Breaking Ground 113 - Fine Art
"Before the Fall" by Lauren Whipple. Bio: Lauren Whipple is an artist based in Johnson City, Tennessee, where she is pursuing her BFA in painting at East Tennessee State University with a minor in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. Her work explores the psychological and physical spaces women occupy when confronting issues of gender and sexuality through autobiographical details of her own life.
"Dad sitting and eating ice cream" by Pace Johnson. Bio: Pace Johnson is a 27-year-old man with autism who lives in Knoxville, Tennessee. He loves music, poetry, drawing, painting, reading, surfing the internet, watching movies, eating out, seeing live theater and concerts, playing with puppets, and working at a wide variety of jobs.
Katie Z. is from Franklin, TN. She is a part of the Waves Franklin Day Program. Katie loves cats and loves to rock in her favorite rocking chair.
"Squirrel Up a Tree, Collecting Food for Winter, So He Can Hibernate" by Meg Best. Bio: Meg Best of Cleveland is 40 years old. She is proud of her jobs at two local pharmacies, where she has worked for 12+ years. Some of her favorite things to do are shopping, gardening, and cooking, but she is most proud of being an aunt to her nephews.
Jessica Lawhorn of Knoxville is a 2005 graduate of our Partners in Policymaking Leadership Institute. She has been painting for 8 years and uses acrylics as her medium of choice.
Bio: Sophia Gulley is a 23-year-old multi-media artist who lives with PTSD.
“Winter Evening” by Amanda McCord. Amanda McCord of Chattanooga is 41 years old. She has worked at Siskin Children’s Institute for 16 years! She is proud to be an ambassador for her job and her school. Her favorite things to do are playing bocce, sewing, going to church, painting pottery, and going out to eat.
Bio: Nick Ransom lives in Johnson City, has autism, and is a student in the Access program at ETSU. He likes taking pictures, cookies, pizza, traveling, music, playing outside, and time with his family.
Bottle by Jonathan (Jon) Phillippi. Bio: Jon's paintings embrace imagination, process, and chance. Using highly watery paints, he lets the paint flow, as colors swirl and seep. He often uses black, hinting at mystery and intrigue. Jon also utilizes the medium of sculpture to express playfulness and a curious dichotomy between minimalism and obsession. He lives in Nashville and has recently shown at Zeitgeist Gallery with the artist Richard Feaster.
"Beautiful Fall Colors" by Jessica McFarland. Jessica McFarland of Chattanooga is 42 years old. She loves art so much that she puts it on her body through tattoos! She has 4 tattoos and will be getting a 5th one soon. Creating art makes her feel relaxed. In her free time she does pastel drawings and diamond paintings.
Christy Earheart is a 2015 graduate of our Partners in Policymaking Leadership Institute and lives in Springfield, TN.
"Clockwork Peacock" by Hope McKee. Hope's artist statement: "As a disabled artist, my art has become my voice. I use a variety of colors and sweeping strokes to invoke feelings of joy and comfort, after all my name is Hope."
“Words to Describe Me” by Katie Moore. Bio: Katie Moore is 27 years old and lives in Jackson, TN. She is a current scholar in our Partners in Policymaking Leadership Institute.
“Dolly Parton at The Ryman” by David Duncan. Bio: David Duncan of Nashville loves to create. He says, “My opinion of art, personally speaking, is a thought made visually. Art is a better way of making a statement than verbal communication. Art transcends language."
“Bee” by Lauren Best. Bio: Lauren works in textiles. Her works are layered with complex markings, patterns, and a wide array of vivid color. Lauren’s expressive pieces remind the viewer of stained-glass cathedrals, or a vast cave filled with organically forming geometric crystals. She has recently shown work at Art Beat Gallery in Nashville.
“Nature Calls” by Susan Turner. Bio: Susan Turner of Ooltewah is 51 years old. She is proud to have worked as a bagger at Food City for 16 years. In her free time, she likes to paint handmade cards and spend time at her family’s lake house.
“Displacement” by Priscilla Doran. Bio: Priscilla Doran is a photographer from Hixson, TN. She has a passion for storytelling through photography and loves math and creative writing.
Untitled digital painting by Dave Buback. Bio: David Buback of Jackson was a Project SEARCH intern in 2018-2019 and now works at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. He loves coffee, people, games, and creating art focused on mental illness and Jesus. About this painting, he shared: "To say how I feel is important to me. Because even though everything may look good on the outside, it may not be the same on the inside."
"Billy Ray Cyrus" by Hope Dyson. Bio: Adopted with her twin sister from Sierra Leone, Africa, Hope now lives in the Nashville area. She struggled as a kid with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Epilepsy, and expressing her emotions. Now as an artist, athlete, and through serving other people, she loves to bring joy to others. In her painting practice she focuses on portraits of celebrities. She has recently shown work at Art Beat Gallery in Nashville.
"Butterfly" by Alyssa Ray. Bio: Alyssa Ray has been interested in art all of her life. She has enjoyed participating with AbleVoices and Borderless Arts TN for several years. Alyssa took this photo of a butterfly at Liberty Grace Farms in Columbia, TN in the summer of 2022.
"Holding on to Letting Go" by Marta Hernandez-Fontenot. .Marta Hernandez-Fontenot of Memphis says, “I feel like the world stops when I am creating art in my craft room.”
"The Living Room" by Cameron Copeland. Bio: Cameron Copeland of Chattanooga is a 25-year-old man with Alexander’s Disease who is active in advocating for himself and others with this diagnosis. His favorite hobbies are architectural drawing and archery. Cameron likes to bless his friends and family with gifts of artwork.
"Power Rangers RPM Megazord" by Calvin Hall. Bio: Calvin Hall is 47 years old, lives in Oak Ridge, and loves art. He can typically draw anything he looks at, including people. He enjoys watching Power Rangers and drawing characters from the show to relax and feel calm.
"The Old Barn" by Jacob Atkins. Bio: Jacob Atkins of Chattanooga is 23 years old and a talented cartoon artist. In his free time, he likes to play video games and mini golf.
"The Trio" by Nicholas Coakley. Bio: Nicholas Coakley is a photographer with the AbleVoices program and enjoys taking pictures of his cows.
"Falling Roses" by Jessica Sierra. Bio: Jessica Sierra of Ooltewah is 27 years old and loves to paint. Her favorite color is pink. Some of her favorite things to do in her free time are play basketball in the Trousdale School basketball tournament, watch TikTok videos, and have her nails done.
“Mystic Lands” by Anthony Bledsoe. Bio: Anthony Bledsoe is 21 years old, lives in Kingsport, and has autism. He enjoys making art and writing poems.
“My Portrait” by Teresa Holmes. Bio: Teresa Holmes of Signal Mountain is 23 years old. She recently graduated from high school and now attends Trousdale School. Teresa loves mermaids and is proud of being smart at math.
“Connections: Pink, Purple, Yellow, Green I & II” by Grace Goad. Bio: Grace walker Goad began painting at age four, a year after she was diagnosed with moderately severe autism, speech/language disorder, and intellectual disability in 1997. Her advanced use of color and composition garnered media attention before age 10. Since then, she has been featured by many prominent national media outlets, including ABC's "The View" and "The New York Times." Her art is in the Tennessee Arts Commission's permanent artists' collection at the Tennessee State Museum. Her works have been exhibited and are in private collections all across the U.S. Grace lives in Nashville and can be located online on Facebook and Instagram as Grace Goad Autism Art.