February started out with a bang, with the downtown Sip & Stroll on Feb. 1 highlighted by the opening of Impressions Fine Art Gallery on Broad Street. I arrived a little early and ran into Patti Lawrence, one of the forces behind the “new” gallery. Even though it is in the same location, there were some subtle changes and some not so subtle. There are beautiful, large pottery pieces by Phillip Shivell, whimsical photography and paintings by Linda Campbell, gorgeous sterling silver jewelry by William Stephanos, and intricate pen and ink and watercolor pictures by Lee Stone, alongside Anne Gurney Thwaites’ large format landscapes of mountains, farms, homesteads and old homes, and Ann Vachon’s paintings of old stone walls hidden in the woods and sweet resting sheep. Smaller pieces of brightly-colored pottery by Phyllis Venable and Diana Johnson Martin fill shelves with natural shapes from nature, plates and bright touches that would be at home in almost any house. And then there are Lawrence’s own amazing assemblages and collages. There are many beautiful oils hanging on the walls, sculptures, baskets, so many things to see! There are plans for classes for both children and adults as well as exhibits by new artists; the variety will be amazing! Do plan on visiting Impressions soon for some great gift ideas, new and creative additions to your home or office, or perhaps something to make you - or a friend - smile. The gallery can be reached by phone at (423) 765-9100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
February is also a big month for United Way of Greater Kingsport. Most of us who work with United Way agencies have been hard at work completing our application for 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, and making plans to attend United Way’s Annual Meeting. But even with all that going on, the United Way’s United WE READ received a $15,000 grant and announced the beginning of a wonderful partnership with Domtar Everyday to further ready success for students in the #GreaterKingsport Community. Following the announcement, Domtar employees read aloud to first-graders at Jackson Elementary and students chose books to take home for their personal libraries. Thanks to Kingsport City Schools’ Jackson Elementary and their fantastic volunteer readers!
OK, I admit it... I am not a football fan. I’m not against football. I just don’t see what the big deal is. (Talk to me later next month about ACC basketball. I get that!). I had the attitude, 'OK, I’ll go watch the game at a friends’ party. Since I have no dogs in this race, I won’t care who wins.' Well, that lasted until about 20 minutes into the second half! This is the first year I've watched the game that it was actually better than the commercials! I was glad to see Philadelphia win, quarterback Nick Foles win MVP, and watch his interaction with his precious baby girl (loved the pink headset). Prior to the game, we enjoyed an amazing dinner of Pepperidge Farm Rolls with ham and mustard; Bacon, Cheese, Mayo and Pecan Dip on Triscuits and other crackers; caramel-roasted almonds; a “casserole” of red quinoa, black beans, fresh corn and chunks of sweet potatoes; crema (sauce) with cilantro, and a strawberry and fresh whipped cream icebox pie with pretzel crust made into cupcakes.
We’ve barely finished with one big sporting event and now it's time for the Winter Olympics. Let’s pray for safety for the athletes, families, spectators and security personnel, safe flights and passage for travelers, and that we concentrate on the things that unite us and not those that divide us. Until next time, I’ll see you out and about!
Feb. 24: Symphony of the Mountains will present "Sensational Strings" at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 24, at First Presbyterian Church in Bristol, Tennessee. Visit http://www.symphonyofthemountains.org or call (423) 392-8423.
Feb. 25: Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park will hold auditions for "Liberty: The Saga of Sycamore Shoals" at 2 p.m., Feb. 25. The performances take place the last three weekends of July.
March 3: Kingsport Art Guild will present "Framing" with Nina Rizzo on March 3. Register with the instructor or online at www.kingsportartguild.com.
March 9-18: Kingsport Theatre Guild will present "Love Letters" in Downtown Kingsport.
March 10: Kingsport Art Guild will present "Exploring the Impressionist Palette and Techniques" with Donna Bird on March 10. Register with the instructor or online at www.kingsportartguild.com.
March 16: Kingsport Art Guild will present "Trace Monotype" with Jennifer Hilton on March 16. Register with the instructor or online at www.kingsportartguild.com.
March 22: Kingsport Art Guild will present "Watercolor Batik" with Linda Loffmin on March 22. Register with the instructor or online at www.kingsportartguild.com.
Katherine Scoggins is a Sunday Stories columnist who highlights local happenings and community organizations twice a month in Out & About with Katherine.