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Dogwood Arts Announces 2012 Limited Edition Print Artist

KNOXVILLE – Andrew Saftel has been chosen as the artist for 2012 Dogwood Arts Limited Edition Print for his painting, Scenic Road.

andrew saftel
Andrew Saftel

scenic road
Scenic Road by Andrew Saftel

Born in Massachusetts, and receiving his B.F.A. from San Francisco Institute of Art, Andrew's interest in art began after working to publish editions of prints and sculptures at a printmaking workshop in San Francisco. He moved to Knoxville in 1985 and immediately felt inspired by the landscape and folk artists represented at the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, and specifically with Bessie Harvey, Homer Green, and Howard Finster.

Influenced by local Knoxvillians: Ted Saupe, Richard Jolley, Tommie Rush, Marcia Goldenstein, Tom Reising, and David Wilson, he started working day and night in his studio at the corner of Broadway and Central. After several years, Andrew built a large studio in one of the warehouse buildings on Jackson Street, where he worked for three more years before moving to his present location in the Sequatchie Valley, where he continues to work.

Scenic Road was a result of a 2010 commission piece that focused on Tennessee and many old documents, photographs, and postcards pertaining to the state's history, commerce, agriculture, and culture.

There are many components of the painting, Scenic Road, which can be pinpointed to specific fields of thought. He used a postcard that someone wrote from Tennessee describing a trip to the Smoky Mountains. The postmark in the middle of the painting connotes an exact moment: May 16th 1951 at 9:00am. On the top left of the painting it says Newfound Gap and below that it says "Scenic Road" and "Mama said lets go home" – all taken from projected images of the actual postcard. On the top right corner of the painting is the Two Cent postage stamp. The old house in the painting is a house on the property adjacent to Andrew's in the Sequatchie Valley.

Andrew feels Scenic Road references an exact moment in time that is long lost and the words and feelings that someone had when visiting Tennessee. It also references a method of communication, real and handwritten, that is quickly disappearing. As for the little house, it lay dormant and decaying for years, but has recently been lovingly restored by new owners – a symbol of hope.

Andrew says, "This painting encompasses themes that I have been interested in for many years: how people move through time together; how they interact and communicate with each other; how important the hand written word is; how handwriting communicates more than what is being said; what is lost between humans as time moves on; what replaces older methods and materials in our modern world; and how people find hope in different ways in the face of a complicated world. As an artist I am interested in conveying, through the work I do, my observations and feelings about what I see around me. I am interested in how and what other people are communicating to each other."

Collected by many galleries and institutions, he is also collected by many individuals, including: Rick and Jeannie Bennett, Kreis and Sandy Beall, Earl and Margit Worsham, Ashley Capps and Birgit Clark, Bob and Marie Alcorn, Ron Watkins, Nell and Roger Sampson, David Butler and Ted Smith, Susan and Sam McCamy, Governor Bill and Crissy Haslam, Ann and Steve Bailey, and Brad and Dina Martin.

"I am proud to be affiliated with the Dogwood Arts Festival this year, which has a long history of bringing the arts to East Tennessee," says Andrew. He goes on to say, "So much about our region and its history has provided me with content and imagery for my work through the years and I still find East Tennessee fascinating and inspiring every day. Although my work references global, human, environmental, and historical themes, I consider myself an East Tennessee artist, since this is where I grew up as an artist and will always continue to work."

Andrew's more than 40 solo exhibitions and numerous public commissioned pieces, and have taken place in Tennessee, Massachusetts, California, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Colorado, and Montana.

With only 750 Scenic Road prints available at $100 each, Dogwood Arts will be taking pre-orders via or by calling 865-637-4561.

Scenic Road will be exhibited on sale to the public for the first time at the Dogwood Arts House & Garden Show, February 17-19, at the Knoxville Convention Center. The original artwork will be available for purchase at Bennett Galleries for $5,000 during the month of April.

In April, the Festival will showcase the talented performing and visual artists, our fine art institutions, and the natural beauty of our region. ORNL Federal Credit Union is the presenting sponsor of the Dogwood Arts Festival.

Published January 19, 2012

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