A! Magazine for the Arts

"Pointing the Way in Greeneville" Exhibit Features Church Steeples

December 5, 2006

Historic Greeneville, TN -- "Pointing the Way in Greeneville," featuring detailed drawings of the historic steeples of downtown churches, will be on display at James-Ben: Studio and Gallery through year's end. The title of the series is more than a description of the subject matter of the images. It also describes the technique, called pointillism, used to create them by Vicki Kirk, assistant superintendent for instruction with Greeneville City Schools.

The four originals -- depicting the steeples of the St. James Episcopal, Cumberland Presbyterian, First Presbyterian, and Christ United Methodist churches -- are on display, and high-resolution prints are available for purchase.

Kirk seems a little shocked at the enthusiastic reaction her art has generated but gallery director James-Ben Stockton had no doubt "Pointing the Way in Greeneville" would be a hit. "I have seen a great deal of art over the years, and given a lot of advice to emerging artists. All Vicki needed was encouragement. In doing representations of historic architecture, she has gone into a genre that requires patience, precision, and a "scientific" focus on detail. Many draftsmen can do that. But what Vicki has done is breathe life into her images. And that's rare," he says.

Kirk took her first artistic steps on an impulse. "I was buying art supplies for my son, and decided I wanted some for myself as well," she recalls. Having never taken an art class, she taught herself from the opportunities around her. "Much of what I've learned to do has been tried as a result of watching my son, then doing whatever technique he was working with."

Though time-consuming, Kirk found pointillism, the creating of images from thousands of tiny dots, to be the best fit. "I love the process of drawing; the concentration it requires frees my mind of other worries. I like very detailed, close work," she says. As to the impulse that led to her current series, she believes a bit of the divine touch was involved. The choice of architecture with a religious theme is near to Kirk's heart; she plans to benefit mission work with the proceeds from "Pointing the Way." But she also recognizes a blessing when she sees one. "The process of creating is a joyful one for me. It seems to me that by listening to that voice of impulse, I received a gift from God here at the middle of my life."

For further information about "Pointing the Way in Greeneville," contact James-Ben Stockton or Daniel Luther at 423-787-0195.