Lynnda Tenpenny, President: Is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and has retired from KUB as Director of Customer Service. She has always done art and found her sweet spot with colorful nature inspired mixed media and collage. Lynnda’s work utilizes layers of acrylic paint and painted papers; people can often read various meanings in her work as they view the art through multiple layers. Lynnda is in regional galleries and several local public collections. She has been a member since 2006 is also a member of the Art Market Gallery (a juried artists’ co-op). Lynnda has won a several1st place awards in regional exhibits and shows her work in various area art shows.
Robbie Gentry, Past President: Has an Associate’s Degree as a Legal Assistant. She was the Regional Trainer for Lanier Business Systems after graduating. Years later, Robbie went to work in her father’s travel agency, Etherson Travel, and focused on honeymoon travel as well as the business travel sector. Robbie retired in 2001 to build her business as a Glass Bead Artist and became a member in 2003. She has been married to her wonderful husband for 16 years and has two sons that are 15 years apart in age. Robbie has always loved glass and was happy to find glass beads to fill her creative side.
Linda Folks, Treasurer: Has been a member of the Foothills Craft Guild since 2010. She was elected to the Board and began serving as Treasurer in 2011. Linda is a jewelry artist who primarily works in the media of seed beads and silver metal clay. Although she has long been interested in jewelry and fine crafts, she was only able to begin crafting seriously after she retired. Linda worked for 34 years in the Federal government, serving at the White House, at the Internal Revenue Service, and for the last 20 years of her career at the Tennessee Valley Authority in the Office of the Inspector General. Linda was a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Information Systems Auditor. Although a relative newcomer to the fine craft community, Linda is a strong supporter of the Guild and its mission to promote and encourage high standards of workmanship in handicrafts and to sponsor activities which contribute to the advancement and appreciation of art and handicrafts of all kinds.
Liz Martin, Secretary: Drawing has always been interesting to Liz and she did a lot of it in school when she should have been doing other things. Her grandmother, Bea McClain Pope, a local artist, lived with Liz’s family for awhile, and Liz spent a lot of time with her learning about mixing paint. That is where she learned about painting furniture. Her mother was a portrait artist and Liz learned basic drawing skills. After completing college, Liz pursued a retail career. After being out of the job market for several years, Liz found herself divorced and starting over. Liz returned to her roots and began creating unique and useful items, drawing on her experience as an Interior Designer. She began to design her own things when it became necessary to competitively distinguish herself from other merchants who had similar items to sell. Liz became a member in 2010 and has one son, Matthew, who lives in Charlotte and is a musician with 2 acclaimed CDs.
Ann Lacava, Standards Chair: Is a certified Precious Metal Clay artisan and PMC Ambassador with Rio Grande. Ann is also a chain weaver. She has been a member of the Guild since 2008. In her studio, Pure Silver in Powell, Ann gets great pleasure in many other artists teaching their craft out of her studio. In Ann’s life before crafts, she was a Thesis/Dissertation Consultant for The University of Tennessee for 15 years working with all Master’s students preparing a thesis and all Doctoral students. She ultimately accepted their manuscripts for the graduate school when all formatting requirements were met. She also authored the thesis-dissertation manual which was adopted by the Tennessee Council of Graduate Schools for use by other universities throughout the U.S. Ann was married to John Lacava until his death in 2011, and they have 4 wonderful children, 8 terrific grandchildren; she is and soon-to-be great-grandmother of 7.
Ruth Harper, Special Events Coordinator/Scholarship Director: Is a native of Maryville and has considered herself a craft artist for most of her life. In 2001 Ruth started her own business, PurseWorks, to market her original design, handcrafted fabric bags. She became a member of Foothills Craft Guild in 2003 and participates in the Guild’s annual show each year. In recent years she has coordinated the show’s Marketplace. She participates in several other art and craft shows in the southeast and sells her work from her home-based studio. Prior to the birth of her now grown children, Ruth worked as a social worker for programs serving at risk preschool children and disabled adults. She left this work to be a stay at home mom which also allowed her to devote more time to develop her many craft interests. Most craft mediums intrigue her, and she has dabbled in almost all of them! Her other craft interests at the moment include traditional rug hooking, knitting, and making jewelry.
Jim Gentry, Assistant to Standards Chair: Native of mid-state TN and currently a resident of Fountain City. Jim has 25 plus years in arts education/administration/management. He received degrees from MTSU and Peabody College. Currently, his primary media focus is fiber: knotted and related techniques. Jim was an original member of Foothills Craft Guild and later moved out of state. He juried and became a member again in 2002. Jim is a member of Southern Highland Craft Guild, the National Basketry Organization, the Great Smoky Mountains Association and Fountain City Art Center.
Tom Fuhrman, Member at Large: Became a member in 2009 and has been married many years to the same wonderful woman, which is an accomplishment in this era. Tom has always had an interest in the unusual. That was the attraction to FCG as it encompasses all that is unusual. He still refuses to be complacent in most things that he does, although his body doesn’t understand this and has problems responding. Tom has spent his life and all his monetary funds on being a full time life time artist. He loves to travel and believes that memories/experiences are more important than those materialistic things. Being an artist is about being a risktaker. If there’s no risk it’s probably just what it is and nothing more.
Aleex Conner, Marketing Director: Founded Marketing Dimensions in 1998 and specializes in the development of comprehensive marketing strategies to assist clients in new customer acquisition and business growth. Aleex graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and she has over 30 years of experience in marketing. Her areas of expertise include public relations, community promotions, media relations, publication development, media buying, advertising programs, and innovation/creativity. She is also active in a variety of business and community organizations that include the Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership, Business Network International, Knoxville Association of Women Executives, Farragut Chamber of Commerce, Foothills Craft Guild, Arts and Culture Alliance, Knoxville Museum of Art, and the Fountain City Art Center.
Dorothy Smith, Show Director: Is President of Smith Marketing which she founded in 1988. The full service marketing firm specializes in public relations, advertising and event marketing. A native Knoxvillian, she majored in Communications at the University of Tennessee and has a variety of marketing experience. Smith was Executive Director of Main Street Knoxville, Marketing Director at Aztex Convenience Stores, and Public Relations Director of United American Bank. Active in the community, she is the chair of the Dogwood Arts Annual Diva Lunch, former co-chair of the Dogwood Arts Festival, past president of the Knoxville Advertising Federation, and past president of the Knoxville American Marketing Association. The annual Christmas in the City festival was founded by Smith in 1978. She is a firm believer in giving back to the community.
Denise May, Membership Director: Is an art jeweler living near Kingston, TN, with her husband and three dogs. She is mother of two and grandmother of two and a half. Trying new art techniques has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. College art classes and early work as a draftsman helped to ground her in design. Denise has been a selling member of the Foothills Craft Guild since 2004. She is a member of Locally Grown Artisan Gallery in Oak Ridge, a board member of Appalachian Arts Craft Center in Norris, and a founding member of the fledgling Arts Council of Roane County.
Jane Sharp, Bookkeeper: Jane is originally from Clarksville, TN. She moved to Knoxville to attend UT, where she earned a degree in business administration in 1978. After graduation Jane moved to Nashville where she owned and operated a needlecraft shop. The shop thrived due to the counted cross stitch and children’s hand smocking craze during the early 80s. In 1983 Jane married her husband Bailey and moved back to his hometown of Knoxville. Jane and Bailey have three daughters now 22, 24, and 26, and Jane worked part-time as the business manager of the Flower Market in Bearden from 1985-1998. Currently Jane is an accountant for Corporate Quarters while moonlighting as the FCG bookkeeper. Jane tells us she misses working with the public in retail and is so happy to get a yearly retail fix at the Foothills Fine Craft Fair every November.