Spotlight: Art show at Library in August


Sharon McFadden Drawing



August brings an exciting collection of black-and-white ink drawings by artist Sharon McFadden. Originally from middle Tennessee, Sharon has lived in eight different states and more than 25 cities, but she now calls East Tennessee her home.

In 2006, Sharon began her “black ink on white paper” drawing, using mostly black gel pens on white watercolor paper. Needing a restful way to de-stress, she started pencil sketching for several months, and then decided to teach herself to draw black-and-white silhouettes. She continues to draw silhouettes and has added some other types of black-and-white drawing styles to her creations. She draws as much as she can every day because she realizes that since she has waited so many years to pursue something she loves, she also has wasted many years of practice time. [Read more...]

Spotlight: Art of Crystal Polley highlighted in July at Oak Ridge Library

Crystal Polley Artwork at Oak Ridge Public Library


The art display at Oak Ridge Public Library for the month of July consists of photographs and paintings from artist Crystal Dawn Polley.

Polley has used cameras her whole life to remember friends and family. She grew up using Kodak, Minolta, and Fuji cameras.

Digital cameras have changed her format, but not her vision.

Polley is a graduate of Shawnee State University with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, specializing in photography. She was actively involved in the college art gallery and was art editor for Silhouette, the college arts magazine. [Read more...]

Secret City Festival started Friday morning, continues through Saturday evening

Secret City Festival Opening Ceremony

B&W Y-12, which will no longer manage the Y-12 National Security Complex after June 30, has been a major sponsor of the Secret City Festival for 10 years and has contributed more than $250,000 total in the past decade. The federal contractor was recognized for its community contributions during the opening ceremony at the Secret City Festival on Friday morning. From left to right are Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan; Dave Richardson, B&W Y-12 president and general manager; Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller; and Bill Reis, B&W Y-12 vice president of public and governmental affairs.


The annual Secret City Festival, Oak Ridge’s largest festival, kicked off Friday morning and continues through Saturday evening.

Highlights of the two-day festival include concerts—Eddie Money and Kix Brooks are this year’s headliners—children’s activities, Manhattan Project site tours, arts, antiques, crafts, food, and fun. There are also World War II Living History activities and demonstrations, Oak Ridge history exhibits, and regional exhibitors and vendors.

Oak Ridge was a “secret city” during World War II, when it was part of the top-secret Manhattan Project, a federal program to build the world’s first atomic weapons. The festival helps honor that heritage and also includes a range of entertainment, community information, and family fun, among other things.

You can check updates on this year’s Secret City Festival on Twitter here.

See the Secret City Festival website for more information, including on how to purchase concert tickets for Eddie Money and Kix Brooks. [Read more...]

Spotlight: Textile display at Oak Ridge Public Library

Linda Cloutier Textile Display



The art display at Oak Ridge Public Library for the month of June consists of exquisite appliqué pieces from the collection of Linda Cloutier.

The appliqué pieces are called molas, traditionally made by the Cuna Indians of the San Blas Islands of Panama. They feature an intricate form of reverse appliqué created in vivid colors, often on a red background. Stylized animal and plant forms are often used as subject matter. Molas are generally made in a rectangular shape, then framed and used as wall hangings here in the United States. However, the Cuna Indian people incorporate molas into women’s clothing, often using them as the fronts and backs of blouses.

In Linda Cloutier’s collection, molas can be seen added as decorative elements to three cotton shirts. These designs require a high degree of skill, because the amount of detail is quite extensive, and the process requires working with several layers of cloth. [Read more...]

Secret City Festival features something for everyone

Secret City Festival Crowd June 2012

A large crowd waits to hear music during the June 2012 festival.


Make plans to attend the 12th Annual Secret City Festival on Friday, June 13, and Saturday, June 14, in historic Oak Ridge. Join more than 20,000 visitors and residents to celebrate the end of World War II and the heritage of Oak Ridge from 1945 to the present.

Here’s an overview of some of the many activities and events taking place at this year’s festival: [Read more...]

Secret City Festival reminds concert attendees of security procedures

Secret City Festival Logo

Visitors to the Secret City Festival next weekend can expect tighter security measures and maybe a few delays when entering the concerts this year, all in the name of safety.

“In light of recent events, we’re being extra vigilant in our protection of our attendees, staff, and the community during the festival concerts,” said Oak Ridge Police Chief Jim Akagi.

No backpacks or coolers will be allowed into the concert site and all bags will be subject to search.  This includes bags used to store chairs. Visitors should expect delays if carrying in anything that needs to be searched. Organizers suggest festival attendees only bring their concert tickets, money for food, an ID to buy or consume beer, and a chair for the concerts. Once inside the concert site, festival seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The concert site opens at 5:30 p.m. [Read more...]

Nikon Small World opens at AMSE June 13

AMSE Nikon Small World Marine Worm

Third place: Alvaro Esteves Migotto, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Centro de Biologia Marinha, Sao Paulo, Brazil. “Marine worm,” (Stereomicroscopy, darkfield, 20X) (Submitted photo)



Glimpse into a remarkable world that most have never seen. It is a window into the universe that can only be seen through the lens of a microscope, when Nikon Small World’s award winning photomicrographs exhibition opens June 13 at the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge.

Combining the skills in microscopy and photography, a photomicrograph is able to capture an image of the world that the naked eye cannot see. A freelance photographer and artist with a passion for aquatic microorganisms, Wim van Egmond of The Netherlands, sought to blend art and science to capture the complexity and stunning detail of this fragile helical chain.

“I approach micrographs as if they are portraits. The same way you look at a person and try to capture their personality, I observe an organism and try to capture it as honestly and realistically as possible,” said Egmond of his winning image of a marine diatom, a colonial plankton organism. “At the same time, this image is about form, rhythm and composition. The positioning of the helix, the directions of the bristles, the subdued colors, and contrast all bring together a balance that is both dynamic and tranquil.” [Read more...]

Spotlight: Banners showcase art of the late Peggy Heddleson

Peggy Heddleson

Peggy Heddleson


“Peggy Heddleson Banners: A Celebration of Poetry in Felt,” a special proclaiming event honoring the memory of the late Margaret “Peggy” Thompson Heddleson, will be held from 2-4 p.m., Sunday, June 8, in the fellowship hall at Grace Lutheran Church at 131 W. Gettysburg Ave. in Oak Ridge.

Heddleson, who died in 2009, achieved acclaim as an artist in ceramics, painting, and basket weaving, but her banners, made of felt cloth with words, were her crowning artistic achievement.

Many of her banners were gifted to Grace Church, where she was a longtime member. On display in the sanctuary and the fellowship hall, they carry a message of faith and healing. Also on display for this event will be additional banners loaned by Peg’s daughter, Tina Armstrong. Many of the loaned banners deal with domestic violence and rape, topics with which Heddleson had some familiarity both from her own life and the stories many women shared with her as she traveled, giving “banner talks” advocating for battered women to church and civic groups. [Read more...]

‘Why Art’ exhibit opens Friday at Children’s Museum

Oil Pastel

Jihye Jung is the young artist who created this oil pastel painting of a dragon. (Submitted image)

The Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge will host the opening of the exhibit “Why Art?” from 6-7 p.m. Friday, May 9, showcasing children’s art and highlighting the benefits of art education in a child’s academic life.

Children who are students of private art teacher Anjela McEahern will exhibit drawings and paintings in various media, including graphite pencil, colored pencil, pastel, watercolor and acrylic paint. Her 23 students, who attend preschool through eighth grade, will each have a work of art in the exhibit in Imagination Gallery at the museum at 461 W. Outer Drive.

The exhibit will also include a mural created by Phil Yeh, an artist representing Cartoonists Across America and the World, during the 2010 Street Painting Festival sponsored by the local Oak Ridge Rotary Clubs. Yeh and Leona Kitchings, who contributed to the mural, sketched Oak Ridge landmarks, and many local artists painted the landmarks.

Entertaining with a violin performance will be Michael Lin, a Farragut Middle School student and first violin in the Youth Chamber Orchestra in the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra Association. [Read more...]

Princess Theatre to host student talent show May 2

Area K-12 students will share their talent in music, dance, drama, storytelling, and art during the first Multicounty Talent Show at the Princess Theatre in downtown Harriman in May.

The show, presented by the Princess Theatre Foundation, will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 2. Tickets are $5 for adults and will be available at the door. Students will be admitted free.

Dove and Grammy-nominated songwriter John Condrone will perform before the show and serve as emcee. Local radio station WECO 101.3 FM will have a live remote before the show, and sidewalk art by local students will be on display. [Read more...]

Guest column: Arts Council kicks off fund drive, asks for your help

Arts Council of Oak Ridge Logo

Dear Arts Supporter,

The Arts Council of Oak Ridge is kicking off the United Arts Fund Drive this March and April. We are so grateful for the past support from the citizens in our city and county and know that you realize the arts are essential to the health and vitality of our community. The arts enhance community development, spur urban renewal, attract new businesses, draw tourism dollars, and create an environment that attracts skilled, educated workers. Oak Ridge has a long history of a strong arts community, which contributes significantly to an enriched place to live, work, worship, and play.

We are asking you, as a member of our community, to help us continue these vital endeavors by making a tax-exempt donation to this year’s United Arts Fund Drive. As a supporter of the arts, you or your business will receive additional benefits. At the $150 or above donation level, your name or business’ name will be listed in every printed program of every event presented by the eight member organizations as well as in regional newspapers, magazines, our website, and the new Arts Council app for smartphones and tablets reaching more than 50,000 residents. At the $500 or above donation level, links from our website to donor websites will also be provided. Pledges must be received by July 31 to be included in programs and publications. [Read more...]

Spotlight: March art display at library by Jacqueline Page

Jacqueline Page Oil Painting at Oak Ridge Library


The art display at Oak Ridge Public Library for March is a collection of vibrant oil compositions painted by Jacqueline Page.

Page is a native of East Tennessee and received a bachelor’s degree from Tusculum College in Greenville. After working 28 years at the Y-12 National Security Complex, she now dedicates her time to pursuing her lifetime dream of becoming a freelance artist. She has won many awards at local competitions and placed first, second, and third at the Tennessee Valley Agricultural and Industrial Fair in September 2012.

The collection includes studies in the relaxed poses of children, floral still lifes, and views of the touching relationship between people and dogs. One focal point of the collection is a large painting of a young woman in a blue evening gown.

Please visit Oak Ridge Public Library during the month of March to view the beautiful paintings that are on display.