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.

Finding Treasures in Tennessee’s Oldest Town

February 25, 2020
Events
Jonesborough is packed full of history, shops, storytelling, eateries, art, and so much more. While strolling through the town, there’s a lot to do and plenty to see. If you keep your eye’s peeled, you might even find some colorfully painted treasures hiding in plain sight.

Read More

Each Building Has A Story

October 9, 2019
Events
As you walk down the historic streets of downtown Jonesborough, it’s easy to feel as if you’ve taken a step back in time. The buildings you see as you explore Main Street have just as much of a history as the little town they were built in. Known as the Storytelling Capital of the World, each of the buildings offer their own special story. One of these buildings that really tends to stand out is Mauk’s of Jonesborough.
Read More
The Courthouse in Tennessee's Oldest Town

Storytelling Town Will Leave You Yearning for Yesteryear

October 17, 2017
Events
They say the best form of advertising is word of mouth, and this proved to be true when I heard about the Storytelling Festival from a few of my friends who'd attended in years past. The festival brings together storytellers from across the globe to share their tall tales, childhood memories, and even ghost stories to audiences who are eager to hear them. As a child, I spent many holidays sitting around my great aunt's kitchen table where the adults took turns swapping stories and sharing their favorite memories, and I loved how the festival preserves this age-old form of entertainment. In between storytelling sessions, I wandered through the quaint little town of Jonesborough where historic buildings line the streets and friendly locals welcomed me inside their shops. I overheard someone say that Jonesborough is the oldest town in Tennessee, and the cozy inns and B&Bs perfectly capture its history. The town made me nostalgic for an era I've never even lived.