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New art show coming to Tennessee’s oldest town

Plans are currently under way to bring a major art show, once a premier event in Jonesborough and throughout the region, back to the state’s oldest town.
If all goes as planned, The Jonesborough Open Juried Art Show, set for May 24 – June 14, will serve as the inaugural event for the McKinney Arts Center later this spring, according to organizers Rachel Conger, Director of Parks and Recreation, and Bill Bledsoe, local artist.
“The idea is to bring back a prominently sponsored juried art show,” Bledsoe said. “Jonesborough used to have that show, the First Tennessee Art Show, but it was moved to the Carroll Reece Museum. It was one of the premier arts shows in the southeast.”
The reason for the move, he said, was because Jonesborough didn’t really have a place to exhibit the artwork properly.
“Even though we are clearly focused on art,” Bledsoe said, “if you don’t have a venue to present it, it’s halfway done.”
But now, with the planned opening of the McKinney Center in near future, the show can return to Jonesborough and a new home in a first class exhibit area – the renovated gymnasium area of the center.
It will be a show that features all types of art, Conger says.
“We’re seeking all mixed media, paintings, and varied media, including photography, sculptures, all of those things, so that the show will encompass all realms of art.
And Bledsoe says he is excited about the quality of art produced regionally. “We aren’t just talking about average artwork,” Bledsoe added. “We’re talking about professional level and cutting edge artwork, as good as in New York or anywhere else.”
And even though this will be a brand new event, Conger said, an old friend of the original show will be participating. First Tennessee Bank is set to be the lead sponsor, with the First Tennessee Foundation Award going to best of show.
A call for entries will soon be issued Conger said. For more information please call 791-3869.