mornings in church to family memories of loved ones lost. “My mom passed away about a decade ago when I was in my 20’s and she loved to sing loved old hymns,” says artist Jaime Barks.
Those memories, something that she never wants to lose. So with her paint brush and these hymnal pages gathered from thrift stores or yard sales, and estate sales, she is making sure they live on forever.
She mounts each page on wooden blocks. A light coat of paint and a sketch, and it’s ready to paint. “I use book pages or Bible pages, found objects, I love to paint on alternative surfaces, it always sparks your creativity,” Barks says.
Now that Jaime is a mother herself, her painting perspective has changed. “Something about seeing the world through a child’s eyes to me it’s just exciting because they notice things that grownups miss.”
And with each finished piece, she’s creating memories for other people, sparked when they see the background of familiar melodies. “People will share stories similar to mine, of their childhood, being in church, just special memories about the hymns and how it reminds them of their life experiences because that’s really why I started in the first place.”
You can find Jaime Bark’s art at the Chattanooga Market General Store near the Tennessee Aquarium. She also participates in First Fridays at Chattanooga Workspace.
Visit her website, by clicking here.
This story was originally published on News Channel 9.