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Bringing Art to Farragut

Robert and Donna Conliffe, Farragut residents and artists, have opened Art Gallery of Farragut in Essex Point off Kingston Pike.

“We always thought there needed to be some sort of art venue in Farragut,” Robert said.

“We’d like to open a large art center like the Oak Ridge Art Center, but this is a start to that end.

“We’re trying to establish something this way and bring the art community here in Farragut,” he added.

The Gallery offers art, including paintings, photographs, sculptures, clothing and mixed media art from regional, mostly Tennessee artists.

Currently the gallery features work from 17 artists.

In the future, Donna said, the gallery will host events ranging from workshops and classes to wine tastings and artist showings.

“Eventually, we hope to do workshops or classes, probably after the first of the year,” Donna said.

“We probably will go to [having] First Fridays or Second Saturdays or something like that,” she added.

First Fridays is the popular open event at art galleries and other shops downtown and in Bearden.

“If we could do something like that here, it would be a nice evening out but not 20 miles away,” Donna said.

The Art Gallery is not intended to compete with the downtown art community, Donna said, but was meant to be an extension of art into Farragut and West Knox County.

“It’s the sense of building an art community in Farragut,” Donna said.

Robert and Donna have been residents of Farragut since 1997. When Bob retired in 1999, he became involved in the art community, joining Donna, who had always had an interest in the field.

The Conliffes are partners with the building’s owners, Gary and Debbie Chesney.

The Conliffes serve as advisors to Farragut High School’s art academy, an organization that partners students with artists from different fields.

“Again, it’s about building that art community here in Farragut,” Donna said.

“We are advisors to the three art teachers at Farragut, I guess,” Robert said.

“They place students in work situations. … [such as] the Knoxville Museum of Art, helping hang paintings and do things that need to be done, as a volunteer,” he added.

“So they get a better sense of a complete art community, that it isn’t just painting or pottery. There’s a lot of different jobs or painting that go into it,” Donna said.

The Gallery’s hours are from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays.

For more information about the Art Gallery , 111 Loudoun Road, visit or call 865-777-ARTS.


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