Guest Artist (non-competing): Ellen Elmes’ love of art-making has sustained her over the last 50 years through the creation of what she calls her “soul paintings” in the watercolor medium, and visual renderings of community stories in almost 30 public murals. She has exhibited her watercolors and created murals extensively in the Central Appalachians, and in many of the Mid-Atlantic states, as well as in Scotland. Ellen has recently published a book about her work as it has been inspired by living in the Appalachian Mountains during the last five decades.
Ellen’s most recently-completed project is a public mural painted on fabric panels and installed on Ashe Street in downtown Johnson City, Tennessee. This mural, “Passing the Torch,” celebrates the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment of the United States Constitution, and honors the legacy of Johnson City, Tennessee, and national women activists who led the movement for equality and women’s voting rights during the last 100 years.
Having lived for 48 years on top of a mountain and on the edge of both Buchanan County, Virginia, and McDowell County, West Virginia, I make art that is inspired and informed by the air, the colors, the stories, and the rhythms of the Appalachian Mountains.
For more information about her book and her artworks, visit her website at: www.ellenelmes.com