Last Thursday Faith Andes didn’t wake up. Her daughter Jolyne found her that morning, still in bed. News of her death spread quickly, leaving concentric circles of sadness and loss among her countless friends.
Faith was an artist, optician, innkeeper, chef, gracious host, loving mom, generous friend and all-around groovy girl (her own favorite word). She was a woman of many trades, and she excelled at them all.
A native Knoxvillian, Faith, who was 57, studied fine arts at the University of Tennessee. She painted and drew and created for the rest of her life, even though she joined the family business, Andes Optical in 1978, when she was 16 years old, and became a licensed optician. She gave up the family business in 2016 to become a full-time innkeeper at the big Arts-and-Crafts bungalow on East Glenwood that she’d worked diligently to restore. She called it “the house nobody wanted,” and dubbed it Marble Hill Inn when it was ready to be re-introduced into the world.
Airbnb rated her a “super host,” and she became famous for her gourmet breakfasts. She soon found a niche hosting visiting “creatives” – actors and musicians and crews who come to Knoxville to film TV “true crime” shows. The Salome’ Cabaret Burlesque Revue booked the house for the Smoky Mountain Burlesque Fest every September, and was a great favorite of Faith’s.
She had many friends in Knoxville’s creative community, and it didn’t take long for an idea to honor her to take shape.
Victoria Kay would like to assemble Faith’s artwork into an exhibit. The plan is still in its infancy, but is being enthusiastically received by other friends of Faith.
Kay and Faith had much in common. They met when Kay became an Airbnb host in 2016, and their friendship deepened when they both had long-term relationships end.
“We were both dating, raising children, hosting short-term rentals and creating our art to survive our realities,” Kay said.
“Sometimes we matched with the same men on dating apps, and some of those men remained friends with both of us. We shared dating horror stories and bliss and mused at how we would thrive. Faith said it best – ‘Life is crazy stupid.’ We were soul sisters.”
Details for the exhibit are yet to be determined. Kay said she welcomes anyone who would like to participate to contact her via Facebook Messenger.