Watercolor contest to feature students’ art

By COLBY DENTON
Posted 9/12/18

Interested in art, but want something that focuses more on encapsulating the spirit of our region? Then come check out the winning paintings of the Museum Center's Shuptrine Watercolor Competition, …

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Watercolor contest to feature students’ art

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Interested in art, but want something that focuses more on encapsulating the spirit of our region? Then come check out the winning paintings of the Museum Center's Shuptrine Watercolor Competition, starting on Sept. 27.

Mitch Mizell, Museum Center curator of education, is excited about the impact the competition is set to make on the community, as winning students have the opportunity to get their art featured in the museum.

While watercolor submissions were only accepted until Sept. 7, numerous elementary, middle and high schools submitted several watercolor paintings by students from ages K-12.

The paintings will be judged by Shuptrine himself and members of the Tennessee Watercolor Society. Judging takes place the week of Sept. 10, and winners will be announced the following week.

Three winners will be chosen from elementary, three from middle and three from high school – each with a winner of first, second and third place, making for nine overall. Winning paintings will be placed on display alongside Shuptrine’s own paintings throughout his art exhibit from Sept. 27 to Jan. 17.

“It really involves them,” Mizell said of the students. “They’ll feel like their art is being appreciated alongside this great artist, Alan Shuptrine, and also, their family and friends can come see their art for several months after the competition.”

Content and size were not limited for the participating artists, as the Museum Center wanted to see the variety of works created this way. They only asked the students to use watercolor as their artistic medium instead of acrylic or oil paints.

As Shuptrine’s art is more nature-oriented, Mizell believes the colors combine in mysterious and alluring ways that couldn’t normally be captured with oil or acrylic, and work well for Shuptrine’s subject material.

“You see a lot of blending of colors that really captures the beauty of the mountains and the fog and mists of the Appalachians. I think watercolors really bring that out, and we have a lot of local watercolor artists in our community, as many of them are featured in our store. It’s nice how it’s the people of Tennessee’s story being conveyed, too,” Mizell added.

As the first official art exhibit to be held at the Museum Center, the Shuptrine exhibit is expected to attract a large crowd due to the different subject content and beautiful works. Based on Shuptrine’s book, “Appalachian Watercolors of the Serpentine Chain,” the exhibit will feature various works centered on the cultures of the Appalachians and its people. Since the Appalachian Trail begins in Georgia and runs all the way to Maine, the paintings convey the different scenery, churches, cabins and people of the region that a hiker would see while hiking up the country.

“As Tennessee is a part of greater Appalachia, these depictions are essentially of us,” Mizell said. “We’re the foothills of Tennessee, and this art has a strong connection to our area. People should come check this out because it’s about them.”

Education resources at the Museum Center are free for public, private and home-based schools, meaning field trips to the museum are free. The Museum Center even offers an $85 bus reimbursement for Cleveland City, Bradley and Polk County Schools.

The Museum Center staff encourages all teachers in the area to reach out to Mizell and submit emails in order to be kept up-to-date on all museum functions that involve schools like the Watercolor Competition. Mizell can be reached at mmizell@museumcenter.org or by calling 423-339-5745.

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