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McKinney Center: Artist Exhibition

May 28, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 8:00 am, repeating until July 2, 2018

Collison and Barrett-Justis Exhibit Work at the McKinney Center


Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts at the McKinney Center is pleased to invite you to an event on Friday, June 8, 6-8pm featuring the woodworking of husband and wife team, Bill and Tina Collison, and the oil paintings of Suzanne Barrett Justis.  The exhibition will run through July 2.  The McKinney Center is open Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm.  Most all the artwork will be on sale to the public during the duration of the exhibition.

Suzanne Barrett-Justis started her earlier years growing up in upstate New York, with a professional artist mother and a life surrounded by the things she loved most: animals and nature.  It was the perfect “cocktail” for a creative soul to embark in a career as a wildlife artist.  Suzanne started painting professionally while she was still in high school but never thought that being an artist was going to be the career path she would take. She states, “Being an artist isn’t something you DO, but instead it is who you ARE.”

Suzanne graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Animal Science and pursued a career in cancer research at Vanderbilt University.  While at Vanderbilt, Suzanne still painted professionally in her home studio on the weekends but maintained her full-time position in the lab during the week.  After the birth of her children and a move to Kingsport, Tennessee, Suzanne dedicated her time to raising her daughter and son, doing nursery murals, and painting pet portraits. As the children grew and Suzanne had more free time, her time was spent on advancing her studio art career.

Suzanne opened her art studio and gallery in downtown Kingsport in 2006 and has been successfully engaging with the public, her client base and students through her downtown site.  When she isn’t working with students, Suzanne can be seen painting at her easel, working on portraits, a commission piece, figurative works, wildlife or whatever happens to move her.  It is in her “oasis” that she feels most at home and at peace.

​Suzanne travels all over the country and DC meeting with zoos and taking lots of great reference photos for her next wildlife piece. Suzanne understands and appreciates the zoo’s conservation efforts and does much to help advance their efforts by donating pieces that are sold in auctions and fundraising events. The San Antonio Zoo, The Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA, The National Zoo in Washington DC, Zoo Miami, The Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke VA, and many more zoos have benefited from the generous donations of Suzanne’s work. Many of Suzanne’s pieces hang in zoo’s permanent collections throughout the country including the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois; The BioPark Zoo in Albuquerque, New Mexico; The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere in Tennessee  and the Dallas Zoo in Texas.

 Suzanne is member of many arts organizations including The Oil Painters of America, Artists for Conservation, The Kingsport Art Guild and The Portrait Society of America.  She has shown in many juried and one man shows.  Suzanne has volunteered her time and talents to many community projects including the Kingsport Carousel Project: not because being an artist is what she does, but more so, because being an artist is WHO she is.  Suzanne lives with her family in Kingsport, Tennessee and is living her dream.

The Collison’s are a husband and wife team that work with wood.  Bill’s early days in his father’s workshop and Tina’s interest in decoy carving fueled their interest in wood as the medium for their endeavors. They both view wood as strong, solid, substantial, and lasting…all great qualities as a medium for artwork. Wood is warm and tactile; it yearns to be held, rubbed and touched.

Trees downed by storms, age, disease, or in the path of progress, provide us with an ample supply of raw material. Bill turns burls, natural edged bowls and platters; Tina creates the surface embellishments by carving, piercing, burning and coloring designs on the turned pieces, moving the work from high quality craft into Art.

A piece of wood on the lathe serves as a blank canvas would for a painter. The various chisels and embellishment tools are the pigments and brushes. Unlike the painter or potter who may rework a flaw in their work, working with wood on the lathe is a one-way process. Disappointments or errors in form or technique are usually final; that piece finds its way to the “designer firewood pile.”

Their work has been influenced by exposure to many mentors through their membership in numerous artistic associations over the past 14 years. They were granted membership in the Southern Highlands Craft Guild in 2009. Their work has been juried and received awards in numerous juried exhibitions.

The McKinney Center houses the Jonesborough Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts and boasts of a mission to be, “committed to inspiring the people of our area through both the appreciation of and the participation in the arts as a form of personal and collective expression.”  The objective of the program is to “bring the community at large closer together and show as an example to other communities the creative influence that the arts can bring to their quality of life.”  The McKinney Center is a department within the Town of Jonesborough.

For more information, email Theresa Hammons at theresah@jonesborougtn.org or call 423-753-0562.


May 28, 2018
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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