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Web site run by ‘sistas’


Amanda Henry and Lauren Karnitz are sisters and artists who run a Web site-based company, Sista Creations.

Sista Creations showcases the talents of each woman: Karnitz’s paintings and Henry’s jewelry designs. The paintings are very large, most are five feet by eight feet: Others are larger.

Henry’s jewelry somehow echoes the larger-than-life paintings. “It’s very interesting how the line work in my paintings and the colors that I choose and the boldness of these huge, vibrant paintings, how very similar they are to her jewelry. Her jewelry is very eye-catching, and I don’t mean just sparkly,” Karnitz said.

“They demand to be looked at, and it’s just interesting when you put my paintings by her jewelry. We do very different work, but there’s something that connects them,” she added.

“I wanted something that was very personal to us. As an artist, you can have success in a lot of different ways…and we decided that we’d be stronger together than we are separate.”

Henry said, “The fact that we are sisters, with two different talents and two different lives, but a similar goal is something that we knew made us different from most other painters or jewelry artists. We want this same idea to show in our Web site as well,” Henry said.

Henry graduated from The University of Tennessee with a degree in exercise physiology and took a job with a family-owned business, The Lunchbox restaurant.

“While working there, I juggled personal training with the thought that I would eventually make a career out of it,” Henry said.

“Jewelry began about four years ago. It started as a hobby and has evolved to what it is today. It’s a really great feeling to have people connect with something that I have created,” she added.

Unlike Henry, Karnitz isn’t new to the art industry. While working on her second degree (first art degree), she opened the Three Flights Up gallery with several friends. “At that time there really wasn’t anything downtown that would show artists who were either in school or just beginning their careers,” she said.

She still works for Three Flights Up, which now has two locations and has “a nice variety of U-T students, people who attended U-T and graduated and are starting their careers and very well established Knoxville artists [exhibiting with the gallery],” Karnitz said.

Henry also has another art-based job outside of Sista Creations: another jewelry making Web site, Bands for Bangles. Bands donate used guitar strings to Henry, who creates bangle bracelets from them. About 20 percent of the proceeds from the sale of each bracelet are donated to an environmental organization.

“Although our world has many different, but very important, causes that need to be supported, in my eyes, the earth is what sustains it all. Bands for Bangles needed to represent how each of us can make a huge difference by changing little things in our everyday lives,” Henry said.

Rocco Deluca and The Burden, Brent Thompson and His Wandering Circus, Erick Baker from Down from Up, Jonathan Maness from The Dixie Bee-Liners and Andy Wood donate guitar strings to what Henry refers to as “B4B.” Most of the bands are local except for Deluca’s, which hails from California.

“My next pursuit will possibly be a vender or collector at Bonnaroo this summer,” Henry said. “There are so many bands or musicians to whom I would love to connect. But U-2 is who I have my sights set on,” she added.

At this time, Henry does not donate to only one specific environmental organization after each sale. “Believe it or not, unless you are already very established, many organizations won’t give you a second glance. I am still open and looking for a good fit with one or more organizations,” she said.

“I really want to make an impression on everyone. I want to get the message out there that it doesn’t take much from each of us to make a huge difference,” Henry said.

For more information about any of these Web-based companies or about the artists and their works, visit www.sistacreations.com, www.threeflightsup.com or www.bandsforbangles.com.

 

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