Artist Exhibition: Collective Whimsy
September 19 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Aleta Chandler and Lauren Anderson to Exhibit Work at the McKinney Center
Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts and the McKinney Center are pleased to personally invite you to an opening reception on Friday, August 9th, from 6-8pm. Featuring the original artworks of artists Aleta Chandler and Lauren Anderson, the exhibition will run through September 20th during the McKinney Center’s hours of operation Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm. Most artwork on display will be for sale to the public.
Aleta Chandler first fell in love with clay while watching a demonstration of a potter at Dollywood theme park when she was a teenager. “I did not know it would be my calling, but I knew it would be my buddy, and it has been.” She states her artwork is mostly inspired by vernacular architecture, antiques and bugs. Aleta believes that anything that can spark the imagination while causing the viewer to have a familiarity helps her to connect to her audience. With her clay work, she enjoys making a wide variety of both functional as well as sculptural pieces; all with their own variation of whimsy. In her work, Aleta enjoys adding various textures such as pressing 100+ year-old barnwood or antique doilies into her clay, or carving into the surface to make the work more interesting. According to the artist, any object can be a texture. “My pottery you can use daily, hold in your hands and appreciate that the object is more than what it is in that moment, just as we should appreciate our lives.” Aleta’s sculptural pieces play with the idea of enlarging small, familiar objects or making something that is off-putting into something more approachable.
Recently, Aleta has moved her teaching studio to Skillville in downtown Jonson City from her Boones Creek location of ArtCurious. In addition to making found object jewelry and functional and non-functional clay objects, Aleta has taught people how to play in clay for almost ten years. She enjoys the fascination and sense of satisfaction that comes from teaching her students to have fun with the materials they are working with. Aleta resides her hometown in East Tennessee with her husband, as well as with their children who will return to college in the fall.
Lauren Anderson graduated from Milligan College with double majors in art and photography in 2007. Though she did not know what path she wanted to pursue with her degrees, she knew of her passion and love for both art and people. After having worked as a portrait photographer and photojournalist for several years, she soon went back to school to earn her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy, striving to be the best therapist to each individual client. Soon she helped develop a quality of life program for residents at a nursing home after she noticed some patients were in need of more daily interactions. She created a program that placed high functioning clients with low functioning clients, giving them creative tasks to complete together all of which having an element of art and interaction, varying in levels of difficulty.
Lauren entered into occupational therapy with the desire to help people reach their functional goals through creative actives. The artist claims; “I’ve always enjoyed art and often use it in my practice for its therapeutic uses. By incorporating each individual’s needs and interests into the therapeutic process, I help them find new reserves of strength and courage.”
Lauren plans on always challenging herself to learn from each of her patients in order to better herself personally as well as a professional. Lauren creates art for herself, not only though her photography, but other mediums as well in her own art therapy practices. Recently, Lauren has illustrated a book that will be published this November. Her goal, always, is to bring as much value as she can to the lives of others with the help of art as well as some added color.
The McKinney Center houses the Jonesborough Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts, with a mission to be, “committed to inspiring the people of our area through both the appreciation of and the participation in the arts as a form of personal and collective expression.” The objective of the program is to “bring the community at large closer together and show as an example to other communities the creative influence that the arts can bring to their quality of life.” The McKinney Center is a department within the Town of Jonesborough.
For more information, email Theresa Hammons at email@example.com or call