Chattanooga Artist Makes International Waves With Public Art Installations

Konstantin Dimopoulos is an internationally-recognized, Chattanooga-based artist and activist whose public installations, sculptures, and 2D work are created for raising awareness for environmental issues (such as ecocide of forests) and the country’s problem with homelessness.

Mr. Dimopoulos is back in the South after a trip to Denver, Co. where he created his well-recognized “The Blue Trees,” a publicly immersive installation. This would mark the 20th city Mr. Dimopoulos has impacted with his work. Other works include “The Purple Rain”, which compares the increase in homelessness to a downpour, and “The Barbed Wire Buddha,” demonstrating a juxtaposition of materialism and faith.

Mr. Dimopoulos and his family were exiled from his home country at an early age. This forced emigration affected him tremendously, leading him to travel the world for decades before settling down in Chattanooga.

More can be found on his website.

This story was originally published on The Chattanoogan

Hunter Museum again inspires WorkSpace artists

Local artist Lisa Denney is a painter who also designs rugs. As one of the 18 participating artists in “Inspired II: WorkSpace Artists Inspired by the Hunter Museum of American Art Collection,” she merged the two mediums to create a textile wall hanging.

She actually also incorporated photography into her piece. Denney chose a painting called “Rosy Morning” from the Hunter’s collection. She says it reminded her of a photograph she had taken of her backyard garden.

“I wove my piece and also used some paper clay to give it some dimension,” she says. “I used the imagery from my backyard but also the color palette from ‘Rosy Morning.'”

This is the second year of the Inspired project. WorkSpace artists are asked to peruse the Hunter’s permanent collection in search of a piece that will inspire them to create something entirely new. A reception was held on May 5 at Chattanooga WorkSpace, and the pieces will remain in the main gallery there through the end of the month. They include paintings, textiles, photographs and mixed media.

The pieces may be viewed during the week, but WorkSpace is also hosting a free Makers Social on the Patio on Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Visitors can tour the entire space, including the main gallery, where the Inspired pieces are, and the artists’ studios.

For “Inspired II,” many of the artists used the opportunity to challenge themselves by not only using another art piece as inspiration but also by working in a medium they’d never worked in before.

Janet Campbell Bradley chose the museum’s fence, which was designed by artist Albert Paley, as her inspiration. It was originally installed in 1975 to connect the old mansion with the then-new addition. The fence’s designer had preciously worked in jewelry, which is Bradley’s normal medium. For the project, she created a triptych using printmaking, something she’d never done.

“These are done through a printing press where you actually paint the ink onto a template, and you roll that onto a printing press with paper,” she says.

She also incorporated sections of a map of the Tennessee River from 1974.

Photographer Jenny Shugart also created a triptych, basing hers on Gordon Parks’ 1942 piece “American Gothic, Washington D.C.” Instead of holding a pitchfork like the white couple in Grant Wood’s “American Gothic,” the African-American woman in the print is flanked by a mop and broom.

Shugart’s piece centers on an old magazine ad she’d saved from the ’90s featuring a young girl under text that reads: “She’s good — for a girl,” with “for a girl” marked through.

She says the project was fun, inspiring, scary “and a few more things thrown in.”

“It was fun to be able to go over to the Hunter. If you haven’t been over there, go. It’s a real gem for the city.”

For his piece, muralist Kevin Bate incorporated live video, video screen and a large painting he based on the “Ruth Gleaning” statue by Randolph Rogers. During the May 5 reception, the painting was on the second floor and shown to viewers remotely via the video feed.

This story was originally in the Times Free Press. Written by Barry Courter. 

The South American Art Of Mercedes Llanos

By: Tony Mraz   April 12, 2017

This story was originally published on chattanoogapulse.com

New Art Collection Now On Display At Erlanger Baroness Hospital

Erlanger Health System presents Hope Springs, “A collection of paintings that bring a sense of hope and new life,” as the fourth installment by the Arts at Erlanger program.

The Hope Springs collection features five female artists from around the region; Ellyn Bivin, Hollie Berry, Angela Serre, Helen Jones, and Ali Kay. Light and airy images dominate the exhibit with a variety of landscapes, subjects and scenes.

Bivin is a Chattanooga native with a lifelong passion for art. She received her degree in Art Education and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University and attended University of Tennessee Chattanooga graduate school, focusing on combining old world etching with contemporary panting for a one-of-a-kind printmaking technique. Her four-legged friends and images from turn of the century photographs are a few of her favorite subjects.

Berry, a native Texan, has pursued art from the time she could grasp a pencil. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin. A few years later she moved to Chattanooga, where she found fresh inspiration. First, she created Dewdles, monumental land art drawings in the dewy lawn of Coolidge Park. These temporal works paved the way for more permanent opportunities like her first mural for the McCallie Walls Mural Project, Four Horsewomen, and collaborating with her engineer husband, Rudy Elizondo, on an interactive art installation of flying books installed in the Chattanooga Public Library. In 2015, she apprenticed under world renowned muralist Meg Saligman on the 40,000 sq. ft. Chattanooga mural We Shall Not Be Satisfied Until.

Bright and airy artwork lines the gallery corridor at Erlanger Baroness Campus.

Southern charm and exaggerated realisms describe Serre’s personality and style. Influenced as a child by her grandmother’s talent and a book by watercolor artist Herb Olsen; her passion for art lead to a formal education at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fla. While years as a graphic designer in corporate America provided success, her love of painting continued with works spanning the globe. Her paintings and portraits are in private collections throughout the US and Europe.  Serre’s inspiration derives from her travels, family and photos.

Jones’ love of nature began with her Indiana childhood, in a yard filled with flowers, fruit trees, grape vines and birds. A graduate of Indiana State University with a Bachelor of Science degree, Jones had only four watercolor lessons while living in Atlanta, GA in 1984. Celebrities, banks, corporations, hospitals, designers and homeowners began commissioning her art that is inspired by her travels to the Greek islands, France, Canada, western states and the Caribbean. An extraordinarily versatile and detailed artist, Jones’ mediums are watercolor, oil, acrylic, ink, charcoal and pencil. Her subjects vary from florals and wildlife to wall murals and automobiles.

Art has been Kay’s passion since childhood.   She grew up in West Bend, Wisconsin, and founded her decorative painting company, Positive Space, in 2002 shortly after finishing high school at the age of 19.   She studied fine art at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee while simultaneously growing her mural and faux finishing business.   After spending several years working with designers and architects creating unique interior spaces in Houston, TX, she settled in Chattanooga in 2013. She opened the new Positive Space Decorative Painting Studio at Chattanooga WorkSpace.   Kay’s portfolio is vast including commission work in many different styles.   She continues to create large scale murals, custom fine art and wall finishes while adding teaching to her list of services. Her work can be seen locally throughout Chattanooga as well as in the homes and businesses of her clients throughout the country.

The purpose of art in the hospital setting goes far beyond decoration. Recent studies show a direct link between art and the brain’s reaction to pain, stress and anxiety. A 2011 University of London study found that blood flow increased 10 percent to the “joy response” part of the brain when subjects saw a beautiful painting. The Arts at Erlanger program seeks to preserve and expand the healing, uplifting, and therapeutic art at all campuses in our medical system.

This story was originally published on Chattanoogan.com.

 

Mary J Whitt

Mary J Whitt first discovered her love for glass art more than 20 years ago when a good friend gave her a beautiful fused glass platter as a Christmas present. It inspired her to learn the craft, so she researched the techniques, tools and equipment necessary for glass fusing and began her journey exploring the endless creative possibilities that working with glass offers. Before long, she was selling her work in gift shops, galleries, juried art shows and private shows across the Southeast.

Although Whitt is “self-taught” in the techniques of fused glass, she received formal art training as a fine arts major at the University of Tennessee from 1977-1980. Her early training served as a helpful springboard, enabling her to intuitively create mood and movement through design and color. “Imagine a kaleidoscope of jewel tones dancing across a room as the sun shines through a stained glass window; or the soft, warm glow of a crackling fire; or the wash of fiery reds into pastel pinks at sunset,” she says.

The dynamic play of color and light inspires her work. Whitt’s use of color, texture and form to create mood and movement makes all of her artwork unique.