Sharon Gillenwater and Michael McKee: Acrylics and Oils

April 7-28, 2017
Sharon Gillenwater and Michael McKee: Acrylics and Oils
Opening reception: Friday, April 7, 5:00-9:00 PM

Exhibition hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Please note, the Emporium will be closed on Friday, April 14.

Sharon Gillenwater – Artist Statement
I’ve always wanted to be an artist and find beauty in most everything I see. Painting brings joy, peace and excitement to my life. My hope, goal and job is to create art that generates these feelings for my viewers. I generally paint with oils on a variety of surfaces, usually canvas, which I feel gives me total freedom to accomplish my mission.

Each painting is approached in a fresh manner. My style is basically classical realism, but some paintings just call out to be painted in a loose, impressionistic way. To accomplish this, I add a few impressionist strokes to some of my paintings.

Sharon Gillenwater – Biography
Raised in a little coal mining community in southern West Virginia, Sharon was always interested in art. While living in Fort Worth, Texas, she saw an ad in the local paper stating “If you can hold a brush, I can teach you to paint”. This was the beginning – she started to pursue her passion for art. Shortly after, Sharon and her husband Ray, moved to Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. Due to job commitments, painting was again put on the back burner for several years. Upon moving to Kentucky in 1993, Sharon started painting again – first in acrylics, then watercolors – however, her first love is and will always be, oils.

The next move was to Knoxville where Sharon took lessons from several teachers and eventually found her way to Bob Ross, where she became a Bob Ross instructor. Her next move was to Johnnie Liliedahl at the Liliedahl School of Classical Oil Painting. Sharon completed her training at the school and became a certified Liliedahl Fine Art Instructor. Sharon teaches locally and in her home studio as well as nationally at workshops, seminars and conventions. For more information, visit

Michael McKee – Biography
In the field of art, Michael McKee is largely self-taught and has cultivated his talents through practice and observation. His subjects of choice are animals and landscapes, and his medium of choice is acrylic. The art of noted Sumner County wildlife artist Ralph McDonald has greatly influenced McKee since the 1970s and is likely most responsible for his current interest in wildlife art. He has attended art workshops featuring some of the best wildlife artists in the business, including Robert Bateman, Terry Isaac and Rod Frederick, and his works have won Best of Show and First Place Awards in local art shows. McKee is a native Tennessean and has been a member of the Tennessee Artists Association since 1992. For more information, visit

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