published Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Bouncing between the arts: Retrospective at North River Civic Center features two decades of work

"Sketch Book and Manikin"
"Sketch Book and Manikin"

IF YOU GO

* What: Retrospective Art Exhibit of Judi Ann Hostetter.

* When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, through Aug. 27.

* Where: North River Civic Center, 1009 Executive Drive, Suite 102.

* Information: 870-8924.

Judi Ann Hostetter had been going to the North River Civic Center every Monday morning for a painting session for quite some time, so center manager Linda Rugina knew Hostetter had talent from her drawings.

Then she discovered Hostetter’s background.

Hostetter has been a professional artist since 1985 and has been painting for nearly 45 years. She just recently retired as a full-time art teacher at Silverdale Baptist Academy. She was regional director of the Tennessee Art League in Nashville, past president of the Tennessee Watercolor Society, a board member at the Association for Visual Arts and has had works in 80 or so juried exhibits.

In other words, her creds are solid.

So to Rugina, it was a no-brainer to ask Hostetter to exhibit her work at the center. And Hostetter said “No.”

At least at first.

“But then I thought more about it and decided to do it,” Hostetter says.

Fifty-three pieces of Hostetter’s drawings and paintings — done in oils, watercolors and pastels — now hang on the walls of the center, and another 15 smaller pieces are displayed in a glass case. They range in size from postage stamp to a 6-by-8-foot piece that is flanked by similarly oversized landscapes.

“I love her work,” Rugina says.

While much of Hostetter’s work focuses on landscapes, there are also portraits and still lifes. The exhibit even features three of Hostetter’s interpretations of Rembrandt masterpieces, pieces that normally reside in area churches. About the only things missing are abstracts.

“I do a little of everything,” Hostetter says. “These are works I’ve done in the last 20 years.”

She began painting as a “young married” after her husband bought her some oil paints.

“He bought me a new brush every week. This was 45 years ago,” she says.

Over the years, she says, she would “bounce between watercolor, oil and pastel, and I always have done a lot of drawing.”

“When I learned watercolor, I did nothing but watercolor for two years.”

There is no theme or commonality with the exhibit pieces, she says, other than they represent what she has done over the last two decades.

“The funny thing is though, some of them have been sitting in a flat drawer and never been framed until now,” she says. “They do look different in a frame.

“And there are some that I didn’t like at first. I would turn them toward the wall and forget about them for a year. When I’d go back and look at them, they weren’t so bad, so I’d finish them.”

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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