Slow Change

A week and a half ago, I ran six miles for the first time. I was alone, running along the Tennessee River, drenched from the humidity when the Map My Run robot voice told me I had done it. It was a quiet and monumental occasion. 

What has compelled me, a recovering lazy bones, to ever accomplish such a thing? Have I become a runner? 

A long- long, long- time ago, I would have considered myself athletic. I played soccer for over ten years when I was younger, but when college hit, all the newness sort of shocked my being, and over time, activity and sport faded out of my life.

After graduation, however, I was shocked in a different way. Those years were about survival, and it became vital that I start doing something that was good for me. The mountains nearby beckoned me, and hiking in the Smokies became something I had to do to counter all the ways I didn't know how to be an adult. It became a necessity.

Gradually other activities started creeping in, things I could easily incorporate into my life without feeling like I was exercising, such as walking and swimming. It was important that I didn't feel like I was intentionally exercising. I had to trick myself or else I ran the risk of jumping ship. 

But then some friends convinced me to go on a group run that started at a bar and ended back there with discounted beer. The Beer Run.

I remember the first time I went, I said out loud that I felt like an impostor. It had been so long since I had run, I felt like a fake. 

It was a funny thing to say, I know, but whenever I do new things, my brain tells me I have no business being there. Only from experience do I know I'll get over that feeling and most likely enjoy the thing I was nervous about. In this case, the reward of discounted beer and camaraderie worked wonders for me. I started going weekly, walking a lot at first, and eventually becoming somewhat... decent. It was a strange thing to realize, but this thing called exercise was actually fun. (Ew!)

My sisters live in Memphis and are part of a running club lovingly named the Schweddy Belles. They run all the time with this group, finding community among the members. While the Beer Run I go to isn't a club, I can relate to the desire for community in this area. No one forces me to run on Mondays, but somehow I feel more of a pull to do it, just because others are. It also offers an excitement by showing me that, amidst other life failures, "Why yes, indeed! I am improving at something."

So I come back around to why I was running six miles in the dead of summer: My sister convinced me to run a half marathon this September.

I've been asked to run half marathons in the past but always said no. It's been a gradual change, but this build up over the years has worked to change my mind. And, let's be honest, I also knew training for this would curb my natural inclination to drink margaritas on pool rafts all summer long. My lazy bones have become crazy bones. I am a runner!

... at least until September 12.

The Biscuit Art Exhibition | This Friday!

This First Friday, come out for the opening of the Biscuit Art Exhibition presented by The International Biscuit Festival (IBF)!

Friday, May 1, 2015

5-9pm; Winners announced at 6pm

The Emporium | 100 S Gay St, Knoxville, TN

Show runs through May 31


This is my second year serving on the Biscuit Art Committee. It's such a fun project and way to be a part of The Biscuit Festival. You may not be aware, but we spend all year planning for this show! I'm proud of the leaps and bounds it's taken over the past few years, especially in the caliber of biscuit-themed work submitted.

While laying out the show this year, I laughed out loud several times in delight. There are definitely a lot of biscuit-loving comedians out there, as well as some that treat the subject in such a delicate and caring way. I love it. 

While I'm on the committee, a jury decides which works are accepted and the winners (I still don't know who the winners are!) This year the jurors are Preston Farabow (Ironwood Studios) and Claire Stigliani (Univ. of Tenn.).

I'm happy to announce three of my pieces were accepted into the show! My flour girls:

These women were a part of an art show I had last month featuring ten supermodels adorned in food packaging. I didn't intend to submit this work into the Biscuit Art Exhibition, but when time ran out and I didn't have work ready, I decided to use flour packaging for three of the women's clothing. It was really nice to be able to accommodate both shows with once type of work!


As a way to further support the Biscuit Art Exhibition, I will be selling some of my mason jars (view here) at a discount on behalf of the Show. They will be available during the opening, as well as other IBF merchandise. There will also be real biscuits to eat (I think from Tupelo Honey) and a few pieces from last year up for auction throughout the month of May. One of those pieces is my Makin' Biscuits Cats!

I hope you can come out Friday or sometime in May to see the work. This year we were able to include several 3D pieces which you have to see. 

You may also view and purchase works from the show beginning May 1 on the website. Works may also be purchased through the Emporium. 

Other Biscuit Festival plugs? Go to the festival May 16 and consider volunteering. It's fun! 


Support Historic Preservation & the Arts Community of Knoxville!

For the past five years, I've been developing the Architectural Salvage Program for the non-profit Knox Heritage. We accept donations of historic building materials to keep them out of the landfill and sell them to raise money for Knox Heritage. (You may click the links to learn more.)

The Knox Heritage Art & Salvage Shop Photo by Ryan McGill

The Knox Heritage Art & Salvage Shop Photo by Ryan McGill

In January of this year, we moved into a 6000+ sf building at 619 Broadway near Central Street. This is such a relief after operating out of, essentially, a glorified two car garage with no heat or air for the past several years. It's an understatement to say I am so excited to be in this new building! 

Now we will be able to accept more donations of salvage and offer customers a better retail experience which will mean better fundraising opportunities for Knox Heritage. At the same time, as with any leap in growth, we are incurring new costs, not only with rent, utilities, and insurance, but also with renovations to fit our needs. 

To offset these expenses, we want to offer artist studio spaces and a communal woodshop for individuals to rent. I've been managing 17th Street Studios since 2010, and we always have a waiting list of artists so I'm grateful to offer more studio spaces for local artists. There is also not a communal woodshop currently in Knoxville, but as we've shared the prospect of housing one, we know there's a large amount of interest and excitement surrounding the idea.

Future Retail Space for The Knox Heritage Art & Salvage Shop Photo by Matt Higginbotham

Future Retail Space for The Knox Heritage Art & Salvage Shop Photo by Matt Higginbotham

Short term, we will hold First Friday Art Openings, and down the road, we hope to offer classes and workshops. There is a lot of potential for this space!

Currently, we are in the renovation stage of the building, but we are coming into the home stretch for our Grand Re-Opening which is April 3. (Please come if you can!) We had originally planned to move into the space and fix it up over time to accommodate artists and woodworkers, but it became clear pretty quickly that this would take a lot longer than we thought. 

As a result, we've launched a Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds to get this project off the ground sooner. Will you please consider making a pledge to help us move forward more quickly and efficiently? There are all kinds of Rewards for different levels of donations and all donations are tax deductible. 

Here is the link to the Kickstarter Project:

Checking things off our To Do list. Photo by Matt Higginbotham

Checking things off our To Do list. Photo by Matt Higginbotham

With these funds, we will be able to better accommodate the artists and woodworkers using the space. We will also be able to provide much needed equipment for our salvage program, such as a trailer, dolly, tools for volunteers, cash register equipment, etc. etc.. You can imagine how much more smoothly this will help our program run if we can provide these things and not have to rely on volunteers for these things.

We have until April 8 to receive $15,000 in pledges. Kickstarter is all or nothing which means we won't receive any donations if we don't reach our goal. Your pledges and you sharing this will make the difference!

On a personal note, I am so grateful to have this opportunity to merge these two things (art + salvage) that I'm passionate about into one place. I've been dreaming of this for many years! Please let me know if you have any questions, please consider giving, and please, help us spread the word on social media.

Thanks so much!

Beth Meadows, Architectural Salvage Coordinator for Knox Heritage

Sweet Treats: Opening Reception Nov 7

At the moment, I'm busy making work for this show. It's a spin off of the cats cut out of wood I hung at Old City Java in July. A re-mix, if you will. 

Please stop by during the opening on First Friday. I'll be doing a stamp carving demo and will have mason jar and fine art prints available for sale.

If you can't make it November 7, stop by later in November during regular business hours. Sweet Treats will be up until December 1.