Student Apprentices Shine at 15th Annual Side/By/Side Visual Arts Exhibition

Isaac Mobley, 17, wants a new cell phone, so he’s going to make one – out of glass.

Isaac, a senior at both West High School and the Community School of the Arts, is one of 16 participants in the School’s innovative visual arts apprentice program, Side/By/Side, which pairs students with professional artists in their studios for a period of three to six months. Under the instruction of internationally renowned glass artists Richard Jolley and Tommie Rush, Isaac is about to get his wish.

Isaac Mobley begins forming his "cellphone" out of hot glass with the assistance of his Side/By/Side
mentor Richard Jolley.

“Last year, he made a football helmet!” says Richard Jolley about his fourth-year apprentice. “Most people have to have years of training and studio work before they can just declare, ‘I want to make a rose, or a turtle – or a cell phone’!”

Issac’s glass cell phone will be just one of the many artworks on display at the Community School of the Arts’ 15th annual Side/By/Side exhibition from Tuesday, May 31 through Friday, June 3 at Bennett Galleries and Company, 5308 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN. The artists’ reception and silent auction will be held Friday, June 3, from 5:00-8:00pm. The event is free and open to the public.

Side/By/Side has been named “one of the top arts- and humanities-based programs in the country” by the National Endowment of the Arts and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and was one of 35 Finalists for the 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards.

Student artworks will be displayed side-by-side those of their professional mentors. Participating artists in this year’s program are Judy Brater, Bill Capshaw, Tina Curry, Don Dudenbostel, Susana Esrequis, Janet Harper, Richard Jolley, Marga Hayes McBride, Susan Roberts, Peter Rose, Tommie Rush, Andy Saftel, Robin Surber, Cynthia Tollefsrud, and Heather Whiteside. The exhibit will include a wide range of artwork, including painting, photography, mixed media, printmaking, ceramics, and glass.

At Andy Saftel's studio in Pikeville, TN, Brandon Macklin is inspired by Andy's new series of bird paintings
on panel.

All proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the Community School of the Arts, a nonprofit after-school program which since 1992 has provided free lessons and classes in all the arts to hundreds of children whose families cannot afford them. The School currently serves 154 students per week, providing free classes and private lessons to youngsters preschool through high school throughout the school year. An additional 50-65 at-risk and homeless children are served through outreach programs at other child services organizations, such as the Crutcher Memorial Youth Enrichment Center, Montgomery Village Child Development Center, and “Our Place” at Sarah Moore Greene Magnet School.

Side/By/Side is partially funded by the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Funds for At-Risk Youth, the East Tennessee Foundation’s Youth Endowment Fund, and the Bernau Family Foundation.

Sarah Emory and Robin Surber work side-by-side to produce mixed-media works entitled "Hope" and
"Faith" for Sarah's first apprenticeship.