Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Commission for Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum

I was commissioned to do a three person charcoal on plywood drawing for the Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum to coincide with the opening of their new visitor's center. The subjects of the drawing are members of the Howell family, who ran a nursery on the site for generations, and enabled this land to come into public ownership as a park for the education and enjoyment of the citizenry.

The park is several acres of terraced gardens, walkways, and the Center for Urban Agriculture, designed to equip and educate local communities for cultivating healthy produce and sustainable lifestyles.

J. Joe Howell, Mary Lester Howell, Jenny Howell Jukes - charcoal on plywood
It is fantastic to do a piece of public art concentrating on honoring people pursuing a life that is truly noble. The production of the plant life that enables us to be the civilized species we attain to be is what the Howells spent their life doing. Digging in the dirt to produce life. The fact that I drew them on wood further demonstrates the world they lived in. The drawings will continue to wander around the park, from the main building where the offices are, and back to the visitor center for appropriate events.
J. Joe in progress
Early study for Jenny Howell Jukes
Anna Ford, patron of the project and Interim Director, sets up Joe and Mary
Knoxville City Mayor Madeline Rogero speaks at the opening ceremony. In front to the left is Governor Haslam, and first chair on the right is County Mayor Tim Burchett.
The staff gave my people terrific props for the opening of this really gorgeous building.
Photo opps
Jenny Howell Jukes was known for watering her gardens while sitting in a lawn chair!