East and West High School art students in Morristown have been creating works of art that will be painted at downtown locations under the guidance of professional artists. These works will be revealed in April 2019.
Students of teachers Carol Rouse at East High and Kerry Gatlin at West High submitted their art for selection for this downtown project. A committee of the Morristown Art Association selected three works that will be portrayed downtown and revealed at the SkyMart Arts Crafts and Makers Festival in April.
The students whose work was selected were awarded a $100 stipend for their art just after Thanksgiving. Student Art Winners are: Natalia Acuna, Kristen Cartwright, and Alex Keith. Students receiving Honorable Mention are Tyler Greer and Evan Sizemore.
The next step is for these student artists to work with three professional artists. Working with Dan Gibson, Mike Everidge, and Perry Hodson, these students will help bring their work to life on three different locations downtown.
Gibson is a well-known local artist who has had shows throughout Northeast Tennessee locations. Everidge is also one of Morristown’s local artists who has specialized in contemporary and caricature art. Hodson is a muralist whose work is on a number of walls in Knoxville.
The project is made possible by a Tennessee Arts Commission “Art Builds Communities” grant awarded to Crossroads Downtown Partnership in late summer. Partnering with Crossroads on this project is HC*EXCELL. Grant funds will pay the professional artists, and both Crossroads and HC*EXCELL will be using their funds for supplies and other project needs, such as the student stipends. Tennessee Art Commission grants are supported by their specialty license plate program.
Both Barbara Garrow, Crossroads, and Deb Miksa, HC*EXCELL, believe that by offering students this opportunity, this project will create memories for their generation to help build their individual and community pride.
“Art is a medium that helps all of us express our feelings and vision. This project will also bring color and renewed interest in downtown. Art is good for economic development and for community appearance. Stay tuned and keep a watchful eye in 2019 to see this project come to fruition. This is one of the first art projects downtown to involve students and artisans working together to improve downtown,” Garrow said.