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Arts on display during Thursday's Sip & Stroll

Serina Marshall • Feb 4, 2020 at 4:30 PM

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” — Thomas Merton

While driving or taking a stroll through the streets of downtown Kingsport, you will come upon pieces of art that have been strategically placed to be admired and discussed. From sculptures to painted pianos, art adorns the town and becomes beautiful decoration that tells a story to those willing to listen and learn. Art is feeling brought to life, and no one knows this better than Patti Lawrence of Impressions Fine Art Gallery on Broad Street.

Creations from Patti’s mind can be seen in reality right when you walk through the doors of Impressions Fine Art. One specific type of art she creates are assemblages. By taking pieces she finds across the country, she turns forgotten trash into praised treasures. “I find pieces in garbage piles, junk stores, antique shows, gas stations and in driftwood,” Patti explains. “I like rhythm and repetition in my pieces. Formal balance between the positive and negative shapes and the use of curves, straights, circles and balls seem to dominate my designs.”

Patti sees items and envisions what they can be. “I sketch a doodle and the image appears. Then I find the pieces I need to construct it.” In addition to constructions, Patti also creates paper collages and paintings.

Impressions Fine Art, a co-op within the Tri-Cities, showcases local artists to display their talents and passions. Fellow artists Charles Jones, Barbara Jernigan, Anne Gurney Thwaites and Lee Stone are just a few of the creators whose work can be found within the gallery. Acrylic, abstract, photography, clay, charcoal and mosaic are presented in such a way, you feel immersed inside the world the various artists prepare for you. Each artist brings their own voice and emotion to the pieces they contribute, and it is apparent in their work. Impressions also offers art lessons to those wanting to try their hand at the canvas. The gallery offers “Paint a Masterpiece” parties every Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. The $30 fee includes paint, canvas and unlimited assistance.

Another happening Impressions Fine Art is a part of is the Downtown Kingsport Association’s Sip & Stroll, which occurs the first Thursday of every month (yes, that means it’s this week). Downtown Kingsport is filled with food, wine and live music as you wind your way through vivid art and vineyard aromas. Most downtown merchants will be open until 8 p.m., and many provide their own food and wine setup.

The Feb. 6 event will be a special Sip & Stroll with Impressions Fine Art highlighting its “Have a Heart” show — an experience filled with love and valentine themes. Artists in the co-op will be donating inexpensive heart- and love-themed works of art to sell at the event as a fundraiser for the gallery. Patrons will be given the opportunity to buy these works as gifts for Valentine’s Day. In addition to the wonderful art and wine, local musicians Charles Jones and his wife, Heidi, also known as the musical duet Sweetwater Troubadours, have agreed to play live at the “Have a Heart” event. It will be a very special Sip and Stroll for any who want to attend.

For those looking to have their work displayed in the gallery at Impressions Fine Art, send examples to email@impressionsfineart.org. Impressions Fine Art, located at 246 Broad St., is a nonprofit and co-op within the community.

Serina Marshall presents all things arts for your enjoyment on the first Sunday of each month in Sunday Stories. Read more from Serina in her blog at thetheatreovation.travel.blog. Share arts-related story ideas and upcoming events with us at communitynews@timesnews.net.