Artist Regina Tullock is in her element with lake-life images

Tracy Haun OwensOur Town Arts, West Knoxville

When art photographer Regina Tullock was a child, the adults in her life paid close attention to the world around them. Her maternal grandmother was constantly capturing images with a box camera she carried, and her mother was a “documenter” of family history. Her father, Jack Tullock, wrote more than 300 columns about birds, nature and country life for The Cleveland Banner.

“I come by it honestly,” Tullock says of her newest vocation. From her home near Fort Loudoun Lake off Keller Bend Road, she captures the herons, ospreys, eagles and other majestic creatures who settle there. She also turns her camera and her graphic-arts talents to smaller slices of natural life, like the peep frogs and small turtles who inhabit a nearby pond.

An exhibit of her work, “Life Around a Little Pond & Big Birds of the Lake,” will be on display Jan. 4-25 at The Emporium, 100 S. Gay St. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. today (Friday, Jan. 4) at The Emporium. The reception will also feature live music by Kelle Jolly & The Will Boyd Project.

Artist Regina Tullock (Photo by Tracy Owens)

Although Tullock owns film cameras, including the kind her grandmother carried, the digital camera has been a revelation to her.

“When I see a shot, I see the whole shot. Then I get back home and I play.”

She uses various software programs in creating her images, which she considers as much works of graphic art as nature photography.

Tullock taught in public schools, including at Karns Middle, for 28 years. She was one of the first teachers in Knox County to have a computer in her classroom in the 1980s, an eager technology adapter even then.

Tullock retired from Knox County Schools in 2002 and then taught in education and developmental studies at Pellissippi State until 2010. Since then she has devoted herself to her art.

She had a show at Northshore Brasserie (“my home away from home”) and has developed a following of people who enjoy and buy her work. She says that joining the Arts & Culture Alliance has been one of her best decisions as she learns to navigate art as business.

The process of creating the images, including having them printed for exhibit, is a joy to her. So is spending afternoons sitting under an osprey nest or kneeling over a pond for a shot of a lily pad.

Tullock says, “I’ve found my passion in my retirement. I always knew this would be a whole other phase of my life.”

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