published Friday, June 1st, 2012

Town Talk in and around Chattanooga

TOASTS

CONGRATULATIONS to local artist Ann Nichols whose oil painting "White Lilies" won the Lew Gordon Memorial Award in the Tennessee Art League's 47th Annual Central South Art Exhibition in Nashville.

Nichols, who recently retired as arts editor at this newspaper, was one of 129 artists from 17 states in the exhibit. Juror Ruth Crnkovich, curator, fine art appraiser and director of Haynes Galleries in Nashville, selected 50 artworks from the 268 submitted. Of these, she designated 12 award winners.

In choosing the awards, Crnkovich said in her juror's statement: "I concerned myself mostly with the impact and quality of the artwork. Does this piece make me stop in my tracks, move in closer for a better look, step back or to the side for a different view? Am I impressed with the quality of technique? Do I find myself going back to it again and again to see if I am seeing all there is to see in it? Could I live with this piece every day?"

Sculpture, photography and painting in all media are represented in the exhibition, which will remain on display through June 22 at the TAL Gallery, 808 Broadway, in downtown Nashville.

Nichols, a native of Chattanooga and graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, has been a contemporary realist painter for 32 years. Her work can be seen at Gallery 1401 in Warehouse Row.

EAR TO THE GROUND

THE DEATH of three siblings as a result of cancer has two remaining sisters on a mission to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Sisters Jennie Firth Sheridan and Katy Firth, along with Sawrie Orthodontics, will host the second annual "Ride for Life" bike ride tomorrow at 8 a.m. at the Mountain Arts Community Center, 809 Kentucky Ave., Signal Mountain.

The event features 10- and 25-mile courses that take cyclists through Signal Mountain's historic Old Town district and Walden, while offering spectacular views of Chattanooga from Signal Mountain's brow, according to a news release.

Bicyclists can register online at www.bikereg.com or onsite Saturday beginning at 6:30 a.m. Registration forms also are available at area bike shops. All participants will receive an event T-shirt, goody bag, snacks, drinks and the help of support vehicles. Nonriders can participate by being "virtual riders" -- people who donate funds to the cause.

Proceeds from the event will support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research. This program enables researchers to achieve better cure rates and to enhance patients' quality of life, the information noted.

For the Firth Family and their many friends, this cause is deeply personal. Sheridan and Firth lost their sister Mary Firth to melanoma in 2011. She was 35 years old. In 2008, brain cancer took the life of their sister, Molly Hooper, at age 36, and their brother, John Firth, at age 32 in 2009.

The bike ride was Mary Firth's way of helping her sisters raise funds for cancer research. The inaugural event in 2011 raised more than $13,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

For updates and more information, visit begoodbestrongride.com or "like" the event's Facebook page: Ride for Life. Be Good. Be Strong.

For information about volunteering, contact Kristen Levi at kristenblevi@gmail.com.

Contact Karen Nazor Hill at khill@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6396. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/karen nazorhill. Subscribe to her posts on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/karen nazorhill.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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