Local Artist Brightens Up Tennessee’s Oldest Town

May 15, 2020
Events 3

For over 20 years, Music on the Square has provided free, live music at its best with the townscape of downtown Jonesborough as the setting. In 1999, Music on the Square was created based on founder, Steve Cook’s deep passion for music. He set out to share his love for this art form with the Jonesborough community as well as the Northeast Tennessee region. Another local who has set out to share her own artwork is town celebrity, Summer Buchanan, who rarely misses a Friday night of Music on the Square. 

If you’ve frequented any of the shops in Tennessee’s Oldest Town, it’s very well possible you’ve crossed paths with Summer, a 37-year-old, vibrant, caring and bright, Jonesborough local with Down Syndrome. You can catch Summer working part-time at the Corner Cup and the Washington County-Jonesborough Library, where she has worked for 18 years. You can even find Summer at the UT Extension office, where she volunteers every Wednesday morning. Needless to say, Summer stays busy working and putting a smile on the face of each person she interacts with.

Each year, Music on the Square creates a shirt to sell in order to raise money which helps benefit the season. The design for this year’s shirt was created by Summer herself. When asked what inspired her artwork, Summer answered “Music on the Square, the courthouse clock and going to Capri, Italy where my grandmother is from.” Summer’s artwork can be found at Mill Spring Makers Market, the Corner Cup, and the Jonesborough Visitors Center and Emporium. Selling artwork makes Summer feel good and knowing that everyone appreciates her artwork makes her feel even better.

Ever since taking classes at the McKinney Center, Summer fell in love with creating art. “Larke Foster was my teacher. Then I started taking art lessons at the Root Studio with Allison Parker and that's when my art career started.” Summer has participated in multiple art shows including The Tipton Street Gallery, the Makers Market Faire, and One Acre Café. Along with participating in numerous art shows, Summer has even been named “Artist of the Month” at The Corner Cup. “Being an artist helps me to paint and draw everything from animals to people” said Buchanan.

When asked what she likes most about Jonesborough, Summer responded “People, such as my Art Sister, Allison Parker, my Friends at the Library, Corner Cup and the Extension Office.” Allison, another locally renowned artist, helped Summer with the design of this year’s Music on the Square shirt. “Allison has really helped Summer to see herself as an artist” said Marilyn Buchanan, Summer’s mother. “She and Summer spent the whole day designing the Music on the Square shirt!”

Next time you see Summer, give her a wave or ask about her art! She will be sure to brighten up your day.

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