Fountain City Art Center going strong with Pumpkin Palooza

Shannon CareyFeature, Fountain City, Our Town Arts

Folks who know and love Fountain City Art Center will be relieved to hear that the center is alive and well under the leadership of new director Heather Fielden. What’s more is that the center will kick off the fall and winter lineup with a brand-new event that leadership hopes will become a tradition: Pumpkin Palooza.

The event will be held 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 27, at the center, 213 Hotel Road, Knoxville.

Fielden has been the center’s director since August, and this is the first big event since she came on board. It promises to be fun for the whole family with games, crafts, baked goods for sale, and of course, lots and lots of pumpkins.

The idea came about when Fielden discovered board president Ken Clayton’s alter ego, Dr. Carvenstein, a creative maestro in the subtle art of carving jack-o-lanterns.

“I said, ‘So, what are you doing around Halloween? You need to show your talents at an event for us,'” said Fielden.

The goal, Fielden said, is to get the center’s message out.

“We just want to provide the community with a center to expand their access to art, be it through classes, workshops, viewing the exhibits, or through our relationship with LeGrand Music, which offers music lessons here,” she said.

Visitors will get to know the center, and they’ll be treated to Dr. Carvenstein’s pumpkin-carving demonstrations, plus tutorials on how to decorate a pumpkin without a knife.

And things at the art center will keep jumping through the new year. The current exhibit is the Knoxville Watercolor Society show, which ends next week. After that, there will be a show of entries for the Fountain City Art Center calendar. People who visit the exhibit will be able to vote online for the works they’d like to see in a calendar.

After the calendar exhibit comes the Fountain City Art Guild exhibit, which will be on display through the beginning of January. Then, the center will host a juried open show, open to all artists, 2-D and 3-D works.

Fountain City Art Center members are also working on a coloring book to be released in December.

Fielden said she hopes events like Pumpkin Palooza will raise awareness of the center throughout Knoxville.

“You just feel like you’re home when you’re here,” she said. “The facility has the capacity to meet the needs of many individuals with multiple talents.

“I just want to say that we’re still here and everything’s going great. We have got an energized membership and great enthusiasm towards keeping art in the community.”

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