Knoxville Inspired Artist Heather Whiteside Needs Your Help

Maryville artist Heather Whiteside created the Dogwood Arts Festival's 50th anniversary print.

Maryville artist Heather Whiteside created the Dogwood Arts Festival’s 50th anniversary print.

You may know her from her selection as the 5oth anniversary artist for the Dogwood Arts Festival. She was commissioned to paint “Dog Day Afternoons on the Square,” as part of the 2010 festival, selected in part because she was already becoming known for her portrayals of downtown Knoxville. You may recognize her work from the ad she had on this page for the last two months. While she moved from our area to Kingston, NY sometime back, Knoxville has continued to be her muse and the subject of much of her new work. You’ve likely seen it in galleries around town as well as at festivals, most recently at the Rossini Festival this past spring.

One week ago today the Daily Freeman (local newspaper in Kingston) reported a fire that severely damaged several buildings. Thought to be caused by an electrical issue, the blaze destroyed Heather’s home and her studio. A complete loss included about one hundred paintings she planned to use for shows this fall, as well as her commercial printer used to replicate her work. In the aftermath she not only is homeless, her income for the winter is in jeopardy. She had insurance, but it will not completely cover her costs and her lost income.

"Bird's Eye West," Heather Whiteside, 36X40, Original Acrylic on Canvas, $4200

“Bird’s Eye West,” Heather Whiteside, 36X40, Original Acrylic on Canvas, $4200

"Cylist on Gay Street," Original Acrylic on Canvas, 20X16, $850

“Cyclist on Gay Street,” Original Acrylic on Canvas, 20X16, $850

Originally from California, Heather has worked in Europe, and studied at the Art Students League of New York and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art before locating in the Knoxville area in 2006. The city captured her imagination and her impressionistic portrayals of urban scenes often feature her formerly adopted city. She tells me she hopes to make it back her to live at some point, but she continues to travel to Knoxville for periodic shows. She has supported herself and her son with her art for the last twenty-five years.

In the aftermath of the fire, original art, many prints, art supplies, studio & office equipment, household furnishings, and everything were lost. Additionally, a client’s valuable collection of framed fine art was destroyed. Her mother has started a Go Fund Me campaign to help her get back on her feet, with a goal of $25,000. As of this writing, in four days she has raised $7,250. She is facing enormous expense and has a very small window of time to produce work for upcoming shows.

"Smokin' on Central," Heather Whiteside, 30X36, Original Acrylic on Linen, $3600

“Smokin’ on Central,” Heather Whiteside, 30X36, Original Acrylic on Linen, $3600

"World's Fair Park," Original Acrylic on Canvas, 24X30, $2800

“World’s Fair Park,” Original Acrylic on Canvas, 24X30, $2800

You can help by contributing to that fund. Optionally, there is a local supply of her art at Fastframe (119 N Peters Rd), and any purchases there would help, as well. You are also welcome to go to her website where you’ll find samples of her work. If you make a request to purchase a print you see there, it may have to wait until she has more printed or she may be able to direct you Fastframe if they have a copy of that particular piece. She is also willing to work on commissioned pieces, but that may not be a quick process for obvious reasons.

Heather Whiteside

There are also four original pieces,  pictured here,  which are available for purchase and are currently being held in a private home. I can arrange a viewing of these and help facilitate their purchase if you are interested. Simply email me at Knoxvilleurbanguy@gmail.com. Please give, purchase or otherwise support Heather as she goes through this difficult time. She’s helped immortalize our city in a beautiful way and now it’s time for us to lend a helping hand.

Comments

  1. Dean Parsons says:

    Heather: I don’t know if you remember me or not but I took you flying and you took some pictures for your art work. I did not know that your shop was damaged by fire.. If I can help, let me know.

  2. Judith Ryland says:

    Many who would help cannot at those prices. Does she have cards or post cards or posters.

    Judith

  3. Chris Eaker says:

    We had just placed an order of one of her Market Square pieces a day or two before the fire. She contacted us immediately to tell us of the tragic fire. We were able to get the piece we wanted from Fast Frame. She has a long road ahead of her to get back on her feet and back into production. I hope this article will help her get the funds she needs. Thanks for posting, Alan.

  4. Old Buckeye says:

    Thanks for letting us know. I hope her modest request for funding is achieved. I helped a little.

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