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‘Art in Motion’: McNairy County traveling art show still going strong

Paintings from the traveling art show adorn the walls at the UT Martin Selmer Center.

When chair of Arts in McNairy’s Visual Arts Committee Vicki Cowan first conceived the idea for a traveling art show, made up of pieces created by McNairy County artists, she had no idea how much her idea would grow.

The show, called “Art in Motion” started at City Hall last November, with 10 artists, two easels, and two pedestals.  Today, the show boasts a rotating list of about 30 artists and 40-50 pieces of artwork. Since the first exhibition, it has visited various locations around the county, including Bancorp South, Selmer Middle School, Home Banking Company, and the county courthouse.

“Almost monthly, we’ve gotten new artists, new easel sponsors, new pedestal sponsors,” commented Cowan.  “It’s just really been amazing.” 

The growth of the show is so amazing, in fact, that, for the first time, the show had to be split between two locations because of the amount of artwork.

There are currently 35 pieces on display at the UT Martin Selmer Center and 15 pieces at Community South, so people can view the show at two different locations.

Although the show includes mostly paintings, varied works of art are on display, so there is something for everyone. Cowan, an artist herself, has two pieces of pottery and a painting on display. Also included is hand-beaded jewelry, glass-blown paperweights, wood-turned works of art, and mixed media pieces.

Cowan said that community response to the show has been exceptional, with many different businesses in the county calling and asking for the show to be moved to their buildings. Future locations for the show include Farmers’ and Merchants’ Bank in Adamsville, Regions Bank, Sam Chambers Insurance and David Goodman Insurance. 

“We’d like to at least do it until the end of this year,” said Cowan.

“When I came up with this idea last year of taking the art to the people (because we didn’t have a home gallery where people could come to the art), my goal was to at least do this until we got into the Latta welcome center,” said Cowan. “And once we get into there and have a home and visual arts gallery, then I’d like to think that this has been an outreach type program. Now people have seen what’s available to them and they’ll come to the gallery.”

The show will be on display at the UT Martin center and Community South at least until mid-August; its next location has not yet been finalized.

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