May 2017

by DeeGee Lester

High School Winners Grace Hall, 1st Place Painting; Danielle Bowen, 1st Place Mixed Media; and Sarah Harper, 1st Place Drawing and Best of Show (not shown, Jack Merwin)

Engaging the community since its inclusion in the Hendersonville City Charter in 1975, the Hendersonville Arts Council embraces its mission to “expand cultural interest, diversity, and opportunity, build cultural resources, and integrate the arts in our daily lives” through arts education, exhibition, and programming. Through after-school programs, scholarships for in-house programming for the underserved, summer camps, a film camp, and five parlor exhibition galleries, the non-profit serves residents and attracts participants from surrounding counties.

The Arts Council’s home, historic Monthaven Mansion, recently hosted the organization’s signature event, the 41st Annual Best of Sumner County Student Art Show. Featuring approximately 150 works by high school and middle school artists from schools throughout the county, this continues as one of the area’s oldest annual arts exhibitions.

Middle School 1st Place Winners Torrie Petersen, 3D; Noah Wunder, Mixed Media; Lizzie Wilder, Painting; and Veen Sweidan, Drawing; Photography by Jerry Atnip

“This event showcases the talent of students throughout Sumner County,” says Arts Council Executive Director Daniel Tidcomb. “It takes a lot of extracurricular effort by both students and teachers. With the devotion of coaches to star athletes, these art teachers work with students to find exhibit opportunities (such as Scholastic Arts competition), scholarships, and possible careers in the arts. The talent and quality of our annual exhibition exceeds a lot of art guilds in Middle Tennessee.”


Best of Show: Teapots

Drawing by Sarah Harper (Hendersonville High School)

Sarah Harper, Best of Show and 1st Place – Drawing

Approaching what appears to be an exquisite black-and-white photograph, viewers are stunned to realize the Best of Show selection, Teapots, is in fact a charcoal drawing. The challenge for Harper in working with charcoal was in maintaining clean lines and control of light and shadow while avoiding smudges.

“I used a very, very sharp charcoal,” says Harper. “And I worked in little sections at a time.” The result is a collection of silver teapots, gleaming in perfection and reflecting the surrounding room.


The Freezer Section

Painting by Grace Hall (Hendersonville High School)

Grace Hall, 1st Place – Painting

Nashville Arts readers met Grace Hall in the March issue as a Gold Key/American Vision Nominee for Scholastic Arts. In the Hendersonville Arts competition, her painting, The Freezer Section, pays homage to the Alice Neel portrait style.

“I got the idea in the grocery freezer section and it fit my AP concentration on reflection,” says Hall. “Perspective was the hardest part, and I like to challenge myself.” Next fall, Hall begins a new challenge as a student at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.




G.I.M. (Growth Imitates Maturity)

3-D by Jack Merwin (Pope John Paul II High School)

Jack Merwin, 1st Place – 3-D

For his award-winning 3-D piece, Merwin admits the baby in the center was a misprint.

“In the process of making babies on the 3-D printer, weak points made the arms and legs snap off. I had run out of ideas and picked up one of the babies and devised a way so that it looks like it’s growing out of the wood,” he says.

“It’s certainly different and a little on the dark side.”







His Legacy

Mixed Media Collage by Danielle Bowen (Merrol Hyde Magnet School)

Danielle Bowen, 1st Place – Mixed Media

The creativity, passion, and photographic skill of a grandfather inspired Bowen’s award-winning collage.

“I really like this collage,” says Bowen. “It’s the most personal for me. My grandfather had his own photography studio.”

Built against a background of newsprint, the creative process involved using a photograph of her grandfather as a reference and sketching it onto the canvas as a guide. His image is made entirely from magazines.




Picasso Weeping Woman, Watercolor Split Picture by Lizzie Wilder (Merrol Hyde Middle Magnet School)

Master Lee, Charcoal and Pencil by Veen Sweidan (T.W. Hunter Middle School)













Scorpion, 3-D by Torrie Petersen (Robert E. Ellis Middle School)

Papa Doc, Mixed Media / Paper and String by Noah Wunder (Knox Doss at Drakes Creek Middle School)




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