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The Art Market Gallery is a cooperative of more than sixty East Tennessee artists dedicated to providing a vibrant marketplace for original art and fine crafts. We are located in the heart of downtown Knoxville with convenient parking on Gay Street, State Street Parking Garage and Market Square Parking Garage.

Victoria Simmons – Painting/Drawing

I have spent most of my life creating images from nature. Whether the light reflecting on a mountain lake, or reflecting in the eyes of a fox, the natural world has always spoken to me.

From the time I picked up my first crayon as a small child, I have been drawing animals. Dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, squirrels, foxes, birds – everything from family pets to the animals in nature all around me.

In 2001, I was invited to display my work at the Tennessee Valley Hunt opening meet, and it has become a fall tradition for me. I have taken hundreds of photographs over the past several years at the opening meet, and on hound walks with the huntsman. I am continually fascinated with the hounds. Their connection with each other, and their bond with the huntsman, is an amazing thing to watch. In 2008, from these photographs, came my series of paintings “ It’s About the Hounds”, and my first solo exhibition at Blount Mansion. In her review, Carla Hawkinson of Tennessee Valley Hunt wrote about my approach to painting hounds: “ Her tightly cropped compositions capture the spirit of the hounds; and thus the essence of the hunt. Foxhunters will revel in the power of her work and recognize individual hounds!”

While dogs and horses remain my favorite subjects, I love painting animals of all kinds. Over the past 36 years, I’ve taken thousands of photographs of wild animals while on backpacking trips and in zoos throughout the eastern half of the U.S. as well as England and Scotland. In 2009, I began a series of paintings from these photos and displayed many of them in my solo exhibition “All Creatures Great and Small” at the Fountain City Art Center.

I am working on a new series, based on my childhood memories, about discovering nature’s animals for the first time.

After more than 50 years of creating art, the natural world still calls out to me, and animals still speak to my soul.

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