Breaking Ground 113 - Fine Art

a little girl with brown hair and a yellow dress stands barefoot in a forest, looking a little sad or scared, while a brown-haired adult woman in a matching yellow dress crouches down to comfort the girl. She is also barefoot and is holding one of the girl’s hands and touching the girl’s face with her other hand. They are standing in a forest setting of red, yellow and orange leaves on the ground and bare trees in the background.
"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.
a pencil drawing on white paper of a seated man in a chair. The lines are drawn with a bit of chaos, suggesting movement – the head and the ice cream cone are just spirals and squiggles.
"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.
thick textured lines of paint in a few colors zig zag in short horizontal columns across the page – a deep blue-black, a teal and a bright yellow, with some overlapping colors in some places.
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.
a painting of a brown squirrel on a tree branch surrounded by acorns. The painting is a bit rough and textured with browns and yellows and blue in the background behind the branches and squirrel.
"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.
photo of a painting in a studio. The painting is of an unidentified man with brown hair and a brown goatee, glasses and a red shirt, against a blue background.
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.
a young man with reddish hair, a beard, glasses and a maroon shirt is shown in the photo jumping up in the air, with a look of concentration on his face as he looks back at the ground. It almost looks like he is in the middle of a skateboard trick but the photo is tight, showing just his body mid-jump
Bio: Sophia Gulley is a 23-year-old multi-media artist who lives with PTSD.
a colored drawing of a black tree, bare of leaves, on a winter’s evening with the blue sky behind it and white snow on the ground shown as both blank paper and white tissue paper, some of which is dyed light blue.
“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.
a photo of an ornate black clock on top of a pole, similar to a lamppost, on the ETSU campus with picnic style seating and a brick building in the background
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.
mixed media piece formed from bent wire and colorful beads and pom-poms and ribbons and string wrapped around it; shape is sort of like a bottle being poured out upside down
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.
a watercolor painting and sketch in pen of a brown basket holding an assortment of colorful fruit
"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.
a close-up photo of a white short-haired cat laying sideways on a porch in front of a house.
Christy Earheart is a 2015 graduate of our Partners in Policymaking Leadership Institute and lives in Springfield, TN.
mixed media piece showing a colorful peacock with purple, green and blue feathers made from fabric, decorated with little golden gears, cogs and buttons. The bird is on a painted clock with Roman numerals. The clock is surrounded by flowers.
"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."
a painting of a yellow flower with a green stem, and sentences about the artist are written in pink and black on the petals of the flower. visible phrases include: "I have a disability; I am chronically ill; I am a child of God; I'm cat mom; I'm worthy."
“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.
a detailed colored pencil sketch of Dolly Parton standing in front of the Ryman Auditorium wearing a red dress and surrounded by a few butterflies.
“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."
a photo of a quilt made out of several different floral patterns, many of them in shades of pink, displayed hanging on a wall.
“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.
watercolor sketch of a brown, orange and white bird perched on the branch of a tree against a deep blue background
“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.
photo of a person with medium length blonde hair dressed in a baggy light gray suit and jacket in a dramatic pose in profile in front of a forest. The person is balancing on one foot with the other extended up in front of them and their body leaning backwards, with one arm draped above their chest and the other with their hand on their forehead.
“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.
a work of digital art showing a figure at the edge of a cliff in the foreground, facing a huge mountain range in the distance, topped with a glowing moon and dark storm clouds. Between the person and the mountains, there appears to be a reflection of the mountain in a body of water, but the reflection shows the mountains as glowing red and orange, like a volcano.
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."
a black and white very detailed painting of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus in profile, with a cowboy hat, longer hair, and beard
"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.
a closeup photo of a black and tan butterfly perched on a purple flower in a field of red and purple flowers
"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.
a painting of a large eye with a figure of a person in the iris. above the eye are leaves decorated with words like "trust, faith, hope, love, memories". below the eye are tears, with the words "anger, guilt and pain"
"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.”
a pen sketch on white paper of a living room showing the angles of the walls, a sectional couch, a coffee table with a book, potted flowers and more
"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.
a detailed colored drawing of a robot character from Power Rangers with red, yellow and blue colors.
"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.
a vibrant colorful cartoon-like drawing of a red barn, a brown and house farmhouse behind it, a field in front of it, and trees and around it
"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.
a photo of 3 cows in a field; the one on the left is white with a black head, the one in the center looking straight at the camera is brown with a white belly, and the one on the right is brown with a black face
"The Trio" by Nicholas Coakley. Bio: Nicholas Coakley is a photographer with the AbleVoices program and enjoys taking pictures of his cows.
a drawing of a black tree bare of leaves, with the rest of the paper painted in soft watercolors of purple, pink and orange. Little pink roses are falling all around the tree and onto the ground.
"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.
a colorful but blurry digital art creation that shows a lush landscape of forests, rocks and a river, and two figures of different height in the distance facing some sort of large winged mystical monster or creature
“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.
a sepia toned square headshot of Teresa, a young white woman with light hair pulled back in a ponytail, wearing a tie-dyed shirt
“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.
a diptych (2 side by side square paintings) with a base of bright pink and splashes and streaks of other colors, including teal, orange, red and blue
“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.