"Eat Chicken" by Judy Lavoie won Best in Show and the accompanying $2,500 Joan Clark Memorial Award.

Photo Gallery

Watercolor works at AVA Gallery

If you go

› What: Traveling exhibit of the Tennessee Watercolor Society 36th Exhibition.

› When: Through Friday, Oct. 26.

› Where: AVA Gallery, 30 Frazier Ave.

› Admission: Free.

› Phone: 423-265-4282.

› Website:

More Info

Traveling exhibit

Works by 30 artists are included in the 2018 Tennessee Watercolor Society traveling exhibit.

› Kate Aubrey

› Jann Bohnenberger

› Barbara Bullard

› Linda Campbell

› Lisa Cantrell-Wood

› Harriet Chipley

› Mark Cobbe

› Coco Dauer

› Anne Davis

› Jim Diehr

› Abby Eblen

› Loretta Lee Edge

› Irma Herzog

› Susan Hyback

› Judy Lavoie

› Donna Littleton

› Frank Lott

› JoAnn Mathews

› Kate McCullough

› Leslie McDonough

› Jean Porter

› Max Robinson

› Todd Saal

› Patsy Sharpe

› Mary Spellings

› Tuva Stephens

› Ulla Veiro

› Hilda Waide

› Barbara Jake Wilson

› Patricia Ing Wilson

Judy Lavoie of Tellico Plains, Tennessee, has a couple of cows to thank for her award-winning entry in the 2018 Tennessee Watercolor Society 36th Exhibition. The barnyard animals, portrayed behind a rusted gate, steered her to a Best in Show win from 173 submissions by 101 artists.

Lavoie was notified of her win in May, when the main exhibition of 60 paintings went on view at the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center in Clarksville. Internationally recognized show juror Lian Quan Zhen then selected 30 of those to travel around the state — west to Humboldt in August, northeast to Elizabethton in September and finally southeast to Chattanooga for a four-week showing this month at the Association for Visual Arts Gallery.

Lavoie's Best in Show entry, "Eat Chicken," is among the works on view. On her website, Lavoie says animals are one of her favorite painting subjects, but she'd never before tried close-ups of farm critters.

The reference photo she used was made a few years ago at her friends' farm. She says she "liked the way the farm gate framed the face of the left cow, and I thought the separations it created might make it easier for me to work on sections at a time."

She also entered a second painting, "Bloodroot," in the exhibition, representing a spring wildflower she discovered in her woods after moving from Florida to Tennessee in 2004. "Most of my inspiration comes from within 10 miles of where I am," she says. "There are so many things that inspire me."

As Best in Show winner, Lavoie received the $2,500 Joan Clark Memorial Award, named in honor of the late Lookout Mountain artist (1938-2017). In memory of Clark, the Lyndhurst Foundation has financed the purchase of "Eat Chicken" to add to the permanent art display in the Children's Hospital at Erlanger Outpatient Center, scheduled to open later this year.

In addition to Lavoie's work, the traveling exhibit features 13 more of the main exhibition's 20 award winners.

Other Chattanooga artists represented include first-time winner Mark Cobbe, whose "Frontloader" was lauded for its simplicity of style. Anne Davis captured the spirit of the mountains with "Lily: Foot of the Falls," and Irma Herzog depicted seaside pelicans at rest in "Content."

The Tennessee Watercolor Society, dedicated to the exploration, study and advocacy of watermedia, boasts more than 250 members. Its first exhibition was held in 1972 at the Hunter Museum of American Art.

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.