The Side-By-Side Visual Arts Apprentice Program, now beginning its 16th year, pairs students from the Community School of the Arts with professional artists in their studios for a period of four to six months each year, giving students the opportunity to witness, participate in, and experience first-hand every aspect of the creative process under the tutelage of master professionals. In many cases, these pairings result in long-term working partnerships over the course of several years. At the end of the school year, all apprenticeships culminate in a full-scale art exhibition, where student and professional works are displayed side-by-side at Bennett Galleries and Company, a professional gallery in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Summer Williamson in her second-year apprenticeship with glass master Richard Jolley

The students selected for Side-By-Side must be in grades 5 - 12 and have a minimum of two years classroom instruction in the visual arts at the School before being considered. Students are chosen for particular apprenticeships based on the degree of difficulty of each medium and the amount of time required in the studio; the age, experience, and interests of the student; and the personality, family situation, and special educational or behavioral needs of the student. Once accepted, the student is allowed to remain in the apprentice program each year prior to graduation; in most cases, this results in long-term intensive apprenticeships with one artist.

Brandon Macklin in his third-year apprenticeship with potter Peter Rose

Since the inception of Side-By-Side in 1997, the artists’ roster has included Judy Brater, Bill Capshaw, Allen Cox, Tina Curry, Pat Delashmit, Don Dudenbostel, Susana Esrequis, Dean Fisher, Diane Fox, Marcia Goldenstein, Janet Harper, Jean Hess, Kathy Holland, Richard Jolley, Philip Livingston, Beauvais Lyons, Marga Hayes McBride, Christine Patterson, Susan Wood Reider, Tom Riesing, Josephine Robinson, Tommie Rush, Peter Rose, Andy Saftel, Mona Shiber, Clark Stewart, Dayna Thacker, Cynthia Tollefsrud, Lois Wallace, and Betsy Worden. Many of these artists participated in first Side-By-Side project and have made long-term commitments to the program.

Visit our photo gallery to view the 2012 Side/By/Side art exhibition.

Mario Goss in his second year of mixed media studies with artist Andy Saftel