Jen Hartley is in the Chat Room

Jen Hartley

Photo by Tessa Bright Wildsmith

Jen Hartley

Age: 25

Occupation: Pre-school teacher with the Oak Ridge City Schools.

Family: Married to Seth Hartley

Jen Hartley is new to the art scene but what she isn’t new to is organizing events. Hartley, who organized a Hispanic Heritage Festival at the Blount County Public Library, is the new coordinator for Art Mart at Southland Books.

Art Mart is an event Southland Books sponsors to showcase artists and give them an opportunity to sell their work. The event is in its third year and always involves several bands, which provide music throughout the day. The different artists have tables displaying their work.

Hartley started making jewelry about a year ago. “I started because I wanted to make Christmas presents for my family, and I decided it was very therapeutic and kept doing it. People seemed to really like it,” she said.

Hartley describes her own line of jewelry as Elorah Jewelry. “Elorah means ‘God is my light,’ “ she said.

Hartley specializes in necklaces but also has makes bracelets and earrings. She uses glass beads, some of which she fits on bead wire and some of she puts on hemp.

Hartley’s husband is friends with Lisa Misosky and learned that the storeowner needed someone to coordinate the event. “I walked in and said, ‘If you want me to do this I’ll do it.’ I’ve done one other big event - the Hispanic Heritage Festival -- three or four years ago,” she said.

That experience taught her a lot about how to organize events. “I got a better understanding of what people are going to need, and I developed better people skills. I learned where things should go and how to have a better flow of people,” she said.

When not organizing Art Mart, she’s busy with her day job as a schoolteacher. “I’m a preschool teacher, and I really love preschool children,” she said. One particular class she leads is a combination of English and Spanish-speaking students.

Hartley said her husband Seth is as enthusiastic about Art Mart as she is. “He’s excited. He’s a part of two of the three bands who will be playing,” she says of her husband, who plays bass guitar.

25 Random Things about Jen Hartley

1. I am married to Seth Allen Hartley, an extremely smart, kind and talented man.

2. I like to do Latin dance workout videos when no one is looking.

3. I check all of the closets and under the bed for the boogey man if I am home at night without my husband.

4. I am extremely uncoordinated. Some examples: Rolling my ankle in track team tryouts in high school. Crashing into a fence while roller-blading down a hill, which left stripes across my body from the wooden rail. Attempting to play church volleyball in sunglasses and having the ball smash my sunglasses down the middle of my face and leave a nice scar. Need I say more.

5. I love sushi.

6. I am half Latina. One side of my family is originally from Puerto Rico.

7. I did my student teaching in Guatemala. I have been there four times with the longest length of stay being four months. I have tons of “family” there now.

8. My husband and I officially met on a blind date.

9. My current favorite movie is “Nacho Libre.”

10. I love watching “Fringe,” “House,” “Kings” and “Bones.”

11. I read mushy Nicholas Sparks books.

12. I enjoy cleaning. My house has to be de-cluttered before I can relax.

13. People think I look like Sandra Bullock.

14. I love Jesus.

15. I love Maryville Vineyard Church. Come check us out.

16. I make glass bead jewelry.

17. I teach preschool and am accidentally called “Mama” a lot.

18. Half of my students speak Spanish.

19. I was born in Youngstown, Ohio.

20. I can touch my tongue to my nose.

21. I won the school Spelling Bee in the fourth grade.

22. I dressed up as Sarah Palin for Halloween this year but...Go Barak Obama.

23. I don’t cook. I am the master microwaver. Seth is the chef in our family.

24. I volunteer in the nursery at my church.

25. When I was little, I colored rocks with crayons and went door-to-door selling “painted rocks.” People actually paid me for them.

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