Calvin Bennett and Fredda Roberts’ art will be featured at the McKinney Center from March 9 through April 20.

From STAFF REPORTS

Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts at the McKinney Center is pleased to announce their first exhibition of the year featuring Calvin Bennett and Fredda Roberts.  The exhibition will be open and free to the public starting with the Opening Reception on Friday, March 9, 6 p.m.  It will run through April 20. You can view the exhibit at the McKinney Center Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Director of the McKinney Center, Theresa Hammons, states, “Calvin and Fredda both have natural elements in their work.  Calvin’s environmental subjects in his photographs are beautiful and endearing.  It is amazing how he captures the essence of the natural world through his camera lens and also in his framing.  Calvin uses acid free, archival, photography paper to print his images and also hand builds all his frames.  Calvin puts his whole being into a photograph.  It is truly inspiring.”

Calvin Bennett is an American photographer from Jonesborough TN, known for his nature photography in the Great Smokey Mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway.Calvin worked as a professional crane technician and OSHA crane inspector for over 30 years.  Bennett later changed careers and focused on his life long passion of photography when he purchased his first camera from a pawn shop in the mid 70’s.

Bennett has achieved various awards for fine art photography at art fairs and shows for several years.  He is currently photographing the East coast lighthouses from Florida to Maine.  He is very hands-on in his studio where printing on archival photo paper, canvas, and matting are top of the line.

“Photography requires sacrifice,” Bennett says, “rolling out of bed a 3 o’clock in the morning to be on some mountain top before sunrise, or getting in late at night after a sunset, it’s just a part of the job, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Fredda Roberts discovered the art of jewelry making in 2008 and states that, “it was as though a fog had lifted and I was able to clearly see a way of connecting and incorporating my passion for fiber arts and clay work with a lifelong interest in natural gems and antiques.”  As a young girl Roberts would go rock hunting her mother in the North Carolina mountains and learned to see the beauty hidden in the rough stones.  That skill has carried through to today when she sits at her work bench looking at a spool of wire, a broken dish or a lump of metal clay.  Roberts says, “I am blessed with creative optimism; the faith that I will discover what is to come.  I find myself drawn to objects with a past life whether it is a silver spoon, a river rock or a piece of scrap copper.  The need to reform them into something unique and wearable, something new and reborn is almost unstoppable.”

Roberts has explored a variety of styles and techniques; loving that there is not end to what she can learn.  Her work continues to evolve and she creates wearable works of art, each with a history of its own.  All of her pieces are created with joy and enthusiasm in her home studio in Jonesborough.  Although on a pretty day she is more likely found under a shade tree weaving and hammering while watching her children play.

For more information, email Theresa Hammons at theresah@jonesborougtn.org or call (423) 753-0562.