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53rd Dogwood Arts Festival kicks off
By Jeaneane Payne

kathie odom dogwood arts
This year’s Dogwood Arts featured trail is Sequoyah Hills.

In its 53rd season, Knoxville has blossomed with the Dogwood Arts Festival, a celebration of the natural and cultural beauty of East Tennessee. Throughout the month of April, this vibrant festival promotes the history and future of the region’s arts by featuring an exciting, fresh blend of gardens and trails, music, theater, crafts, film, dance, and culinary, literary and visual arts. The first Dogwood Arts Festival was held in 1961.

Dogwood Trails were established in 1955 after a New York newspaper reporter visited Knoxville in 1947 and wrote an article for his newspaper stating “Knoxville is the ugliest city I ever saw in America….” Today, there are 13 dogwood trails and garden byways in the Knoxville area. This year’s featured trail is Sequoyah Hills which celebrates its 60th anniversary as a Dogwood Trail. The trail will be lined with lights to enhance its beauty.

Dogwood trees are the main feature of the Dogwood Arts Festival. This year’s trails showcase more than 60 miles of breathtaking views of dogwoods, gardens, and breathtaking trees. Homeowners along the trails welcome photography of their beautiful gardens.

Trail goers can drive, walk, run, or ride bikes along the trails as they take in the beauty.

The Festival offers many special events through April 27. In September, the Knoxville Film Festival will take place at Regal Downtown West Cinema. Bazillion Blooms is scheduled for December 6. The Dogwood Arts Festival will end with the annual House & Garden Show, February 13-15, 2015. So there is something special planned throughout the entire year to celebrate the Dogwood Arts in Knoxville.

Special Events include art exhibitions, a music festival, a street painting festival, dogwood trails, open gardens, bus tours, music concerts, and organized bike rides.

One of the highlights of the Dogwood Arts Festival is Rhythm N’ Blooms which will be held April 4-6 on Jackson Avenue in downtown Knoxville. From well-known, leading artists to locally-revered, emerging performers, festival goers will fall in love with the music and the community around them at Rhythm N’ Blooms.

Additional events highlighting the Dogwood Arts Festival’s month-long celebration include the Market Square Art Fair, NEXUS 2014, Open Gardens, Walking Trails, A Very Special Arts Festival, Regional Fine Art Exhibition, Art in Public Places Knoxville, Chalk Walk, and the East Tennessee Art Educator and Student Art Exhibitions, which will feature the work of local K-12 school students and their teachers.

kathie odom dogwood arts
This year’s Dogwood Arts Limited Edition Release is Sycamore Row, an oil painting by Tennessee native and University of Tennessee graduate, Kathie Odom.

This year’s Limited Edition Release is Sycamore Row, an oil painting by Tennessee native and University of Tennessee graduate, Kathie Odom. Through her art, Kathie is expressing what has influenced her creativity for an entire lifetime… childhood memories of having her father and grandfather in the building trade, an ever-present attraction to things of God, and a high school art teacher that showed her she had a love for beauty and a variety of artistic abilities.

After graduating from The University of Tennessee in Art Education and Fine Arts, Kathie received early recognition for pastel works in the 1982 Dogwood Arts Festival. But it was 2009 when her artistic endeavors soar, setting her on course for a career as an oil painter.

“Landscape painting feels like a new-found love, but it’s actually an old love, rediscovered.”

Kathie resides with her husband and maintains a studio in north Knoxville. She travels and spends much time oil painting in the outdoors and participating in plein-air events. Her original works have sold internationally and are hanging in the finest galleries in the south.

Dogwood Arts is presented by ORNL Federal Credit Union.

Published April 1, 2014


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