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FHS grad returns from travels to open mural painting business


Heather Wolfe, a 2002 Farragut High School graduate, has returned to Knoxville after extensive travels to start a mural-painting business.

“I travel and take photographs, then come back and work from them,” Wolfe said of her art-producing process.

After graduating from Tennessee Technological University with a degree in art education, Wolfe taught art at Cookeville High School, where she also was drafted to paint her first murals in homes and doctors’ offices.

Wolfe tells a story about painting an animal scene in a young boy’s bedroom, then having his brother in class a few years later.

“He was like, ‘Your name is on the wall in my brother’s room’ … it was funny to make that connection years later,” Wolfe said.

However, teaching was not where Wolfe felt her calling.


“When you teach art, you don’t really get to produce it because you spend so much time with classroom structure, and just making sure everyone follows the rules,” she said.

During summer 2008, Wolfe had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy.

“I felt that trip to Italy was a chance for me to find myself as an artist again.

“I needed to take a moment back and just kind of feed myself, by being influenced by my surroundings and producing again,” she said.

The summer-long trip allowed Wolfe to fine-tune her knowledge of art techniques as varied as “lost wax” jewelry making, sculpting, and of course, painting.

“Now I am just making art and selling it and now trying to start this mural business,” Wolfe said.

Since then, the Farragut artist has painted a mural interpretation of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” at Lamberts Health Sleep Center off Park West Boulevard.

She’s also painted a version of “The Great Wave” for her sister’s home and is in negotiations with a local church for a mural of Knoxville’s cityscape.

“The reason I picked murals is, there’s something so exciting about painting larger than life.

“When you’re painting a mural, it is your entire body … your whole arm is going, you’re moving around, and it’s like a whole-body experience,” Wolfe said.

“It’s a different [medium] and I really think it’s something people can enjoy,” she added.

Besides painting, jewelry-making and sculpture, Wolfe also has branched out into cake decorating, creating confectionary artwork for birthdays and weddings.

She even sent an original painting of the cast of Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes” to the show, “but I never heard anything back,” Wolfe said.

“There are so many different interests I have that I don’t know which aspect I want to really focus in on,” Wolfe said.

To see examples of Wolfe’s art, visit her Web site, www.heatherwolfe.etsy.com

 

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