Arlinda Lee Clark Parker

Arlinda Lee “Lin” Clark Parker, 67, of Signal Mountain, died Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. She is survived by her husband, Lance Parker; and brothers, Jim (Lisa) Clark, of Asheville, N.C., and Richard (Stacy) Clark, of Houston, Texas; nieces, Sarah Clark, of Asheville and Hannah and Christine Clark, of Houston; and brothers-in-law, Bob Parker, of Reston, Va., and Steve Parker, of Sting Ray Point, Va. To family and friends, Lin was known as a creative, fun-loving spirit who elevated those around her. She took delight in telling stories on herself, and her recollections could leave the room breathless with laughter. She’d divulge driving mishaps, wardrobe malfunctions, encounters with strangers, misunderstandings with Lance that resulted in new jewelry. Little was off-limits from her sense of humor. She could turn any moment into an escapade. Her wit was often on display in the handcrafted gifts she labored over for birthdays, always with unexpected elements that she relished explaining. Perhaps her most highly anticipated gifts, though, were her handmade birthday cards, penned in her inimitable handwriting and typically filled with Top 10 lists recounting moments shared. The memories were always funny, sometimes bawdy and forever proof that Lin paid attention to the time she spent with someone. She had a warmth that could make anyone feel as if she were their best friend and biggest cheerleader. Her presence was central to many circles of friends — her poker chicks, creativity group, book club, fellow artists, her work family. She was beloved. For all her humorous handiwork, Lin was a serious artist. A graduate of Chattanooga High School, she earned a degree in art from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Her passion to create was evident in her many art projects, including a solo exhibition at the Hunter Museum of American Art and group exhibits at the Hunter, Jewish Cultural Center and AVA Gallery. Lin was known for her use of found objects in her art, ranging from wires to rusted bottle caps to feathers. Religion figured into many of her works, the result of a faith instilled in childhood by her late parents, Cecil and Jane Clark. Her latest projects, completed just a few weeks before her death, were a series of mixed-media books about war. “My favorite was made of foundry patterns, metal cigar molds for chocolate candy, a wooden drill bit holder and bullets,” she wrote of the collection. She showcased much of her art around her neck. Many of her favorite pieces she made herself, always with groupings only she would have put together — an antique brush head, animal bones, rubber tubing. All were worthy of gallery display. Though not always known to readers, Lin’s creative talents were regularly seen in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. She began her journalism career in 1986 as a feature writer for the Free Press and was named design editor in 1999 for the newly merged Times Free Press. She won numerous awards throughout her career for her outstanding work. She loved the art of design and was creating pages for the newspaper up until the week she died. During Lin’s writing career at the newspaper, she wrote the poetic narration for “Migrations,” an original musical composition based on the cultural plight of Cuban immigrants in America. It had its world premiere in 1997 at the Tivoli Theatre by the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera and was later broadcast on National Public Radio. Lin participated in prestigious art workshops at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina, Shakerag in Sewanee, Tenn., and Asheville Bookworks in North Carolina, where she studied under well-known bookbinder Daniel Essig. She also served as a judge for the International Children’s Art Exhibition in Voronezh, Russia, and was the driving force behind the Times Free Press’ annual Christmas Gift Wrap Contest for young artists. A celebration of Lin’s life will be held Sunday, Oct. 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the Hunter Museum of American Art, 10 Bluff View. A reception will follow the program. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to ArtsBuild, 301 E. 11th St., No. 300, Chattanooga, TN 37403.

Published October 2, 2017

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