Each March the Customs House Museum creates an invitational themed exhibit celebrating women artists. This year’s show, In the Garden, features the work of artists from across the state of Tennessee, all created in a variety of styles.
The garden has been an inspiration for artists for centuries. Wall paintings and fresco depicting flora, fauna and gardens were all commonly used to decorate 1st century BC public buildings, private homes, temples, and tombs. The Pre-Raphaelites, Impressionists, and the artists of the Arts and Craft Movement all used the garden as muse; as did O’ Keefe, Mapplethorpe, and Warhol.
Among the artists featured in In the Garden is Sandra Paynter Washburn. Sandra has taught workshops for the Tennessee Art Education Association, Arrowmont School, Hunter Museum of American Art, Tennessee Watercolor Society, Knox County Schools, Tennessee Art League, Townsend Atelier, Association of Visual Artists, and Tennessee Artists Association of Knoxville. Her award- winning works have been featured in numerous publications, including The Artists Magazine. Sandra’s art is included in many important private and public collections worldwide. Marleen DeWaele De Bock currently resides in Nashville. In 1990, she left Belgium for South Africa. The rich cultural diversity there was a true inspiration for Marleen’s art, influencing colorful market scenes and people and eventually sculptures as subjects for her paintings. Her current nature-themed paintings are filled with movement and bold color. Marleen’s work is in private collections worldwide.
Also on exhibit for Women’s History Month are contemporary realists Lynn Garwood and Denise Stewart Sanabria. Garwood’s exhibit The Quiet Stage is on view in the museum’s Planters Bank Peg Harvill Gallery. Garwood’s loves of vintage and old trucks fill the space with an easy sense of nostalgia. Sanabria’s show in the Bruner Gallery features mouthwatering muses such as donuts and Easter candy. Both The Quiet Stage and Food as Muse will be on exhibit through April.