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Julie Belcher artwork featured in latest exhibit at Tennessee Wesleyan University

November 5, 2018 – East Tennessee artist Julie Belcher brings her artwork to Athens, Tennessee through an exhibit in the Muriel S. Mayfield Gallery. Belcher’s collection, “The Waltz,” features multiple pieces that dance together, creating a beautiful story of rural roots.

Belcher’s story places her as an artist from Appalachia and a “dedicated handmade advocate.” A self-confessed “appreciator of that which can be made new and useful once more,” Belcher co-founded Yee-Haw Industrial Letterpress in 1997, scavenging for years to purchase and restore presses long forgotten throughout the Southeast before the company’s launch from her mother’s shed in Corbin, Kentucky.

The artist now focuses her energies on her latest press, studio and shop, Pioneer House in Knoxville. There, she creates mixed media pieces displayed in galleries across the nation. She has been commissioned to create art for Whole Foods café as well as illustration of American novelist Cormac McCarthy on featured on the cover of the New York Times Review of Books.

Along with her ever-expanding artistic journey, Belcher continues to draw inspiration from her Appalachian heritage and love of the area’s handiwork, natural beauty and music tradition. Her latest work is a heartfelt visual combination of antique floral wood engravings from the 19th century and her own hand-carved linocuts of stylized landscapes.

The approach is entirely her own. “Each ink color is a separate block overprinting onto the previous layer,” the artist explained. “A slight ink color change or a transparency effect can make a magical transformation and sometimes even I can’t visualize what it will look like until I pull the print.”

Some of the prints go on to become part of the patchwork, “make do and repurpose” artwork Belcher creates in homage to hardworking Appalachian gardeners and homemakers. “I also deconstruct and sew the prints and use them in mixed media encaustic paintings embedded in beeswax,” she adds.

Belcher’s collection is currently on display at Tennessee Wesleyan University’s Mayfield Gallery, located in Reece Hall. The gallery is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or Saturdays by appointment. To make an appointment please call, 423.745.4600. Julie Belcher will be available at the gallery for a closing reception on Thursday, November 15 at 6 p.m.

Gallery location and contact:
Tennessee Wesleyan University
Muriel S. Mayfield Gallery, Reece Hall
216 North Jackson St.
Athens, TN 37303
423.745. 4600