West Tennessee Regional Art Center Invitational Art Exhibition
by Brittan Pyron
Area artists displayed their works at the West Tennessee Regional Art Center Invitational Art Exhibition. Five artists works were displayed. Artists participating were Belinda Patterson, Stuart Janssen, Rose Byrum, Martha Kirby and Dawn Siler. Brian Bundren was the juror.
Before the formalities began, finger foods were served and guests were encouraged to look around the room. As everyone was finishing up, Mayor Marvin Sikes, WTRAC director Bill Hickerson, State Representative Curtis Halford, and festival president Chelsea Caraway each said a few words to welcome everyone and thank them for coming.
Bundren critiqued each artist by pointing out which pieces he liked most and why. He made many positive and constructive comments on multiple pieces from all five artists. However, the overall Best of Show winner was Belinda Patterson for her piece entitled Broken Wings.
Patterson is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a BS in Art Education. She moved to West Tennessee in 1980 and began her teaching career. After 31 years as an Arts educator, she retired in 2016. Patterson taught in Crockett and Madison counties and was an adjunct faculty instructor at Lambuth University for many years.
In 1993, she began to show her ceramic work and opened her own studio in 1995. Her work has been featured in galleries across Tennessee, as well as several other southern states. She exhibited in the Tennessee Artist Craftsman show in Nashville for many years. Her work was selected to be presented to President Clinton and Vice President Gore, as well as several celebrities on their visits to Jackson, Tenn. Patterson’s work is part of the permanent collection at the Tennessee State museum and the Upper Room, along with many private collections.
“Grief and loss are things we are confronted with in our lives,” Patterson said of her work. “After three losses in a brief period of time, journaling began the path to healing. Capturing memories in word and images brought comfort. This journal became the foundation for this body of work. ‘Healing Holes, Healing Whole.’ After creating the journal and drawings, I wanted to translate the story in sculpture as well. The drawings featured in this exhibit have a sculpture with which they are paired. Similar titles will lead you to the pairings. Much of this work is about the loss of faith and the journey to find a spiritual connection again. My hope is that this work will help us all in finding our path to Healing Whole.”