NASHVILLE -- Each year the Tennessee Arts Commission awards grants to outstanding Tennessee artists through the Individual Artist Fellowship program. This program celebrates and supports the creativity of the state's professional artists. Winners of the 2006 Individual Artist Fellowships in Craft ($5,000 each) are Patricia Mink of Johnson City and Tim Hintz of Smithville. These outstanding craft artists will be featured in an exhibit at the Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery, Jan. 11-Feb. 16. A reception for the artists will be held Saturday, Jan. 13 from 5-7 p.m.
"Tennessee has an abundance of creative talent and these artists certainly represent the quality and excellence of work created in our state, says Nicole Pietrantoni, director of visual arts, craft, and media for the Arts Commission. "This exhibit is an opportunity to see some of the finest craft produced in the region."
Mink says, "I was delighted to have been selected for the fellowship. Some of the money was used to fund a one-month trip to China. Experiencing different cultures is an important part of my artistic work." She received her bachelor of arts degree from Kalamazoo College, and her master of fine arts in studio art (fibers) from Eastern Michigan University. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and has appeared in publications such as Surface Design, Fiberarts Magazine, Quilt National, Visions, and Fiberarts Design Book VII. She is an assistant professor of art, and head of the Fibers program at East Tennessee State University where she has taught since 2003.
Specializing in digitally generated, inkjet-printed fiber constructions, Mink's recent work includes exploring low-tech approaches to high-tech applications. Her current work explores the traditional layered quilt form, employing new digital techniques for printing fabric, as a means of establishing a visual dialogue addressing issues of contemporary culture. Drawing from historic associations with domesticity, comfort, and home, the quilt form offers unique possibilities for developing content when combined with non-traditional techniques and unexpected imagery.
Hintz is known for his chairs, which are created from fresh logs and shaped by hand. After a career as a deep sea diver in the Gulf of Mexico, he moved to Smithville, Tennessee to study at the Appalachian Center for Craft. He soon started his business, Fresh Chairs. Hintz utilizes raw, locally available woods to create his work.
"I was very pleased to be selected," says Hintz. "Because of the grant, I was able to upgrade the equipment in my shop, and that has enabled me to create other types of furniture. Although I have primarily created chairs in the past, I am now working on creating a kitchen table. I am also working on a rocking chair that will become part of the Tennessee Arts Commission exhibit.
In 2001, Hintz was juried into the Southern Highlands Craft Guild. At the Tennessee Association of Craft Artist's 2004 Best of Tennessee exhibition at the Tennessee State Museum he was awarded Best of Show, and has several pieces in the museum's permanent collection. He has taught workshops at Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft, John C. Campbell Folk School, and the Appalachian Center for Craft.
For more information on the 2006 Individual Artist Fellowship Exhibit in Craft, contact Nicole Pietrantoni at 615-532-9798.