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Volume 24, Number 4 — April 2017

Arts Depot Announces People's Choice Award

The award-winning artwork features a cooper at work on a large barrel.
The award-winning artwork features a cooper at work on a large barrel.

January 01, 2009

ABINGDON, Va. — There was lots of merriment at the Arts Depot during the recent Depot Artists Association's 18th annual Members Show Holiday Open House. Approximately 200 people gathered to view more than 114 pieces by 64 area artists and to enjoy the harmony of the Virginia Highlands Community College Madrigal Singers, along with sumptuous refreshments and warm camaraderie.

The Arts Depot People's Choice Award went to "A Day's Work," a pastel by Jerry Sanders of Kingsport, Tenn. The artwork features a cooper intently at work on a large barrel. The painting is enhanced in its presentation by the use of old milk paint and a bare wood frame. Sanders said that "he painted this scene after taking the workman's photograph at a crafts show and was fascinated by the unique craft and [his] sweat and bulging veins."

Sanders grew up in Kingsport and first became interested in at from his Dobyns-Bennett High School art teacher, Don Hilton. While his first love was art, he was a clarinetist in the school band and attended East Tennessee State University on a music scholarship, ultimately receiving a BS degree in Art and his MS in Art Education. Sanders inspired hundreds of students during his 33-year career as an art teacher in the Kingsport City Schools, notably Robinson Middle School. Now retired from teaching, Sanders is spending more time on his own paintings. While pastel is his medium of choice, he also works in oil and pencil. He has exhibited his work in many shows, capturing Best in Show awards in the Kingsport Fun Fest and Kingsport Arts Council competitions.

This year the Arts Depot People's Choice Award was presented in memory of Landon Woody, who passed away in 2007. Woody was a longtime Arts Depot artist, supporter and founder of the Wednesday Morning Painters group. He was a self-taught artist, learning from peers and by attending workshops by nationally known painters such as Edgar Whitney, Gerald Brommer, Al Stine, Eric Wiegardt, and the late George Chavatel.

He painted seriously for more than 30 years and operated Woody's Goody's, specializing in art supplies and collectibles. He specialized in landscape painting working in watercolor and found this medium to be the most challenging. Woody was a charter member of the Depot Artists Association and a member of the Virginia Watercolor Society. He dedicated one day a week to the Wednesday Morning Painters group, closing his shop to interact and impart his wisdom and talents to eager artists who came to these sessions.

Woody once said "I paint for personal gratification. If you like it, I am flattered and pleased. I do not paint to make a statement but get excited when my thoughts and rendering turn into a pleasant surprise."