Artists Give Back: Jolley

During these unprecedented times, artists are doing what they always do – creating.  But the purpose behind their artistic efforts is changing during the pandemic.

Art House is catching up with some of the artists, near and dear to our hearts, to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic is shaping their work, and in some cases, creating a new series of art entirely.

Local artist Richard Jolley – who is responsible for the KMA’s Circle of Life installation in the Ann and Steve Bailey Hall – was missing his usual traditions, and one in particular. Each Easter, Richard and and his wife, Tommie, exchange Godiva Chocolate bunnies.  But with stores closed, and a “shelter in place” mandate in the state of Tennessee, Richard and Tommie had to forgo this annual swap.

This got them thinking of all the things people may be missing – more essential things, like fresh food and non-perishables to eat.

Richard and Tommie’s thoughts raced – how could they take this special tradition and turn it into a way to help those in need?  As an internationally recognized glass sculptor, Richard created stunning cobalt blue bunnies adorned with masks; the “blue sky bunnies,” as he named them, are inspired by the Godiva Chocolate bunnies.


The bunnies are available for purchase from art galleries through out the United States.  For every bunny sold the vast majority of the proceeds will go to the gallery’s food bank of choice.

Each bunny is uniquely made and while the size averages at roughly just 8 inches the impact is far greater.

Knoxville is fortunate to call Richard and Tommie local artists, and therefore have the privilege of seeing the bunnies on display and for purchase at Bennett Gallery. Bennett has chosen Second Harvest food as the local food bank to support.

Art House appreciates Richard sharing this video message with us!



What is DIY Anywhere? It’s the brain-child of Ryan-Ashley Anderson, founder of Smart + Becker, who wanted to create a new way for people to DIY together, anywhere.

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Art House members are invited to a private #diyanywhere macramé workshop on Thursday, September 19 at Knoxville Graphic House. Learn how to make a beautiful hanging planter that you can create over and over again for your home, office, friends and family (or just for fun!).

Sips and snacks will be provided. A $25 material fee includes:

  • Rope for two planters
  • 2 wooden rings
  • 2 terra cotta pots
  • Acrylic paint
  • 2 succulents from Stanley’s Greenhouse

Workshop begins at 6:30pm and will be led by Ryan-Ashley who has more than 15 years of experience as a DIY crafts instructor and a passion for designing workshops that are fun, cool, and most importantly easy.

Members will walk away with a completed planter.

Register at

The Art of Healing: August 14

Art can inspire.

Art can make you wonder.

Art can make you feel.

And coming up in August, we will see how art can heal…

Inside the walls of East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, while families focus on the health of their children and doctors face seemingly insurmountable odds to heal their patients, special attention has been paid to the surroundings. In 2016, the hospital began a campaign to build an collection of unique art in efforts to calm, renew and restore patients, parents and staff alike.

The hospital is granting special access to Art House members to experience the collection of therapeutic art on Wednesday, August 14 at 5:30pm. The evening will begin with a guided tour of the building’s many installations and works, including many by familiar local artists like Richard Jolley, Marga Hayes McBride, Carl Gombert, Andrew Saftel, and Christine Patterson.

With materials ranging from crayons and zippers to floating castles and other magical pieces, each work is built with a specific purpose and passion—be prepared to be inspired.

Following this enlightening tour join several local artists featured in the collection at Fieldhouse Social for drinks and conversation. Reply to

Art Collecting: July 10

Art House is thrilled to further develop the Art Collecting Series, as we add The Heller home to our list in just a few short weeks!  Clear your calendar for Wednesday, July 10.

Members may recall meeting June and Rob Heller back in April when they walked Art House through the Lure of the Object exhibition at the KMA. Pieces from their personal collection made up the exhibition, and now those pieces have been returned to their Knoxville home. And lucky for us, they are opening their doors to us!

Lure of the Object celebrated the unique aesthetic vision of the Hellers with many international pieces, focusing on contemporary glass and modern contemporary painting. Because job assignments led the Hellers to live in cities like London, Geneva, and Singapore, they had an opportunity to expand their collection and its diversity. 

This time, we have an exclusive look at their private collection, which has never been displayed to the public before. While the original pieces from the Lure of the Object exhibit are included, there will be many, many more. 

Because of the vast amount of artwork in the home, there will be two tours offered.  The first is at 6pm, followed by the second tour at 7:30pm.  Each tour is limited to 16 people, followed by appetizers and cocktails on the back patio.

Do not wait to RSVP, as time slots will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.  Please email to reserve your space at this incredible Art Collecting event.

We will see you on July 10!

COSTUME PARTY June 20: Design By Time

Have you heard?  Art House is throwing a costume party, but this isn’t a traditional costume party – like Roaring 20’s, Masquerade Ball or even Halloween.  This is where art and fashion collide.  The party is at the KMA on Thursday, June 20 at 6pm.

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Take inspiration from Design by Time – the new exhibition at the KMA. See the pieces of art in person at the Knoxville Museum of Art, or check out photos of the art in the slideshow below.

Design by Time is the first exhibition to identify and bring together works from known and emerging designers, in the U.S. and abroad, whose interest is in expressing the notion of the dynamic passage of time and how it can be expressed by a variety of design objects including textiles, carpets, ceramics, lighting fixtures, vessels, clocks, and furniture.

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Where the shape and form of most designed objects is intended to communicate their physical presence, the creation of objects that express the dynamic passage of time offers a counterpoint, a visual expression of life itself.

We will post outfit ideas on our Instagram so follow us, if you’re not already!  It could be as simple as donning a dress that resembles a pattern in one of the works, wearing a hat to elevate your look, or repeating a color scheme in a man’s tie.  But, choose your costume wisely and be outrageous as you’d like, as there will be a secret panel of judges roaming the galleries with you on that Thursday night. And a grand prize will be awarded!  Although costumes are technically optional, Art House hopes you will participate!

As with all Art House events, delicious drinks will be provided; food will be available for purchase. No ticket required, but we do ask that you reply to Mollie at

This is an exclusive members-only event; if you have friends who want to come to the party ask them to join Art House first.  Click here to renew or join!

Design by Time is organized by the Department of Exhibitions, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, and is curated by Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox of c2curatorsquared.

Art Collecting in April

Art House has a full calendar this April!  We have our fourth Art Collecting Event, this time in the gorgeous home of Paige and James Bell. Plus, on April 10th, we will hear from Knoxville art collectors, June and Rob Heller, whose collection is on exhibition at the Knoxville Museum of Art. Then on the final weekend in April, we have a unique chance to purchase art painted in the days leading up to Artists on Location.

Here are all of the details, so you can make sure to attend these fabulous events!


Art Collecting with the Bells
Thursday, April 4
6:30pm – 9:30pm
Sushi and Saki

Paige and James Bell are new empty nesters, with their son away at college in South Carolina. They built their West Knoxville home in the last few years, with their art collection in mind. The pair will talk about their process of collecting, and showcase finds from the local art show, ArtXtravaganza at Webb School on Knoxville.

We will enjoy sushi and saki (plus wine and beer), so make sure to RSVP to our membership chair, Mollie Turner at She will send you the link to pay for your tickets. Attendance is limited to 60 people, so reserve your spot today!  {The address will only be sent to those who have purchased their tickets.}

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The Lure of the Object
Wednesday, April 10
6:30pm – 8:30pm
LAST CALL with June and Rob Heller at the KMA

Art House will have a discussion with Knoxville Art Collectors, June and Rob Heller, before the Lure of the Object exhibition at the KMA closes later that month. Pieces from the Heller’s private collection make up the exhibition.

This exhibition includes a diverse selection of sculpture and paintings from a couple who are among Knoxville’s most active, adventurous, and philanthropic art collectors. Contemporary glass is a particular area of focus, and the exhibition includes works by William Morris, Bertil Vallien, Oben Abright, Dante Marioni, Stephen Rolfe Powell, and Therman Statom. Complementing sculptural works are paintings by Jim Dine, Frank Stella, Christo, and Paul Jenkins.

Art House members will also have a second opportunity to visit the Heller’s home later in the year, so this is an event you do not want to miss!


Artists On Location
Saturday, April 27
5:30pm to 9pm

The Artists On Location exhibition and art sale will provide both new and seasoned collectors the chance to acquire original paintings of some of Knoxville’s best-known sites.

Throughout the week of April 22-27, local and regional artists will capture on canvas the many varied scenes in and around Knoxville. From urban street to pastoral garden settings, the public is invited to watch artists in action as they paint “en plein air” at locations around town.

Artists will exhibit and sell their works at the exhibition and art sale.  While the annual event is free and open to the public, Art House members will receive a free drink ticket as there is a cash bar. A portion of the proceeds of the sale will benefit the Knoxville Museum of Art.

Painting in open air or “plein air” became popular in the mid- 19th century when artists of the French Impressionist movement sought to paint light and its changing ephemeral qualities in the atmosphere. The practice of painting on location increased with the development of transportable paint tubes and box easels.


2019 Kick-Off

Art House is thrilled to kick-off 2019 with a party at the KMA, featuring the works of Jered Sprecher. So mark your calendar for January 24th – it will be a fun night!

Sprecher will be in attendance and discuss the large piece he has on display in the Currents exhibition at the Knoxville Museum of Art.  If you haven’t seen this larger than life piece, it’s a must see.


Sprecher describes his work as having “an eclectic aesthetic.” He continues, “My paintings extract elements from the high and low of visual culture. This culture and crush of images is in constant flux. My paintings hold no single allegiance, but are constantly shifting from one form of representation to another.”  Sprecher is also a professor at the University of Tennessee School of Art.

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We look forward to hosting the Art House Kick-Off on Thursday, January 24th at 7pm. As with all of Art House’s events, there will be fabulous food and drink!  RSVP to Mollie Turner at

Lastly, as an organization, we have made a new year’s resolution to expand Art House beyond our 125 memberships.  So, please think about your friends and colleagues – if there is a person you want to invite to our 2019 Kick-off, please have them to come to this open event and learn about all of the amazing events we have planned for 2019.

Inside at Case Antiques

Join Art House on Tuesday, December 18 from 6pm – 8pm for an evening in which we will explore the inner workings of the auction world at Case Antiques in its new Papermill Road facility.

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Owner John Case will treat both Art House and the KMA’s Collector’s Circle to a private tour of the new facility, which houses one of the largest and most active auction houses in the region. He and his staff will offer an inside look at key works in their upcoming sale, and offer tips for those interested in learning more about auctions whether from the perspective of a consigner or bidder.

Case Antiques Auctions & Appraisals is located at 4310 Papermill Road NW, Knoxville, TN 37909.  Hors-d’oeuvres and wine will be served. Case Antiques has ample parking on its east side. RSVP to Mollie Turner at

Abstract Art Class for Kids

Art House mixes up our events and from time to time, we include kids!  Sunday, October 21st is just for them!

With professional art instruction by Heather Hartman, kids of all ages will “fall” for abstract art, with pumpkin treats and hot apple cider!

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The children will visit the gallery at the museum to see some examples of abstract art first hand.  Back in the great hall, each child will receive a smock and create their own masterpiece on canvas.

This fall-themed event will be a huge hit, so reserve your child’s space by emailing Mollie at  There is a $5/child fee to offset the cost of supplies.  We hope you can join us!