Villagers moved through the Christian Life Center at the Community Church at Tellico Village over the weekend, getting a chance to take in the creativity of neighbors.
Starting Friday and wrapping up Sunday was the Art Guild of Tellico Village’s 20th annual Spring Art Show, which allows members to display their work.
When the show began, there were only a “couple of artists,” Lil Clinard, artist and former event chairwoman, said. This year’s event featured 49 artists displaying about 200 pieces.
“It gives us a chance to show our neighbors what we can do, which is … some pretty amazing work,” Clinard said. “It’s a nice forum and it’s a friendly forum. We don’t deny work when you bring it here, so we have beginners all the way to professionals.”
Candace Swarthout attends yearly to support friends in the Village who are creative. It’s also a fun activity, she said.
“I’m not surprised anymore, but I was the first couple of years,” Swarthout said. “It’s the same with the quilters when they do a quilt show. … You see so much talent and sometimes your neighbors have talent you never knew about. It’s always awesome to come.”
Giving artists in the group a chance to show off their talents is important, Tina Shrewsbury, event co-chair, said.
Shrewsbury, a photographer, displayed six of her own pieces in the show.
“This is a true art show,” Shrewsbury said. “A lot of times people, this is their first time showing in an art show. My first time was last year. I had never done it. I’m a photographer and I had just done it for the fun of it. So it gives you a little boost in what you’re doing and it encourages you in your artistic growth.”
The show also works as a way to inspire the artists. Those who were displaying work also took time to walk around and see what others had accomplished.
“We have quite a mixture (of styles), which is really nice and fun,” Clinard said. “It’s inspiring for us as artists to see what other artists are doing. You say, ‘Golly, I want to try that.’ … You think, ‘I can do that, I think. I’ve just never tried that’.”
Artists encourage one another during the show, but receiving feedback from those outside the guild can also be a big boost, Clinard said.
On Friday, the guild gave Juror’s Awards, which were decided by Carl Gombert, professor of art at Maryville College. On Sunday, people’s choice awards were given from votes cast by those who attended the show over the weekend.
“Artists like to be told their work is good and somebody likes it,” Clinard said.
While the show has grown over the last 20 years, there is hope it will evolve. Gerie Hicks, guild treasurer and future president, hopes the show can become a regional event.
“What we’re going to try to do next year is do not only our show, but maybe combine our show with another piece of art like quilting or something and get it into the Knoxville area as well,” Hicks said. “We have a lot of artists here who are not from here. It would be fabulous to get exposure out of the Village. The Village brings us a ton of exposure, but we want to combine that and make it even greater.”
Members also hope their work can inspire others who maybe have never tried the arts.
“It encourages people to join the guild because we have classes and workshops and things,” Clinard said.”So we have people that are ranked beginners. We have classes in photography, classes in drawing, classes in watercolor — all levels. So it’s a good opportunity, and it doesn’t cost much either.”
For Shrewsbury, the guild surrounds her with other creative people, leading her to relax and have fun. She believes the group is for anyone who enjoys art, whether or not they create.
“You don’t have to be an artist to belong to the guild or come and enjoy it,” Shrewsbury said. “Just appreciate it. We have people that come and just watch or learn and listen. Eventually they might take a class or they’ve always wanted to try something. The speakers we have come in are great. ... It’s all levels from the very, very basic — which I am — to we have some people who are nationally known.”
For more information on the guild, visit www.tellicoartguild.org.