It’s art. It’s a gift to the street. Get it?

Beginnings of a Cynthia Market Painting

Another Cynthia Beginning around the corner from the first

I’ve recently enjoyed watching Cynthia Markert create new works on the street. I haven’t actually watched her so much as watched a real-time evolution of several paintings she has underway outside the construction at the Hotel St. Oliver.

Cynthia at work on Union Avenue. She’s not big on having her picture taken.

At first it wasn’t clear who was up to something and what that something might become, but gradually it became obvious it was, indeed, Cynthia, downtown Knoxville’s longest running artist. Soon enough, I found her at work (evenings if you’d like to say, “hello”). I enjoy all her work, of course, but I have to say I’m partial to the ladies all standing in their flowing dresses.

Coming into focus: Cynthia Markert painting underway

One corner of plywood, two works in progress

It’s amazing that an established artist would take the time to make this gift to each of us as we pass by what would otherwise be a drab wall. She creates these works knowing that at best they will be temporary, but will provide a moment of pleasure or surprise for those of us who walk the streets.

Coming together, but under attack. This one’s my favorite

At worst? Well, I learned a little about that tonight. She told me that the paintings are under attack of a sort. You can see in the most recent one of the woman facing forward that someone is putting a frame around it and has posted a sticker on one edge. The woman’s face nearest the corner in the grouping of women has been repeatedly scratched. Why? Artistic jealousy? (She tells me this has happened before.) Ignorance? Yes. 

Getting closer. Two Cynthia Markert paintings.

I’d encourage you to get by there and take a look. You probably have about six weeks before they are removed for the opening of the Hotel. If you see Cynthia tell her you appreciate what she does. If you see someone defacing it, well, I’ll leave your response to your conscience.

Something a little different coming from Cynthia (same wall).