The McKinney Center will feature painter Carolyn McLaney and glass fusion artist Karen Hitchcock in a new exhibition. The exhibition opening reception takes place Friday, February 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the public and will be up through Friday, March 22. Both artists will be at the opening reception to talk to visitors about their work and to answer any questions. The artwork will be on sale that night and throughout the duration of the exhibition.
Carolyn McLaney is a Bluff City, Tennessee resident. She is a self-taught artist working mostly in acrylics. McLaney’s desire to be an artist began in second grade, but it was not until her retirement that she was able to devote herself full-time to her artistic dream.
A large part of McLaney’s work is done with palette knives and in thick layers. She characterizes these works as her, “slap happily paintings.” Her inspiration comes from several sources such as color combinations that she sees in her landscapes. She doesn’t start painting with a detailed plan, rather she paints by instinct where her brush leads her. McLaney’s subjects range from elements of nature such as birds and flowers to Persian cityscapes. She not only creates 2-D paintings but she also paints on boxes, and other 3-D objects.
McLaney’s goal as an artist is to inspire an emotional connection between the viewer and her work. When someone purchases one of her pieces and they say it makes them happy or that it touches their heart, she feels that she has accomplished her goal as an artist. Her work can be viewed on Facebook and on Instagram at @c.mclaney.art.
Karen Hitchcock is originally from western New York and has lived in East Tennessee for the past seven years. She is a glass artist and studied glass blowing and fusing at Corning Glass Center, Alfred University and Owatka School of Glass. She also worked at Rochester Arc and Flame as a glass fusing instructor and was able to take classes in torch work with glass.
Hitchcock and her husband owned Blue River Studio for seven years in Elizabethton, Tennessee. She currently teaches fused glass workshops at the McKinney Center in Jonesborough and in her private studio.
At present, Hitchcock has six large Mosaics hung permanently for public display in a walkway in Elizabethton and has just finished five more large panels to go on a building at the Veterans Memorial in Elizabethton, to be hung in May 2024.
Hitchcock’s inspiration comes from nature and she gathers ideas while enjoying hiking, kayaking and fishing and taking pictures along the way. Hitchcock’s work ranges from magnificent vases to beautiful sun catchers and ornaments. View her work on her Facebook and Instagram pages by searching Blue River Studio and also on her website khitchglass.com/. Her favorite part of teaching is watching her students break their first piece of glass and to witness the look of surprise on their faces. She states that, it is a pleasure seeing people enjoy her work and talking with them about it.
For more information, contact the McKinney Center at 423.753.0562.