Area lawmakers announce $72,190 in Anderson County arts grants

Tennessee legislators announced Friday that seven arts grants worth $72,190 have been awarded to six organizations in Anderson County.

The recipients include the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge Community Playhouse, Oak Ridge Civic Music Association, Oak Ridge Community Art Center, Tennessee Mountain Writers, and Appalachian Arts Craft Center.

The grants include two grants with a combined total of $20,800 for the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge in the categories of Arts Education-Community Learning and Partnership Support.

The other grants include: [Read more…]

Record crowds: Secret City Festival was ‘tremendous success’

Secret City Festival Concert 2015

A concert crowd at the 2015 Secret City Festival in Oak Ridge. (Photo by Robert Welton)


The 2015 Oak Ridge Secret City Festival drew record attendance, despite the heat, organizers said. Concerts by the Marshall Tucker Band and Three Dog Night attracted the highest number of spectators in festival history.

“We were ecstatic with the turnout for both concerts,” says, Marc DeRose, executive director of the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We knew the bands would be popular but didn’t expect to see quite so many people. It was outstanding!”

Attendances for The Marshall Tucker Band and Three Dog Night were more than 2,200 and more than 3,500, respectively. The previous record was 2,300 for the Rick Springfield concert in 2013.

“After seeing how many tickets were sold at the gate for Friday’s Marshall Tucker concert, we decided to move the concert fences back to accommodate the expected additional 1,000-plus spectators for Three Dog Night,” DeRose said. [Read more…]

Lavender Festival celebrates herbal products on Saturday

Lavender Festival Crowd

The Lavender Festival will celebrate “all things herbal” in Jackson Square on Saturday.

The 17th annual festival is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 20. There is no cost to attend.

“Jackson Square has been under renovations since January, but they are expected to be finished in time for the festival, which will go on as planned,” organizers said.

They said free parking is available in surrounding city and business lots, and on side streets.

The Lavender Festival focuses on herbs, health, gardening, and cooking, and it features more than 100 vendors, a dozen herb and health presentations, children’s activities, and many musicians. Vendors will line the covered walkways of Jackson Square, the parking lot, and both sides of Broadway Avenue, which will be closed to traffic. [Read more…]


Children’s Museum summer camps continue in July

Imagination Station Summer Camp continues at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge through July, inviting children to experience garden to table fun, create with chocolate and other culinary treats, learn from the artistic masters, fashion designs in clay, and many more adventures.

The summer camps, through July 31, offer activities for children ages 3-5 in preschool classes and for children entering grades 1 through 7. Clay camps with professional clay artist Sherrie Carris will be offered throughout the summer for children ranging in age from 4-13.

The week-long camps are offered Monday through Friday each week. Fees for a single camp are $125 for members and $135 for non-members. For combo camps, morning and afternoon, fees are $210 for members and $220 for non-members. Payment may be made by phone with Visa, MasterCard or Discover, by check, or online through PayPal.

Camps for the week of June 29-July 3 are: [Read more…]

Louie Bluie Music and Arts Festival seeks artists, crafters for 2015 Craft Village


Applications are now being accepted for the 9th annual Louie Bluie Music and Arts Festival’s juried craft area. Applications received by the deadline of August 31 will be reviewed by a committee for originality, craftsmanship, design, material selection, and appropriateness to the Appalachian tradition. Photos of the work to be sold are required to complete the application.

Organizers said they are hoping to attract more Oak Ridge area creatives to their festival.

Individual artists, craft or art nonprofit groups, school art clubs, or groups whose missions are related to crafts or art are considered prospective vendors, as well as book authors whose material reflects the heritage and culture of the Appalachian voice. [Read more…]

Roane State-ORHS dual credit ceramics class gives students new perspectives

Bryan Wilkerson and Katie Stewart in Ceramics Class

Roane State art professor Bryan Wilkerson works with student Katie Stewart during the college’s dual credit ceramics class at Oak Ridge High School. (Submitted photo)


For now, Oak Ridge High School ceramics students create sculptures, bowls, and figures.

Maybe later, they’ll create new businesses, innovative products, and groundbreaking technology.

Either way, the process is the same. Start with mush—clay for the moment. Use creativity, problem-solving, and analysis to turn the mush into something special. That’s the lesson Roane State Community College art professor Bryan Wilkerson wants the Oak Ridge students to learn in his dual credit ceramics classes.

“I treat this no differently than all of my classes,” Wilkerson said. “I want them to come away with an understanding of techniques. I’m also trying to help them develop their own artistic direction, creative problem-solving, how to start with an idea and see it through to a finished piece.” [Read more…]

Clinch River Spring Antique Fair on Saturday in Clinton

Clinch River Antique Festival

Clinch River Antique Fair (Submitted photo) 


The 11th Annual Clinch River Spring Antique Fair will be held on Saturday, May 2, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in Historic Downtown Clinton.

The Spring Antique Fair will kick off with a party on Friday evening, May 1, from 6 to 9 p.m. in Hoskins/Lane Park on Market Street with live musical entertainment.

Back by popular demand are The Real McCoys. This trio is comprised of brothers Blake and Aaron McCoy, who play banjo and guitar, and bass player Nick Patterson.

These young men grew up in Lake City playing in church, and they have been a favorite at The Museum of Appalachia’s Fall Homecoming for the past five years, a press release said. They released their first album in 2010 and are currently working on their second one, hoping to include several songs they have written. Their true passion for bluegrass music drives them to make bluegrass appeal to everyone. Their spin on the classic “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” has made them a local favorite.

[Read more…]

Arts Council asks for your support in United Arts Fund Drive

Arts Council of Oak Ridge Logo

The Arts Council of Oak Ridge is asking for your support in this year’s United Arts Fund Drive.

The annual drive kicked off March 15 and ends April 30.

Here is the letter the Arts Council sent to arts supporters in March:

Dear Arts Supporter,

Oak Ridge has always had a strong arts community—even as a secret city—and the arts continue to be essential to the health and vitality of Oak Ridge and Anderson County today. They enhance community development, spur urban renewal, attract new businesses, draw tourism dollars, create an attractive environment for skilled, educated workers, and help make the Oak Ridge area a great place to live, work, worship, and play. The arts organizations in Oak Ridge are vital because they support and supplement school activities, attract tourists and visitors, and offer volunteer and participation opportunities. [Read more…]

Free Mental Health workshop at Grace Lutheran on Saturday


“Art Therapy and Mental Health” is an interactive and hands-on workshop that will be hosted by the Grace Lutheran Church Mental Health Ministry on Saturday, April 18, at 10:30 a.m.  The church is located at 131 West Gettysburg Avenue in Oak Ridge.

The workshop is free and open to the public.

The program will be presented by community counselors Emma C. Burgin and Amanda DeDiego, both of whom are doctoral students in counselor education at the University of Tennessee. [Read more…]

Artwork by JMS sixth-grader chosen for homeless coalition poster

JMS Misty Greenhalgh

Misty Greenhalgh holding the 2015 PIT Count Poster with art teacher, Jim Dodson; JMS Principal Phil Cox; and TORCH Art Show Director Sheila Michel. (Submitted photo)


Misty Greenhalgh, a sixth-grade art student of Jim Dodson at Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge, submitted artwork to the Second Annual TORCH Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Art Show that was then submitted to the TVCH (Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless) Point in Time Count Poster Contest.

In the past, TVCH chose one piece of art from each county to be that county’s PIT poster. This year, they created the same poster for all 12 counties they serve. Faces from artwork used in past year’s posters as well as the face from Greenhalgh’s work were used for this year’s poster.

The 2015 poster states: “We are more than just faces. Everyone counts.”

Greenhalgh was recognized at the Monday night meeting of the Oak Ridge Board of Education. [Read more…]

Locally Grown Artists Gallery has grand opening April 11

Locally Grown Artists Gallery, a coop of more than 20 local artists and craftsmen, will be holding their grand opening at their new location on Saturday, April 11, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The grand opening will feature door prizes, refreshments, and demonstrations.

The gallery has recently moved to new and expanded space at 109 Towne Road in Oak Ridge. Everyone is invited to celebrate their new expansion with them.

International Festival is Saturday at Children’s Museum

Dancers at the International Festival at the Children's Museum of Oak Ridge

Dancers are pictured above at a previous International Festival at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. (Photo by Rob Welton)


The International Festival has been rescheduled for Saturday, February 28, at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. The festival will include the same entertainment line-up, food, and culture booths originally set for last weekend.

It was postponed last weekend (Saturday, February 21) due to weather conditions.

The International Festival will feature entertainment, crafts, and cuisines from cultures around the world, with Spice of India Dancers as the featured performers. The family-friendly event will feature musical, song, and dance entertainment on stage throughout the day, international food and culture booths, and crafts for children to make. [Read more…]