Vera is a twenty-six-year-old abstract artist that was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. She is currently studying fine arts, with a concentration in painting, at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. Her preferred medium is oil on large-scale canvases. Aldridge finds inspiration in the lines, textures, and expressive colors of industrial objects and landscapes. Her most recent works mainly focus on bold, three-dimensional textures ascending from a two-dimensional plane. Vera explains, "By doing this the viewer is encouraged to inquire about the medium and technique. The intent with every single piece of artwork is to provide a unique visual experience that evokes a sense of unfamiliarity from the viewers of all ages."
Hollie Berry is an artist living and working in beautiful Chattanooga Tennessee. Originally from Texas, she graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BFA in Studio Art in 2009. Berry first made her mark in Chattanooga with her “Dewdles” or drawings in the dewy grass of Coolidge Park, then moved on to more permanent public art projects like interactive art installations and murals.
When in her studio at Chattanooga WorkSpace, she focuses on more traditional oil paintings of her favorite subjects: Horses. You can find more examples of her work on her website: www.HollieBerryArt.com.
Miki Boni, who began her career in Manhattan’s East Village drawing street portraits, has lived in Mexico as a working artist, where she taught painting and drawing at the University of Guanajuato in San Miguel de Allende. Upon her return, her work has been exhibited at Lincoln Center and at WomanArt Galleries on 57th Street. Listed in Who’s Who of American Women, Boni was elected to Washington DC's National League of American Pen Women for her accomplishments in the visual arts. She has had numerous one-woman shows in both the US and Mexico and many of her paintings and graphics are included in private collections internationally. She takes the fruits of her early classical training and teases out the spirited nature of her subjects. Her works burst with energy, joy, humor and mystery--a natural segue into writing.
Miki's book, "FIGMENTS: Visual Magic and Tiny Tales,” is soon to be published.
Mark's interest is in texture, color and the interplay between the two. He works with layers and dimensionality created with scraping techniques and occasional mixed media. The intention is to create a piece that appears from a distance to be an elemental object, mostly of a single color, but that reveals depth and intricacies when closely inspected. A feeling that the parts are more than the whole or that each small section of a painting has its own beauty and meaning is what he tries to achieve. A focal point is absent, forcing the eye to move around the painting, often landing on some previously undiscovered grouping or pattern worthy of contemplation. Influenced by the abstract expressionists of the 40s and 50s, I humbly take inspiration from Jackson Pollock for his action and method approach, as well as for his even distribution of elements of composition. My color palette often reminds me of the mesmerizing works of Willem de Kooning: muted primary and secondary tones along with pure black and white to lure and direct the observer. Some facets of my technique come from a more contemporary model, Gerhard Richter, who manipulates wet paint by scraping with different tools to reveal the underlying layers. In 1972, I was born in Columbus, Ohio. My formal education was at Lancaster High School in Lancaster, Ohio and The Ohio State University in Columbus, where I earned my BA in journalism with a heavy emphasis on advertising and public relations. From 1997, I spent 14 years in Austin, Texas, working as a graphic designer, then prepress manager, then production manager for the Austin Chronicle. In 2011, my wife and I decided to try early retirement in Central America. We lived in Costa Rica and Panama for three years before falling in love with Chattanooga, Tennessee while visiting family. We moved here permanently in 2014, purchased and remodeled a house, set up a studio and started painting.
Selected to exhibit in the AVA Chattanooga juried "For Your Eyes Only" gallery show in March & April 2017
Melissa Gates was born in Saginaw, MI in 1969. She has lived and worked in Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, Wyoming and Texas. During her morphing career life which included Computer Science, Accounting and Entrepreneurial ventures, Melissa was continually drawn to the inspiring beauty of trees and animals. She communed with that calling by immersing herself into the nature that surrounded her. After retiring, Melissa ventured to Central America to explore the tropical beauty of Costa Rica and Panama for three years and is now settling in Chattanooga, TN. In pursuit of a lifelong desire, she began painting in 2015. An innate ability, to express her love of nature with precision and depth, revealed itself. She primarily works with acrylic on canvas and feels the most comfortable using a stippling technique to create desired levels of detail and depth. Simple backgrounds combined with up close subjects are enhanced by an exaggeration of texture to incorporate a dramatic feel. Melissa paints her interpretation of "stopping to smell the roses". She wants you to stop and truly see the beauty of the subject, and to feel the sensations of the environment.
Selected to exhibit in the AVA Chattanooga juried "For Your Eyes Only" gallery show in Mar & Apr 2017
Awarded 2nd place $2500 prize for her Cherry Blossoms Lg painting in the 2016 "Passion To Perform" international art contest which included approximately 3500 submissions from all four corners of the globe.
Hannah Hahn is a multimedia artist, but primarily focuses on painting and drawing. Hahn was born in Alabama, is currently based in Chattanooga, TN, and recently graduated from UTC with a Bachelor's degree in Art Education. She enjoys co-writing curriculum and creating with and for passionate people. Her work ranges from abstract expressionism to representative and realistic. Her interest in art and history often leads her to pursue narrative themes and the dualism present in day to day life that makes up these significant events of civilization. There is so much to experience in the world, and Hahn wants to portray her curiosity for what that means to viewers. That curiosity is reflected in Hahn's work beyond painting and drawing, to photography, printmaking, and sculpture. You should never stop learning or being curious.
Bill has always been drawn to storytelling and the art connected to it. He got his introduction to the art of storytelling when he was a young boy by studying the Sunday morning comics and later super hero comic books. It was a natural progression for him to join the world of Children’s storytelling.
Bill graduated from Kent State University with a degree in illustration. He has worked as a graphic designer/ illustrator for a variety of companies, until presently doing freelance design work.
The most rewarding experiences Bill has encountered is when he has the opportunity to interact with children. Hopefully his school presentations and festival visits will enhance a child’s reading experience. Along with illustrating books, Bill has also been an instructor at City Artworks for the past 3 years.
Hometown: Akron, Ohio College: Kent State University Favorite Superhero: Captain America Favorite Children’s Book that had the most influence on me: Harold and the Purple Crayon Favorite Children’s Book: Where the Wild Things Are Favorite Illustrator: N.C. Wyeth Favorite Sport: Baseball Favorite Color: Purple Favorite Son: Michael Gabriel
Books Bill has Illustrated • Don’t Eat the Bluebonnets • Hayfest, A Holiday Quest • Grandma Spoils Me • Grandpa’s Awesome • Sad Sam, Glad Sam • Giraffe of Montana, vols. I,II,III,IV • The String • Tosca the Dog • The Great Dinosaur Race • The Fun Dinosaur Day at the Beach • The Cool Dinosaur Campout • STRANDED: Stormy’s Adventure • Bully in the Barnyard • The Very Long Life of Alice’s Playhouse; A Survivor Story • Sad Sam Glad Sam • It All Started with a Turtle • Veggie Vroom Vroom • The Terrific Dinosaur Talent Show • The History of the North Pole • Bye Bye Moon • The Jolly Dinosaur Carvival • Dream Write • Because You Hit Grandma with a Bat • Mariachi Man • Pixie & Trixie Bug • Pixie & Trixie Bug Birthday Surprise • Buddy the Home Repair Bear • You Can Call Me... • Arthur Zarr’s Amazing Art Car • The Tale of Lucky the Dog • An Armadillo Christmas • Bernadette the Brave
Jessica Messina is a stay at home mom who has recently begun to revisit her past as an artist. Jessica went to college in Portsmouth, Virginia for graphic design learning the knacks of drawing to try years later on her own, painting. Only to develop multiple... and multiple canvas for decor in her own home. With no more wall space... now, to begin venturing out in the art world with an open mind! Recently, she has had art presented to an honored guest Colonel (Ret.) Danny McKnight and a few pieces were presented for an auction to raise money for an organization associated with the National Guard. She hopes to continue spreading her art to anyone who asks.
Chattanooga-born artist, Carrie Pendergrass, has been making art for as long as she can remember. She received her B.F.A. degree in Studio Art, with a concentration in Painting from the University of TN. Knoxville in 1997 and has been working as a freelance artist and in creative work environments ever since. She began teaching art in various public and private capacities to all age groups from child to adult, upon her return to Chattanooga in 1998. She eventually returned to school and in 2005 received her M.Ed. from the University of TN. Chattanooga, along with a certification to teach art in k-12. She worked as a full-time art teacher on the middle and high school levels until 2012, when she left teaching to pursue her dream of owning her own store/ studio/ gallery & was able to do so by winning a small business grant via the River City Company’s Project Pop Up initiative program. She was the sole owner and operator of her shop for approximately 2.5 years. She had to close her brick & mortar store, Sewn to the Sky, at the end of 2014, but has continued making and showing her art and doing freelance art instruction. She is currently working for a local non-profit called the H*Art Gallery in Chattanooga, which offers a space for homeless, disabled and other non-traditional artists a place to sell their work, and provides art classes to disadvantaged populations in the community. She is also currently teaching art to 2nd grade public school students on an Arts Build-managed grant Artist-in-Residency Program, and creating and showing her work in local and regional shows and galleries.
Daniel Swanger is a resident of East Brainerd in Chattanooga and a member of the Swanger family. Swagner is well-traveled artist, having lived in both the Midwest, the South, and several months in 1974 New York. He has also traveled the Grand Tour, in the Americas, and belongs to the hereditary-patriotic US Sons of the Revolution (SR) and believes in the charitable giving on ones time and efforts.
Daniel achieved his degree in studio painting and sculpture in 1982 with the Art Institute of Chicago. He has over 800 major works of art that he has created, with some still currently in progress. He exhibited with the Postmodernists in Chicago in the 1980s and continues that deconstruction of art history as non-modernist.
Daniel is also a published author in essays, sonnets, and verse.
Taylor Thompson was educated as a graphic designer at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, but personally considers herself to be a “mixed media designer”. With the intent to explore all types of media, Thompson enjoys working with unconventional materials along side the digital canvas. Her work is vibrant and whimsical, often catering to a youthful audience. Her style is defined by bright colors and bold lines, and is influenced by street art and children’s illustrations.
My first memory of artwork was the mural in my nursery that my mother painted for me. The walls were simply painted in primary colors of blue skies, puffy white clouds, rolling hills with flowers, and balloons. It was the happiest room in the world and I wanted all rooms to be happy. It is no surprise that I have done my share of children's murals; in private homes, church nurseries, preschools, restaurants, and even gym tanning rooms.
Artistic talent runs deep in my family, the Italian side especially has a myriad of creators with artistic flair. We have furniture designers, mosaic artists, potters, jewelry makers, tailors, fashion designers, and fiber artists to name only a few. My uncle gave me my very first "real" set of oils and I saved up months of babysitting money to buy my first set of "real" art pens before I was 12 years old. I've learned many artistic skills through the years by studying under those who master their craft, from jewelry to ceramics and everything in between. I love to create in many ways but the way that comes naturally is with pen and brush. I have developed my own styles while taking in all that I can from not only my family but by studying those I admire and adding classes here and there. I like to try new things with assorted media but often come back to watercolor and ink as my favorite and take every opportunity I can get to learn a new artistic skill.
For me, I create to make people smile, even just a little bit. My artwork is often too colorful to be serious even if the nature of the art should be a bit subdued. Often, it's whimsical or quirky, however, I mostly create art for the eyes of a child. A child's first look at color or a detailed illustration, I hope, may cause that child to move in for a closer look and realize that the painting is all for them.
Welcome to a Painted Story Children's Gallery, my long time dream and many of years of wanting to bring art to the youngest of eyes to inspire them in all aspects of their world.