Local man loans artwork to Clayton Center

Ed Harmon, local retired businessman and member of Maryville College’s Board of Directors, stands next to a painting in the Special Events Room of the Clayton Center. The painting is one of several that Harmon is loaning to the Clayton Center for the Arts.

Photo by Jolanda Jansma

Ed Harmon, local retired businessman and member of Maryville College’s Board of Directors, stands next to a painting in the Special Events Room of the Clayton Center. The painting is one of several that Harmon is loaning to the Clayton Center for the Arts.

In addition to making a $100,000 pledge to the Clayton Center for the Arts, local retired businessman and Maryville College Board member William Eddie (Ed) Harmon has agreed to loan up to seven pieces of artwork from his private art collection to be displayed in various public spaces throughout the Center.

The artwork was installed on March 22 so that it could be enjoyed by attendees of the Clayton Center’s Grand Opening Gala, scheduled for March 27.

“I just wanted to find a way to allow people in the community a chance to enjoy some of the amazing pieces that I have been able to collect,” said Harmon. “The Clayton Center seemed like a perfect place to do this.”

Harmon is the son of the late James Edward and Imogene (Jean) Harmon and a graduate of Mayville High School and Martin Methodist College. He has been involved with the community in various capacities, including serving as past president of the Gatlinburg and Sevierville Kiwanis clubs and, most recently, as a member of the Maryville Kiwanis Club.

Harmon has served on several local boards, including the Holston Home for Children, the United Way of Blount County, the Blount County Library Foundation Board and the Blount Hearing and Speech Foundation. Presently Harmon serves as a board member for Martin Methodist College, Maryville College and the Clayton Center for the Arts Advisory Board.

Harmon’s art will remain on loan to the Center for the next five years. Paintings range in size from 64x80 to 70x45, and most feature landscapes of the beautiful mountains and streams throughout the area.

“We are so thrilled with Mr. Harmon’s generosity in sharing these pieces with the Center,” said Holly Jackson-Ludlow, vice president of advancement and community relations. “It has been so rewarding to see Ed and others give so openly of their time, talent and treasures to the Clayton Center.”

Constructed through a partnership of the College, the cities of Maryville and Alcoa, and state and federal governments, the $47-million Clayton Center for the Arts celebrates the art and culture of the Appalachian region by serving as a venue for local musicians, performers and artists.

Its design accommodates plays and musicals, concerts by touring musicians and orchestras, traveling art exhibits, film series, children’s plays and presentations by nationally recognized speakers.

Gifts of all sizes are being accepted to raise the remaining $6 million needed for a successful completion of the campaign.

For more information about giving to the Clayton Center for the Arts, call 865-273-8884, email holly.ludlow@maryvillecollege.edu or visit www.claytonartscenter.com.

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