Gatlinburg, TN (April 6, 2012)… After 15 years of unveiling the artistic excellence of many celebrated artisans during the Cliff Dweller’s Spring Gallery Gathering, it is with great anticipation that the owners announce their 16th annual gathering to be held April 25-29 at 668 Glades Road in Gatlinburg. The event will be five days of art, music, critters, demonstrations, food & open house! MUSIC! Featured guest artists will be: Jon Ives and Rachel L. Gibson who comprise the talented duo “Pea Pickin’ Hearts.” They will dish up a heaping serving of their original work & traditional favorites peppered with wit and sides of amusing commentary. Great music on the front porch from 1-5pm on Sat, April 28.
CRITTERS! Another featured guest will be: Lynne McCoy – an amazing woman who is a federally licensed independent wildlife rehabilitator and teacher. Lynne will bring her assortment of rescued wildlife from New Market, TN to Cliff Dwellers on Saturday April 28 from 10am – 5pm. Always interesting and endearing! You’ll be surprised where you’ll find these critters! “We have a large fan base who are eager every year to attend our gathering and see what all of our artists have created during those long winter months”, stated Theresa Tyler, one of five artist/owners of the gallery. Much of the success of the gallery in fact can be attributed to the diversity of the work displayed within its historic walls. Louise Bales is a watercolor artist, and paints natural images on gourds; Diana Bruhn-Hafner is a weaver and fiber artist; Pat K. Thomas is a calligrapher, marbler and mixed-media artist; Theresa Tyler is a basket-maker and weaver; and Winnie Utterback throws pottery. In addition to the owners’ work, an extensive selection of original art by more than 60 local artists is also available for sale. “We are especially proud of the nationally acclaimed work of Randal Martin, whose intricately detailed wildfowl woodcarvings have been commissioned by collectors all over the world. From the smallest hummingbird to life size birds of prey, his work is exquisite”, said Louise Bales, the artist/owner who actually discovered and recruited Randal to the Cliff Dwellers Gallery. History of the Cliff Dweller’s Gallery The Cliff Dwellers Gallery has a rich and historic background. It was originally built in 1933, by artist Louis E. Jones of Pennsylvania as his home, studio space and gift gallery. He was the first artist to successfully make a living painting the Great Smoky Mountains. It was with great vision that Jones bought property on Gatlinburg’s main road. He had become aware that Congress was taking steps to establish the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and must have imagined the Park would bring thousands of visitors to the area. Little did he know it would become the nations’ most visited national park! The Cliff Dwellers’ classic lines and stonework construction became a fixture of the Gatlinburg community. It was regularly visited by generations of tourists from the mid 1930’s until 1995 when it was moved to its new Glades Road location. The move of the building is a story in itself. For many years, nationally acclaimed Gatlinburg artist, Jim Gray, had admired both the Cliff Dwellers building and the art of Louis Jones. When he and his son heard that the property was to be demolished, they bought the building and moved it to its current location. It took precise measurements, cutting the building into four separate sections, five weeks to make the initial move and another eighteen months to reconstruct the Cliff Dwellers. Most visitors and locals agree that for historical value alone, it was worth the effort. When the building was reconstructed in 1995, a co-operative of women artists (established in 1988), was invited to display and operate the gallery. In 2001, the six owner/artists purchased the building from the Grays and have never looked back! “We work hard to listen to our visitors and provide the one-of-a-kind artwork that encourages the support of loyal, returning customers”, stated Pat K. Thomas. “It is an added bonus that we provide a familiar setting on Glades Road where visitors can attend our gathering and literally walk through and experience a piece of Gatlinburg history. We want to extend an open invitation for everyone to come and enjoy the event!” Louis Jones’ beautiful sunlit studio is filled with pictures of Gatlinburg in the early days and a few original items from the history of the building. The Cliff Dwellers Gallery is located at 668 Glades Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738. For more information, you can also visit www.cliffdwellersgallery.com, or call 1-865-436-6921. Cliff Dwellers Photo Captions: Dennis Mummert works with clay on the Cliff Dweller’s porch, Dr. Sid’s photographic impressions, Doll by Gabriella Henry, Historic Building signage, Shibori scarves by Pat Thomas, Winnie Utterback pottery, and Randal Martin wood carving.