Greenfield Students Display Art at Soybean Fest

Students Interpret Growing Community Through Art
Posted on 09/03/2019
This is the image for the news article titled Students Interpret Growing Community Through ArtThe last time Hayleigh Harris took an art class at Greenfield School she was in the third grade. Currently a senior, she eagerly accepted the challenge of creating a mini-mural to enter in an art competition during the Tennessee Soybean Festival. The challenge to the challenge, however, was that she and fellow artists Emma and Amelia Crews had only three days to move from concept to delivery.

Their work now hangs along the Brian Brown Memorial Greenway along with 15 other pieces interpreting the theme “Growing Community Through Art.”

The short time frame had nothing to do with procrastination. Instead, the fact that the 3-foot x 3-foot wooden panel was collected and the girls were enlisted was due to speed and tenacity. Nan Satterfield, the new art teacher at Greenfield, was hired a week before classes started. As a Milan resident, she wasn’t aware of the newly-established competition, a collaborative effort of the Soybean Festival Committee, City of Martin, the Brian Brown Memorial Greenway Foundation, and Weakley ArtsCan. Once she learned of the opportunity, she acted quickly to retrieve the panel and assist with meeting the August 23rd deadline. Hence the fast timeline.

art depicting Weakley County in center, arms framing it with hands holding paintbrushes leading to quadrants illustrating farming, education, flowers, and musicHarris wasn’t deterred. She came up with the concept that placed the county in the center and having arms reflecting ethnic diversity reaching out to illustrate what individual towns had to offer – music, farmlands, education, and flowers.

Whatever was “aesthetically pleasing” about their home county was what made it to the board, said Satterfield.
“Even though Weakley County is small, we are getting more diverse and should know our county and our roots,” Amelia underscored.

Satterfield is noticeably pleased with the outcome because of how well the young artists expressed the theme. After delivering the piece to Martin for hanging, she noted, “What makes it stand apart is the meaning. There’s depth in their work.“

Though Harris has always had a love of art, this effort is the first time she has ever had her work on public display.
“I finally get to do something and show off what I can do,” she explained when asked why she wanted to enter. “I also want my little sister, Jayne Long, to know that even though you come from a small town, you can achieve big things.”

The twin sisters, Emma and Amelia, have also had little chance to show off their talents. Emma said she entered a postcard contest and was part of a group effort for a homecoming illustration. But as juniors they are enjoying an artistic boon as they both contributed to this endeavor and will be helping with set decorations for the upcoming production by the newly-formed county-wide theater group.

When Emma heard of the potential for thousands to view their work as the result of it being part of the internationally known Soybean Festival, she was clearly surprised and impressed.

The contest was launched in July. Professional and amateur individual artists, families and community groups were encouraged to interpret "Growing Community Through Art.” Artists paid $25 and had to supply their own paint. Funds raised will cover the costs of the boards and for the beautification of the Brian Brown Memorial Greenway. The display was hung along the Brian Brown Memorial Greenway’s new extension by Lindell Street, in Martin.

In a press release announcing the contest, Festival Director David Belote said, “The Tennessee Soybean Festival applauds the efforts of the good folks of Weakley ArtsCan, and we are excited about partnering with them to provide this wonderful opportunity for our community. We are looking forward to showcasing the spirit of our community through this art medium in one of the more picturesque locations in the City, The Brian Brown Memorial Greenway. As a friend of Brian, truly, this is one of the ways he envisioned the community using the Greenway. A big thank you to all who are investing their time to ‘Grow Our Community!’”

Samantha Smith Goyret, a member of Weakley ArtsCan, and a driving force behind the competition, heard the story of the Greenfield students at a meeting of the group after she had just installed the collection of 16 works.
She called it a “goosebumps moment” when she heard of Harris’ desire to inspire her sister. “That’s why we do this,” she exclaimed.

“Weakley ArtsCan believes in the power of the arts by supporting and empowering all community members through the promotion of inclusive and innovative arts offerings,” stated Julie Hill, Vice President of Weakley ArtsCan in the initial press release. “We believe future generations can and will benefit from being immersed in the arts. We exist to promote art education in the Weakley County School system and inspire people to support art programs.”

Community members are encouraged to take a stroll and vote for their favorite interpretations. Each piece of art will have a corresponding number. A ballot box is in place at either end of the Greenway’s art corridor. Or visitors cast their paper vote at Martin City Hall. Active voting will take place through September 7 at 4 p.m. The winners will be announced during the final evening of the TN Soybean Festival with the opportunity to win $100 cash prizes under three separate categories: individual, family, and group.

Emma Crews, Hayleigh Harris, and Amelia Crews, with Greenfield art teacher Nan Satterfield(from left) Emma Crews, Hayleigh Harris, and Amelia Crews, with guidance from new Greenfield art teacher Nan Satterfield, accepted the challenge of interpreting “Growing Community Through Art” as part of the Tennessee Soybean Festival’s art competition.