Art Is All Around Us + Using Art to Guide Understanding and Unity

Hey, y’all! Guess what time it is? Yep. It is time to grab a good cup of coffee (or tea) and sit a spell with me as we chat about the theme for my fall art classes and how my recent road trip inspired me to change the direction of my lesson plans and projects.

All set up for Open House at the McKinney Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

About a week ago, the little family and I went on a road trip–not the original vacation the hubby had planned–but one we all threw together at the last minute because we were determined to not let anything stop us from venturing out and having fun. See, the last time we went on vacation was 2005-to Disney. That year was the absolute worst. From Hurricane Katrina to my beloved father-in-law passing away, that year was ugly. Nothing like we had planned or expected. Now, we are not going to dwell on the past. We are going to embrace the present and work toward making the future better and brighter. Which brings me to our thrown-together road trip.

**Family selfie fail in Buffalo, New York** My arms were not long enough, and we do not own a selfie stick. Perhaps, I should ask Santa Baby for one.

Originally, we were going to go on a lighthouse tour–focusing on the areas from Baltimore to the Outer Banks. Ferry boat rides. Lighthouses. Beaches. But there was a power outage of sorts that spoiled the majority of our trip, so we decided instead of rerouting that planned trip–we would abandon it all together. It is just the way we are *wink* So, the hubby and I sat down and tossed around some ideas. Here is how we planned our new vacation:  (1) Our daughter will be graduating Spring 2018 from college, and she is interested in applying for jobs in several different cities.  One of those cities is Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. All I knew about this city is it is the capital of Pennsylvania. So, I texted Abby and asked her if she would be interested in going to Harrisburg for a couple of days. Explore the city. See where nice apartments are located. Where the news stations are. Visit a few tourist attractions. She said that would be awesome. First stop, check. (2) Where does one go from Harrisburg? Niagara Falls, of course! (3) Why not take a scenic drive from Buffalo to Erie, PA? (4) We are so close to Cleveland–let’s go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! (4) We agree to stop in Maryland on the way to Harrisburg–because why not. (5) We agree to stop at anything else that looks cool or interesting and to stop at the rest areas entering each state. We had no specific plans–but we knew we wanted to spend time together as a family–exploring America the Beautiful.

The first couple of days of our road trip we stayed in downtown Harrisburg. It is a gorgeous city with the most adorable public art. Now, I am not going to spoil all the rubber duck art pieces because I want y’all to plan a trip to this capital city and see for yourself.

The rubber ducks inspired me to change the total direction of my fall art classes. I realized while walking around downtown Harrisburg art is all around us, and I wanted to bring large-scale public art into my classes.

Painted fire hydrant in downtown Harrisburg. Love this so much!!

Downtown Harrisburg is filled with so much delightful art. Take a day or two and explore all of the art the city has to offer. **I am in no way affiliated with the City of Harrisburg or its Department of Tourism. I just love its artsy and welcoming vibe.**

My favorite painted “flower pot” in Harrisburg **I am seeing an art lesson!**

What a great way to brighten up any city or town!

A little starry night action happening on this container in Harrisburg, PA.

One last photo of the painted planters. Y’all will have to take a road trip to see the rest *wink*

Mural in Harrisburg. **At this point in our visit, my mind was racing with ideas for my fall art classes.**

Check out the reflection of the mural in the puddle! Wouldn’t it be awesome to have local artists paint public parking lots!

After a couple of days exploring Harrisburg, the little family and I headed to Niagara Falls via a scenic route where we saw quaint farms, wind farms, and homes decorated with patriotic bunting and American flags. It was a good-for-the-soul drive. Let’s fast forward to the day we spent in Buffalo, New York because I want to continue chatting about public art and how it inspired me to look at art and my art lessons differently.

Photos cannot capture the size nor the details of this public art piece in Buffalo. **If you have not explored Buffalo’s art and architecture, add Buffalo to your bucket list right now!**

Abby standing next to the Nancy Rubins sculpture in Buffalo.

Bright and whimsical art piece in Buffalo

This sculpture in Buffalo inspired an art lesson! My students will be “building” their own mini outdoor art using reclaimed blocks and paint.

Art that makes you happy and reminds you to embrace your inner child!

The solid color really makes the modern lines of this piece pop against the Greek-inspired building in the background. **I can identify with this because I feel like I am constantly out-of-place and standing out!!**

Love the primary colors and block shape. It just makes me smile.

As far as the eye can see. Absolutely amazing sculpture!!

This sculpture is gorgeous. Whimsical. Scary. Entrancing.

I must go back to Buffalo when I have more time because the art is…I have no words!

I was like a kid at a candy store in Buffalo. Just so much amazing art!

“Rusty” treasures have a special place in my art!

Last sculpture I will show y’all because I could go on for days chatting about all of the art in Buffalo…well, there will be a few more photos of murals after this *wink*

This summer road trip will always be special because it is the last one before my baby–my only baby–graduates from college and starts a new adventure. *deep breath–trying not to cry*

Mural in Buffalo on the corner of Perry and Mississippi. Yes, we went to Mississippi Street because we are originally from Mississippi. And look what we found when we got there!

Closer look. Take time and explore the details of this mural in Buffalo.

One last public art piece to show y’all! Honestly, it was a struggle narrowing down which pieces I wanted to put in this blog post. I decided to show my favorites and the ones that inspired my art lesson plans. Don’t y’all wish you lived close by so you could take my classes *wink*

Pour another cup of coffee and enjoy this mural. Take a look at the colors and the overall design. Let me know what you think in the comment section!

Don’t you just love public art! It livens up our cities and towns, adds color and beauty, and shows off the talent this wonderful country has. It is easy to get down these days about America and to complain about what is happening around us.

It is easy to march and riot and burn flags and carry torches and throw around hateful words. It is easy to cower and to be afraid. If you are like me, you may not know how to express how you feel in words or out loud or to express your views publicly–for a million reasons from fear of being hurt|bullied to not knowing how to handle differing opinions (when those opinions and views are coming from people who are much ‘better’ at verbally and physically expressing themselves).

Now, I may not be one to carry a sign in the streets and to go on Facebook rants, but I do believe I can use my creations and art lessons to help this country overcome its current state of animosity and hate + to help remind people how great America is (despite some bad apples and ugly parts of history). Why? Because art is the path to understanding and unity. Now, don’t go getting your panties in a bunch thinking that I am leaving morals and Jesus out of the solution. I am just saying that art is a way to express struggles, successes, fears, and so much more. Art is a way to bring people together–to discuss issues. Art is also a way to showcase what is good in this country.

Art is all around us–waiting to be spotted and discussed. Share your thoughts about “Art is all around us” and your ideas on how we can use art to bring unity.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren{All of us} to dwell together in unity!

Psalm 133:1

art inspires us to visit the concept of ‘unity’ and see ourselves as part of a bigger universe.

leni kae

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Art on the Walls at One Acre Cafe, February 2017

Art on the Walls for February at One Acre Cafe in Johnson City, Tennessee is by artist SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn).

Art on the Walls for February at One Acre Cafe in Johnson City, Tennessee is by artist SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn).

Can y’all believe it is already the middle of February?!? Honestly, where does the time go! Well, I don’t have an answer to that question, but I do have details and photos about Art on the Walls for February at One Acre Cafe in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Art pieces by artist SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn). 40% of the proceeds from the sale of these paintings will be donated to One Acre Cafe and its mission.

Original art pieces by artist SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn). 40% of the proceeds from the sale of these paintings will be donated to One Acre Cafe and its mission. LEFT: 4″x4″ red barns from the Quilt Trail series + 4″x4″ white farmhouse from the Farmhouses series. Arranged on a piece of salvaged barn wood from Washington County, Tennessee. These little paintings can be purchased separately or as a set. RIGHT: “EMPTY CHAIR” inspired by how much I love and miss my Granddaddy Fulcher and created for all of us who have an empty chair that makes us smile and cry–sad tears and happy tears. **Stay tuned for more photos and details about “Empty Chair”**

One Acre Café is located at 603 West Walnut Street in downtown Johnson City, TN. The café was established to further address the escalating issues of hunger and food insecurity in our community. One Acre Cafe utilizes the model provided by the One World Everybody Eats Foundation joining the growing family of more than forty other community cafes across the country. This progressive model is new to the Johnson City area and will be a great addition to the plans for downtown revitalization.

I revealed my latest series "Furbabies" at the "Sit a Spell" exhibition at One Acre Cafe. Meet Matilda, Jazz, Sam, and Cleopatra. More photos and details of these paintings are on my Facebook page. Head on over there, check out all the art, and hit that "Like" button, so you don't miss out on a single thing.

I revealed my latest series “Furbabies” at the “Sit a Spell” exhibition at One Acre Cafe. Meet Matilda, Jazz, Sam, and Cleopatra. More photos and details of these paintings are on my Facebook page. Head on over there, check out all of the art, and hit the “Like” button, so you don’t miss out on a single thing.

One Acre Cafe Mission
… is to nourish the body, replenish the spirit, and grow the community so that all might be fed.

One Acre Cafe Vision
… is to see all of our community members, regardless of their means, dining together and supporting one another in building the strength and health of our community.

"The Smokehouse" by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn).

“The Smokehouse” by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn).

“Keep all special thoughts and memories for lifetimes to come. Share these keepsakes with others to inspire hope and build from the past, which can bridge the future.” –Mattie Stepanek

“The Smokehouse”–original painting based on my memories of my parents’ smokehouse and farm. So many of my paintings use paint and canvas to tell stories and to evoke pleasant memories of childhood because we are all stories, and the goal is to make them good ones! 

Floral Gala Extravaganza is happening at Art on the Walls for February. Give your someone special flowers that will last a lifetime. **40% of the proceeds from the sale of these paintings will be donated to One Acre Cafe and its mission + vision.

Floral Gala Extravaganza is happening at Art on the Walls for February. Give your someone special flowers that will last a lifetime. **40% of the proceeds from the sale of these paintings will be donated to One Acre Cafe and its mission + vision.

Deep purples, rich teals, sparkly gold, hints of copper...oh, my! "Floral Series #10" will look stunning on your wall.

Deep purples, rich teals, sparkly gold, hints of copper…oh, my! “Floral Series #10” will look stunning on your wall. **40% of the proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to One Acre Cafe.** Original art by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn)

Everyone needs a "Cheerful Lift." This mixed-media painting was created using a line from a vintage magazine ad, scrapbook paper, washi tape, and acrylics. The bright colors are guaranteed to bring cheer to any room.

Everyone needs a “Cheerful Lift.” This mixed-media painting was created using a line from a vintage magazine ad, scrapbook paper, washi tape, and acrylics. The bright colors are guaranteed to bring cheer to any room. **This mixed-media painting is by artist SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn).

These flowers will never need watering *wink* Acrylic on 6"x6" canvas blocks with palette knife. These florals can be purchased separately are all together on this salvaged barn wood from Washington County, Tennessee.

These flowers will never need watering *wink* Acrylic on 6″x6″ canvas blocks with palette knife. These florals can be purchased separately or all together on this salvaged piece of barn wood from Washington County, Tennessee. **Original art by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn) + part of the “Floral Gala” on-going series because one can never have too many flowers or too much sparkle.

Is it okay for me to crush on my own art? Because I am totally adoring this vertical arrangement of red barns + one farmhouse!

Is it okay for me to crush on my own art? Because I am totally adoring this vertical arrangement of red barns + one farmhouse! **Art by artist SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn)**

Another fabulous arrangement of red barns + one white farmhouse. These 4"x4" canvas block paintings can be purchased separately or all together on this salvaged piece of wood from an old barn in Washington County, Tennessee.

Another fabulous arrangement of red barns + one white farmhouse. These 4″x4″ canvas block paintings can be purchased separately or all together on this salvaged piece of wood from an old barn in Washington County, Tennessee.

I'm totally crushing on the red barns in Northeast Tennessee, and my "Quilt Trail" series shows how much I adore their character and stories + "The Smokehouse" is not only filled with strong color, but also strong stories of hard work and value.

I’m totally crushing on the red barns in Northeast Tennessee, and my “Quilt Trail” series shows how much I adore their character and stories + “The Smokehouse” is not only filled with strong color, but also strong stories of hard work and value.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we took at look at the “Sit a Spell” exhibition, Art on the Walls for February, at One Acre Cafe in Johnson City, Tennessee. I enjoy creating art, but I enjoy it so much more when it can be part of such a wonderful cause and mission. If you are in the Northeast Tennessee area, make plans to have lunch at One Acre Cafe and sit a spell with the art + there are many awesome things to do around here–from biking the Tweetsie Trail to shopping for antiques!

This mixed-media painting as been a work-in-progress. It has undergone many changes since it was first exhibited in October at One Acre Cafe and since I wrote about it on the blog. Click here to see the first draft of this painting + stay tuned to why it has been transformed.

This mixed-media painting has been a work-in-progress. It has undergone many changes since it was first exhibited in October at One Acre Cafe and since I wrote about it on the blog. Click here to see the first draft of this painting + stay tuned to why it has been transformed.

 

 

The National Juried Exhibition of 2017 at the Emporium Center in Downtown Knoxville

A little sneaky peek of Tobacco Barn by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn)

A little sneaky peek of Tobacco Barn by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn)

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from gluten-free goodies to handmade goodness. Before we jump into today’s post,  I want to apologize for being away soooooo long. Whew! I have been in my studio creating, creating, and creating some more. I am not complaining–nope. I have been having so much fun playing with color, texture, and vintage magazines that I lost track of time. That is not a bad thing *wink* However, now, there is just so much to catch y’all up on, and I am running around in circles like crazy trying to figure out where to start. *Deep breath*  Well, let’s start with exciting news not only for me, but also for the other artists who were selected to show in the Arts & Culture Alliance National Juried Exhibition of 2017. 

At the beginning of January, I received an email that made me stop and do a happy dance.

Here’s a little excerpt from The Happy email:

Dear Chasidy,

Many congratulations on having your artwork accepted in the Arts & Culture Alliance’s National Juried Exhibition of 2017! We received over 424 entries from 130 artists throughout the region, and 48 pieces have been selected for the show. This letter is to notify you that the juror, Dorothy Habel, selected the following work to be in the show:

Tobacco Barn Mixed media (vintage magazine ads, acrylic) on canvas
Tobacco Barn by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn)

Tobacco Barn by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn)

Art on the Walls for the month of October is "Sit a Spell--a SassyHat Exhibit" featuring rich texture, bold color, and shimmering metallics. This exhibit featured Tobacco Barn, which will be on exhibit February 3-24, 2017 at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville.

Art on the Walls for October 2016 was “Sit a Spell–a SassyHat Exhibit” which featured rich texture, bold color, and shimmering metallics. This exhibit featured Tobacco Barn, which will be on exhibit February 3-24, 2017 at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville.

The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present its eleventh annual National Juried Exhibition, a new exhibition featuring selected works from over 30 artists in the Southeast region. The National Juried Exhibition was developed in 2006 to provide a forum for local artists to compete on a national scale and display their highest quality work. The exhibition encompasses all styles and genres from both emerging and established artists working in a variety of media such as photography, acrylic, pencil, fibers, oil, paper, stoneware, and more. Over $1,000 in cash awards will be announced at a brief awards ceremony at 6:00 PM on February 3.

Exhibiting artists include: John Anderson, Mark Bender, Eric Buechel, Rebecca J. Buglio, Genevieve Byrd, Bill Cook, Jr., C Y Cooper, Yvonne Dalschen, Claudia Dean, Khoa Dang Dinh, Roger Fleenor, Gordon Fowler, Michael E. Galyon, William Goolsby, Nina Hardison, Ann Harwell, Chasidy Hathorn, Todd Johnson, Perry Johnson, Pat Kumicich, Vickie Kallies Lee, Brandon Lutterman, Benjamin Madeska, Michael Murphy, Julie Oglesby, Clay Pardue, Christen Parker, Amber Patty, Manya Pirkle, Jose Roberto, Chris S. Rohwer, Mark Runge, Mary Saylor, Byeol Shim, Nancy Stalls, Sam Stapleton, Jessica Stewart, Denise Stewart-Sanabria, Dale Sumner, Cheryl Tarrant, Keith Thomson, Marilyn Avery Turner, Ken Van Dyne, Katherine Wagner, and Marianne Woodside.

A gallery of images may be viewed at https://goo.gl/photos/mxWrNLjT1RkLPSZz6.

Dorothy Habel served as juror for the exhibition. Trained as an art historian, she joined the faculty in Art History of the School of Art at the University of Tennessee in 1980, and she retired as Director of the School in 2016 after eight years of service in that position. She was also a Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at UT. Over the years, she has been involved in regional adjudication, most recently for the Arts in the Airport exhibition in spring 2015.

2017 National Juried Exhibition – Juror’s Statement
The selected works form a rich digest of the submissions, revealing a number of characteristics of this larger pool: Almost without exception the works are representational, regardless of medium; mixed media works abound; and there is a penchant for small scale work. Painting and photography are the two dominant media among works submitted, and notably scarce were works on paper and in 3D media. Especially exciting is the keen interest in making work in mixed media. I applaud the work of all the artists whose works I had the privilege to review, and I celebrate the works on view for their invention and their ambition.

Dorothy M. Habel
Professor emerita
School of Art, University of Tennessee

hathorn__flyer-2

A big thank you to Abby Hathorn, my fabulous and talented daughter, for making me this awesome flyer.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about the National Juried Exhibition of 2017. If you are in the area, the opening reception is this Friday, February 3, 5:00-9:00 PM with awards ceremony at 6:00 PM. Don’t fret, if you can’t make opening night because you have February 4-24 to go see all of the fabulous art. Exhibition hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. For more information about the Arts & Culture Alliance, click here

“Story of Personal Struggle”–On a Mission to Accept and Tell the Truth

Zooming in on the details of "Story of Personal Struggle"--an original painting overlaid with pretty paper and phrases from vintage magazine ads. (This painting is the intellectual property of Chasidy Hathorn, and there are no prints of it. It is currently on exhibit at One Acre Cafe for the month of October, and it is available for purchase with 40% of the proceeds going to One Acre Cafe in Johnson City.)

Zooming in on the details of “Story of Personal Struggle”–an original painting overlaid with pretty paper and phrases from vintage magazine ads. (This painting is the intellectual property of Chasidy Hathorn, and there are no prints of it. It is currently on exhibit at One Acre Cafe for the month of October, and it is available for purchase with 40% of the proceeds going to One Acre Cafe in Johnson City.)

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from gluten-free goodies to home improvement projects. Today on the blog, we are taking an up-close look at one of the art pieces in the “Sit a Spell–a SassyHat Exhibit” at One Acre Cafe in Johnson City, Tennessee + finding out why I created it.

Art on the Walls for the month of October is "Sit a Spell--a SassyHat Exhibit" featuring rich texture, bold color, and shimmering metallics.

Art on the Walls for the month of October is “Sit a Spell–a SassyHat Exhibit” featuring rich textures, bold colors, and shimmering metallics.

Before I delve further into the inspirations and the whys for my paintings and the meanings of them + why I sign my art SassyHat, I need to make a few confessions because in order to fully understand my art (for me to fully understand my own art), I must get it all out on the table (well, the blog).

I have come to realize the following:  It is never easy to admit inadequacies…imperfections. It is never easy to admit lack of knowledge or coolness. It is never easy to leave a secure job and follow the dream. It is easy to judge others (by our own set of standards). It is easy to find excuses when we do not like something or we just don’t want to do something (instead of just telling the truth). It is easy to dislike (hate) those who are “different” from ourselves.

However, if we truly want to be happy…if we truly want to be free from the burden of self-doubt…if we truly want to live by the quotes and Scriptures we post on social media–we have to overcome our fears of rejection, failure, those who are “different” from us, and what people think of us. Now, it is easy (really, really easy) to say “I don’t let what people say bother me.” or “My faith is greater than my fear.”–Yes, it is easy to post (repost, regram, retweet) quotes about believing she could, so she did and about confidence being something you create within yourself….Yes, it is easy to change our profile pictures to support this cause or that cause (without ever getting our hands dirty or letting go of a dollar). Bless our souls! It is easy preaching, but hard living.

"Story of Personal Struggle" is an original mixed media on canvas by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn). It is 11 x 14 inches, and it is a mix of soft (lightly painted colors) and bold textured colors + pretty paper. The original free verse poem was created using phrases from early 1960s magazine ads.

“Story of Personal Struggle” is an original mixed media on canvas by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn). It is 11 x 14 inches, and it is a mix of soft (lightly painted colors) and bold textured colors + pretty paper. The original free verse poem was created using phrases from early 1960s magazine ads.

Now, confession time.

  1. I am not a trained artist, and I did not study art in college; however, I did take a couple of required fine art electives. (I’m totally admitting that I lack knowledge and training. I am admitting I am self-taught, and I watch a lot of artists on YouTube.)
  2. I do not know fancy, schmancy art jargon, but I do know how to use Google and a thesaurus.
  3. My degree is in German and International Business, and I taught English, German, Spanish, and Latin for many years (from private to public + homeschooled my daughter her last couple of years of high school). I do not have the time or enough coffee to explain how I went from International Business to teacher to artist *wink* (I admit I walked away from a secure job to pursue art.)
  4. I grew up on a small farm in the middle of nowhere in Mississippi. For a long time, I was embarrassed (perhaps ashamed) of  being from the country and all the things my parents made and did for my siblings and myself (like my mom making a lot of my clothes and my dad repurposing my brother’s old bike into a bike for me). I didn’t learn this shame until I went to school in town with all the kids from town. The teasing by my fellow students and even the teachers was endless; however, my parents encouraged me, and my creative adventures gave me a break from the realities of the world. What were these creative adventures? Well, just to name one–back in my early elementary school days, I had a pet rock business. I painted and named over 50 rocks…sold a few on the school bus and the playground. I was doing pretty well until the school bus and playground rules changed, and those changes pretty much shut my small business down *wink* I admit I am no longer embarrassed of my roots. Instead, I am embarrassed for the ones who bullied me and called me names. AND if they are reading this, I beg them to use a thesaurus or Google to find more creative names for me *giggles*
  5. I still have no idea what I am doing or what I want to do with my life, but art gives me the freedom to recreate myself with every brushstroke and to tell stories I am afraid to speak.

Now, my “confessions” were not written for sympathy or to imply that being bullied shaped my character. They were listed to show the power of personal struggle and to explain why I am still afraid to write the story (the emotion, the sadness I feel when I witness hate).

20161004_095309_resized

This mixed media piece is dedicated to so many strong women I have admired and have personally known over the years, by “R.” a precious woman who struggled to find herself and bravely admitted who she is to her family and friends, and by women I have never met like Susan B. Anthony (and all the women who fought for a woman’s right to vote and the ones who are fighting for women’s rights today), Ida B. Wells, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, and the list could go on and on….

Why did I create Story of Personal Struggle + why is it so happy and fun (when struggles are the exact opposite of happy and fun)? Those questions aren’t as easy to answer as I would like for them to be because I fear bullies (cyberbullies, Facebook trolls, the “cool” kids from high school that still might find me and make fun of me and tell me that my ideas are stupid and I am a weirdo and I am going to hell because I “support” something they don’t believe in….I digress.) Where was I? Oh, yes. Why did I create Story of Personal Struggle? 

Well, because we (as a society) must stop categorizing personal struggles, we must stop comparing personal struggles, we must stop dismissing someone’s personal struggle because we don’t understand it or we just want to state a generic solution (like “all lives matter”–when in reality “no lives matter because it is simply “life”–we must treasure a life before we can treasure lives), because I am tired of the mean and hateful things people say on social media (especially Facebook), because R. deserves the chance to work out her own identity without being bullied or hateful things being said to her, and because we cannot change the world by screaming at people and telling them they are going to hell because of this or that.

Top: "Let There Be Love" Bottom: "Story of Personal Struggle" Why do y'all think I put these two together in the exhibit? Please feel free to comment on the blog or on my Facebook page. I promise I will delete and/or block any mean comments or trolls *wink*

Top: “Let There Be Love”
Bottom: “Story of Personal Struggle”
Why do y’all think I put these two together in the exhibit? Please feel free to comment on the blog or on my Facebook page. I promise I will delete and/or block any mean comments or trolls *wink*

Bless! I could go on all day about why I created Story of Personal Struggle and the people who inspired it, but I want y’all to sit a spell and look carefully at it and discuss it with your friends over a good pot of coffee. I want y’all to open your hearts to every life (start with one person who is a different religion than you or a different race and/or ethnicity than you…build that one life into two lives…into three…into four…until you begin to see and understand through their eyes and hearts–until you truly understand the stories of those personal struggles).

Why is this art piece so happy and fun? Because there is hope of a brighter future. Because the world needs more color and fun. Because the world needs more happy, loving people (not those who say they are happy or post they are happy, but ones who are truly happy and loving–those who have accepted the world is made up of different colors, different sounds, different ideas….).

Art on the Walls at One Acre Cafe for the month of October is Sit a Spell--a SassyHat Exhibit. These works capture the childlike view of the world, the boldness of color, and the freedom of the imagination.

Art on the Walls at One Acre Cafe for the month of October is Sit a Spell–a SassyHat Exhibit. These works capture the childlike view of the world, the boldness of color, and the freedom of the imagination.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we took an up-close look at Story of Personal Struggle and chatted about why I created it. To be honest, it was not easy trying to put my creation into words….I struggled trying to explain the purpose….Even now, I am wondering how many of my Facebook friends will read this and “unfriend” me…how many messages I will get asking me my political views….Well, bless it! I will just send them right back to Story of Personal Struggle and see if they can answer their own questions *wink*

**p.s. Be sure to come back tomorrow to find out why I sign my art SassyHat and to take an up-close look at The Story Grows.

I have always been a little spit fire.

I have always been a little spit fire. And yes, I am pretty certain I cut and fixed my own hair *giggles*

 

“Sit a Spell–a SassyHat Exhibit” at One Acre Cafe in Johnson City

"Sit a Spell--a SassyHat Exhibit" is the "Art on the Walls" at One Acre Cafe for the month of October. 40% of the proceeds from the SassyHat Exhibit will be donated to One Acre Cafe.

“Sit a Spell–a SassyHat Exhibit” is the “Art on the Walls” at One Acre Cafe for the month of October. 40% of the proceeds from the SassyHat Exhibit will be donated to One Acre Cafe.

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from home renovation to special events and happenings. Today on the blog, we are chatting about “Sit a Spell–a SassyHat Exhibit” at One Acre Cafe in Johnson City, Tennessee + the awesome mission of One Acre.

100% of the proceeds from the One Acre Cafe sign designed and created by Stan Hathorn will be donated to One Acre Cafe + 40% of the proceeds from the paintings by SassyHat will be donated to the One Acre Cafe.

100% of the proceeds from the One Acre Cafe sign designed and created by Stan Hathorn will be donated to One Acre Cafe + 40% of the proceeds from the paintings by SassyHat will be donated to the One Acre Cafe. **All artworks are originals with no prints available and the intellectual property of Chasidy Hathorn**

One Acre Café is located at 603 West Walnut Street in downtown Johnson City, TN. The café was established to further address the escalating issues of hunger and food insecurity in our community. One Acre Cafe utilizes the model provided by the One World Everybody Eats Foundation joining the growing family of more than forty other community cafes across the country. This progressive model is new to the Johnson City area and will be a great addition to the plans for downtown revitalization.

One Acre Café offers our community healthy and nutritious food in a warm and inviting space. There are suggested donations for those who can pay or pay it forward and the ability to volunteer in exchange for a meal for those who cannot. Our café offers a passionate, skilled chef who works with local farmers to produce amazing cuisine.

You are the staff! Our volunteers are integral to running the day to day operations of One Acre Café. Whether you are volunteering for your meal or simply giving your time, it is the “coming together” of community that creates the heart of the café.

"Historic Tree Streets" sign made from reclaimed barn wood in Washington County, Tennessee. This sign was designed and created by Stan Hathorn with 100% of the proceeds from this sign going to One Acre Cafe.

“Historic Tree Streets” sign made from wood salvaged from Washington County, Tennessee. This sign was designed and created by Stan Hathorn with 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this sign going to One Acre Cafe.

"Art on the Walls" for the month of October at One Acre Cafe. **All artistic works are original, and they are the intellectual property of Chasidy Hathorn.**

“Art on the Walls” for the month of October at One Acre Cafe. **All artistic works are originals, and they are the intellectual property of Chasidy Hathorn.**

Sit a Spell—a SassyHat Exhibit is not about one subject. Instead, it is about the need for people to slow down and enjoy the simple things—like a good cup of coffee or an uninterrupted conversation with no technology in sight. It is about feeling a warm blast of sunlight or remembering summertime on Grandpa’s farm. It is about sitting a spell and finding all the reasons to be happy.

This collection of artistic works by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn) will be on exhibit at One Acre Cafe for the month of October. The radiant colors, rich textures, and metallic touches of the paintings beckon the audience to stay awhile and enjoy a good meal with friends while chatting about the references, which are not readily available from observation alone; but, instead, they are gleaned from discussions from those observing the art on the walls. 

Left to Right: The Happy Rooster, Red Cliffs Sunset, Tobacco Barn, and Solace of Beauty **all artistic works are originals with no prints available, and they are the intellectual property of Chasidy Hathorn.**

Left to Right: The Happy Rooster, Red Cliffs Sunset, Tobacco Barn, and Solace of Beauty **all artistic works are originals with no prints available, and they are the intellectual property of Chasidy Hathorn.**

"Tobacco Barn" was inspired by all the hardworking tobacco farmers of the past and present. It's a reflection of the impact tobacco had on the economy and growth of early America (tobacco was the most important cash crop, so much so that the colonists used it as legal currency in Maryland and Virginia) and how this labor intensive crop led to the increase in slave trade. "Tobacco Barn" is rich with symbolism and beckons its audience to begin a conversation...it wants to spark debates. "Tobacco Barn" reminds its audience that hard work (and greed) built this country and asks questions like "Who really reaped the tobacco harvests?" and "What does it mean to 'stand for freedom'?". This original painting by Chasidy Fulcher Hathorn (SassyHat) is 20 x20 inches and is on exhibit at One Acre Cafe for the month of October. 40% of the sale of this painting will be donated to One Acre Cafe, 603 West Walnut Street, Johnson City.

“Tobacco Barn” was inspired by all the hardworking tobacco farmers of the past and present. It’s a reflection of the impact tobacco had on the economy and growth of early America (tobacco was the most important cash crop, so much so that the colonists used it as legal currency in Maryland and Virginia) and how this labor intensive crop led to the increase in slave trade. “Tobacco Barn” is rich with symbolism and beckons its audience to begin a conversation…it wants to spark debates. “Tobacco Barn” reminds its audience that hard work (and greed) built this country and asks questions like “Who really reaped the tobacco harvests?” and “What does it mean to ‘stand for freedom’?”.
This original painting by Chasidy Fulcher Hathorn (SassyHat) is 20 x20 inches and is on exhibit at One Acre Cafe for the month of October. 40% of the sale of this painting will be donated to One Acre Cafe, 603 West Walnut Street, Johnson City.

Art on the Walls at One Acre Cafe for the month of October is Sit a Spell--a SassyHat Exhibit. These works capture the childlike view of the world, the boldness of color, and the freedom of the imagination.

Art on the Walls at One Acre Cafe for the month of October is Sit a Spell–a SassyHat Exhibit. These works capture the childlike view of the world, the boldness of color, and the freedom of the imagination.

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Since Chasidy was a child, she has loved sparkly things, rusty treasures, and vivid storytelling. Artistry and woodworking is in her blood. From watching her granddaddy craft a small log cabin for her sister to watching her dad build furniture and turn wood, Chasidy has taken those precious moments and incorporated them into her art. Back in the day, her mom was a fabulous seamstress, DIYer (way before Pinterest made it cool), and cake decorator (way before TV made it cool). Yes, creating is in her blood, and she had no choice but to set her creative energy and imagination free.

Chasidy, a native of Mississippi, has been living in Johnson City, Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and three four-legged children since April 2014. When she is not in her art studio creating, she is volunteering at the McKinney Center, taking art and gardening classes, blogging her random adventures and projects on her blog Sweet Sorghum Living, and exploring the areas around her looking for junky treasures and inspiration for her art.

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Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about Art on the Walls at One Acre Cafe for the month of October. Be sure to come back to the blog tomorrow as we take a closer look at some of the paintings of the “Sit a Spell–a SassyHat Exhibit” + stay tuned for an upcoming post on this year’s fall front porch. For more photos and updates, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Sneak peek of the front porch all gussied up for fall.

Sneak peek of the front porch all gussied up for fall.

 

 

 

 

Journeys of Women Art Show + We Are All Stories and Empty Nest

"We Are All Stories" an original mixed media on 36" x 36" canvas by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn)

We Are All Stories an original mixed media on 36″ x 36″ canvas by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn)

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from gluten-free goodness to home renovation projects. Today on the blog, we are chatting about the Journeys of Women Art Show taking place in Jonesborough, Tennessee at the McKinney Center from September 9-17. This exhibit is open to the public + the works are for sale with a portion of the sales going to the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee.  For more information about the show and how it helps to transform the lives of low-income women in East Tennessee, click here to read “Journeys of Women Art Show: For Women, by women” in the Johnson City Press.

It is such a blessing and an honor to be part of this amazing show, and I cannot even begin to express how excited I am to have my works in the same space with such incredibly talented artists.

"Empty Nest" an original mixed media on canvas by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn) will be on exhibit at the Journeys of Women Art Show from September 9-17 at the McKinney Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

Empty Nest an original mixed media on canvas by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn) will be on exhibit at the Journeys of Women Art Show from September 9-17 at the McKinney Center in Historic Jonesborough, Tennessee.

When I began painting Empty Nest, I was trying to deal with my only child getting ready to move away to Emory & Henry College in Virginia. To be honest, I had no intention of ever showing this painting because it was filled with all of my emotions…tears…chaos. As I painted, I thought about how we nurture our children so that one day they will fly…they will leave the nest. But, the nest is never really empty. If you look closely, there is an imprint of that egg…that will never go away because of all of the love…because of all of the wonderful memories. Yes, it is very hard to let them go…to let them fly, but it is part of the natural process + how wonderful it is to see them soar!

Another painting in the "We Are All Stories" series--an original series by SassyHat featuring red barns and quilts

This 12″ x 12″ mixed media on canvas by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn) is part of the “We Are All Stories” series–an original series inspired by storytelling (especially Southern tales), red barns, quilts, and red barns with quilts.

“We are all stories in the end, so let’s make them good ones.” That statement pretty much sums up the We Are All Stories series and why I created it! I have always loved a good story. My blog was inspired by my love of porch sitting and storytelling + coffee drinking. So, I had no choice but to paint and create what I loved most. I wanted this series to be child-like…whimsical…a bit catawampus. I wanted it to be full of color…rich with texture…splashes of humor here and there. I wanted people to look at the red barn and remember a red barn they had seen as a kid or to remember playing in their grandparents’ barn…or remember when they worked at their parents’ barn…picking cotton or harvesting tobacco.  I wanted people to sit a spell and really look at these paintings…to read the words…to see the little details. My hope is they smile as they observe…that they will begin to tell a story about a barn or a quilt or their beloved grandmother.

Yes, as parents, we are all going to be empty nesters one day (that is our goal *wink*), and we are all  going to be stories in the end, so let’s make each and every moment count…let’s embrace each other…let’s take time to sit a spell and really talk and listen (that means putting down those phones, closing those laptops, and turning off the TV)…let’s make sure that our stories and our children’s stories are good ones *big smile*

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Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today! I would love to hear your empty nest, barn, or quilt stories, so please feel free to share them with me in the comment section here or on Facebook because there is nothing better than good stories with great friends *smile*

Upcycled Metal Flowers for an Urban Garden

The hubby surprised me with a stunning bouquet of flowers. He knows how much I love flowers and pink. **I think he's a keeper.**

The hubby surprised me with a stunning bouquet of flowers. He knows how much I love fresh flowers and pink. **I think he’s a keeper.**

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from home renovation to upcycled treasures. Today on the blog, we will be chatting about a darling “bouquet” of flowers I created for my urban garden using fan blades and covers + reclaimed wood.

There are no step-by-step instructions for these flowers because I pretty much winged it…Seriously–I woke up, went to my basement, dug through my metal treasures, found some old fan blades and covers, and decided to create flowers from the pile of collected material.

Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at the making of a metal flower bouquet + a few tips on spray painting.

Orange, pinks, and poppy red--oh, my!

Orange, pinks, coral, and poppy red–oh, my! Before getting started, use a tarp (drop cloth, garbage bags…) to cover up anything you don’t want painted. You will not regret the few minutes it takes to do this *wink*

Always use spray paint in a well-ventaliated area or outdoors. Be sure to cover anything you don't want painted!

Always use spray paint in a well-ventaliated area or outdoors. Be sure to cover anything you don’t want painted! I cannot say that enough!

Spray in a steady motion. (Don't go all crazy, spraying in all kinds of directions and circles.) Be sure to shake the paint can well and often. **I always spray a little off the edge of whatever I am painting in order to keep my smooth motion going.**

Spray in a steady motion. (Don’t go all crazy, spraying in all kinds of directions and circles.) Be sure to shake the paint can well and often. **I always spray a little off the edge of whatever I am painting in order to keep my smooth motion going.**

Allow adequate time to dry before handling.

Allow adequate time to dry before handling. **Have I mentioned “Coral” is my new Rust-Oleum color crush?**

It takes a little patience to paint an object with lots of angles and grooves. On this one, I had to paint. Wait. Turn. Paint. Wait. Turn. Until it was completely covered.

It takes a little patience to paint an object with lots of angles and grooves. On this one, I had to paint. Wait. Turn. Paint. Wait. Turn. Until it was finally solid orange.

This was the hardest piece to paint. To be honest, a lot of paint was wasted while painting this fan cover. But, just look at that finished piece! Sooo pink and sooo adorable *wink*

This was the hardest “flower” to paint. To be honest, a lot of paint was wasted while spraying this fan cover. But, just look at that finished piece! Sooo pink and sooo adorable *wink*

Poppy Red. Enough said.

Poppy Red. Enough said.

Pink

I couldn’t have only one pink flower *wink* The photos do not capture the difference between the Berry Pink and Magenta, but the Magenta (in person) is definitely a bolder pink whereas the Berry Pink is a little more on the adorable side of the pink spectrum. **p.s. y’all know I am not a photographer–but good news is I will be taking a photography workshop…hold up…I can’t spill the beans on that yet!**

Just another day in the office *big smile*

Just another day in the office *big smile*

After rounding up some reclaimed wood for stems and leaves, I finally had my upcycled bouquet finished and ready to place in my small, urban garden–which the hubby and I planted on the side of our house facing the street. (Last year, I planted shrubs and flowers there. They all died. Seriously, every shrub and plant died. So, this year, we decided to try veggie and herb gardening. I am happy to say it has–for the most part–been a success.)

This area is shaded by a giant crepe myrtle, so metal flowers make perfect companion plants for our carrots.

This area is shaded by a giant crepe myrtle, so metal flowers are perfect companion plants for our carrots.

These flowers are guaranteed not to die *wink*

These flowers are guaranteed not to die *wink* The carrots are doing great…the onions…not so much!

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about my upcycled bouquet. This project was super fun, and I totally recommend looking for objects to make your own. Just use your imagination + don’t be afraid to be a little different and bold.

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