Last Friday Art Walk features hearing impaired artist at Boyd Thomas

Amanda Womac knew Mandy Burnside as a Hearing and Speech Foundation client who, as a deaf person, had learned to communicate and function as a normal-hearing adult.

What Womac didn’t know was her friend paints, draws and does wood-carving.

Now Burnside and her work will be featured at Boyd Thomas Clothing during April’s Last Friday Art Walk as a kick off to Better Hearing and Speech Month.

“I never knew Mandy was an artist,” said Womac, executive director of the Hearing and Speech Foundation. “I am absolutely amazed at her range of talents. I think it is fantastic. Her art shows her story and struggle with coming to terms with being a hearing-impaired individual in a hearing world. I think this is an opportunity Mandy has to share her story with the hearing world. It is also a fantastic opportunity for the Hearing and Speech Foundation and our clients.”

Womac said Burnside’s art also show how she has grown and what she is now trying to do with her art. “It shows the struggle and hardship and feeling of hopelessness and helplessness; then, the second stage is focused on what to do now with hearing loss and understanding where a person is and what resources are available for them,” she said.

Burnside said her work is a series of different mediums. “I have some watercolor, some acrylic, one collage, some relief wood carving. Mostly, in general, I love all forms of art and love to work with each, with the exception of oil,” she said.

The artist said her art reflects her life, from being a young deaf girl who had trouble doing simple daily interactions to being a high school graduate to marrying her childhood best friend, to becoming a young mom at 22, then suffering through a divorce and learning to be a strong, self-sufficient person. “Through this journey is where I developed my sense of self worth . I learned that I was capable of doing anything I wanted,” she said.

Burnside said she began soul-searching and ultimately realized the importance of giving back to young deaf children in the world.

“I have finally found the missing piece to my puzzle and am more motivated than ever to accomplish my dreams,” she said. “I am recording my journey throughout my art work.”

Womac said not many people get the opportunity to see what it means to live with hearing loss. “Mandy’s art drives that point home. She is also raising awareness of our mission in the community and helping us kick off Better Hearing and Speech Month which has a goal of raising awareness and education of hearing loss,” she said.

As Last Friday Art Walk gears up for a great spring and summer, more businesses are joining in the monthly party that takes place in Downtown Maryville on the last Friday of the month, 5 to 9 p.m. Area businesses host artists like Burnside, showcasing their work and giving the public the opportunity to meet the artists and purchase original artwork. Last Friday Art Walk is a project of the Maryville Arts Coalition. For more information on Art Walk and the Coalition, go to

Last Friday Art Walk artists and participants for Friday, April 29, will be:

Boyd Thomas Clothing, 227 W. Broadway Ave. -- Mandy Burnside is hearing impaired and will have works she has painted, drawn and also works in wood carving. Representatives from the Hearing and Speech Foundation will be on hand.

Broadway Muffler, 301 W. Broadway Ave.-- Sara Jones is a jewelry artist who has a flare for clean, classic lines. Her jewelry is very versatile and the simplicity of the designs are elegant yet trendy. Cathy Romanczuk is a jewelry artist who has an eye for the natural and organic look. Her jewelry is unique and features original designs. Also featuring “Budding” Artists. These are artists of the future and will be featuring a spring theme with artwork from Lanier Head Start program. We will be offering refreshments and encourage everyone to check out the art of our local school children.

Clayton Center for the Arts- Denso Community Gallery will feature John Girdler, a senior at Maryville College. While majoring in Studio Art he has chosen to concentrate in ceramics and pottery, recently completing his senior thesis. His senior work explored the vessel’s unique role in the human experience. The largest under taking of the project consisted of a series of dinners with families in the local community. These dinners allowed for a personal and in depth examination of various families’ dining traditions. Work being shown at the Clayton Center Denso Gallery during the month of April includes items and photographs from the dinners and several works exploring the ideas of relationships and interconnectivity.

In the Blackberry Farm Gallery at Clayton Center for the Arts, this month’s exhibit features Works on Paper by Knoxville artist Gary Monroe. The show consists of nine lush, large scale drawings exploring themes of faith, redemption, and adoration. The works depict snake handling and Elvis, and draw heavily on a deep, but eclectic, knowledge of art history.

Clears Silat Street Kung Fu and Tai Chi, 113 E. Broadway Ave., will be featuring the following artists: Jesse Leaf, Danielle Janis, Dan Cope, Sue Bell, and Neice Brooks. Anyone who enjoys modern art, mixed media and funky jewelry will enjoy this exhibit.

Dandy Lions Gifts, 300 E. Church Ave. will host DeeDe Edele and her contemporary paintings. Edele does large-scale abstracts and colorful landscapes. She is a Maryville resident and a member of Fine Arts Blount.

Fine Arts Blount, ArtSpace Gallery at 106 E. Broadway Ave., will be featuring their Junior members: Jenna Brackett, Will Miller, Jonathan Kear, and Kassidi McDannel. Fine Arts Blount will also be launching their CupCake Project. “Let them eat artful little cakes.” Come join in the fun.

Grassy Area Next to Tomato Head -- New Hope and Maryville College students will host children’s activities from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Bring the whole family for take-home art projects and games.

Little Nifties, 300 E. Church Ave., -- Dangerous dames and goons with big trunks and bad intentions are all a part of the world created by artist James Owens. With a distinctly mid-century noir vibe, Owens’ oil paintings are a blue plate special of American automotive steel and a side order of dames with more curves than the Santa Monica freeway.

The Palace Theater, 113 West Broadway Ave., will feature Fort Craig Schools presenting Arts in the Schools with teacher Patty Young and her students. After the Art Walk The Palace Theater Film Club presents “San Francisco” with Clark Gable. Show starts at 7:30. Hosted by the Palace Theater Movie Club. Tickets $6 at the door.

Tomato Head, 211 W. Broadway Ave., will feature artist Nicholas Hankins who will have a collection of his paintings and drawings on exhibit.

Vienna Coffeehouse, 321 High St., -- Maggie Harnois, Watercolors and Natural Sciences Illustrations. Followed by an Open Mic Night at 7 p.m., which is free and for all ages. Cap off the evening with coffee, dessert and a chance to check out local talent.

Village Tinker, 417 W. Broadway Ave., will feature Dawn Graham of D. Shell Designs. Dawn has been designing jewelry since 1991. Dawn’s jewelry stands out for it quality and uniqueness, while always being very fashionable. She offers jewelry in a variety of six different style lines. Each line bears the name of one of Dawn’s dogs (past and present) and reflects the personality of the dog it is named after.

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Comments » 1

DeafDeaf writes:

Please be advised that the term, “hearing impaired” is unacceptable. Here is the explanation:

The term "Hearing Impaired" is a technically accurate term much preferred by hearing people, largely because they view it as politically correct. In the mainstream society, to boldly state one's disability (e.g., deaf, blind, etc.) is somewhat rude and impolite. To their way of thinking, it is far better to soften the harsh reality by using the word "impaired" along with "visual", "hearing", and so on. "hearing-impaired" is a well-meaning word that is much-resented by deaf and hard of hearing people.

While it's true that their hearing is not perfect, that doesn't make them impaired as people. Most would prefer to be called Deaf, Hard of Hearing or deaf when the need arises to refer to their hearing status, but not as a primary way to identify them as people (where their hearing status is not significant).

We are deaf, and not people with impairments (obstacles) in life!

Hope that you and your people respect by refusing to use the outdated and offensive term.