Painting the Tale
Painting the Tale Print E-mail


Painting the Tale (PTT) is the art program established at Pacesetters, Inc to tap into the talents of individuals who had never been considered before.  Professional artists, both visual and performance were contracted to evaluate the individuals and teach a variety of Visual Art skills, and Storytelling.

Through the visual Arts part of PTT several individuals have created, and sold, many different pieces of art.  Guest artists have collaborated with individuals one on one, but every individual at Pacesetters can participate in Painting the Tale.    Pacesetters service recipients have access to the arts programs in all of the facility based services sites. Their art work has been displayed at local galleries as well as the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Frist Center in Nashville, the Nashville Airport, in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Ga.  Their art is presently displayed at the DIDS Central Office in Nashville.   Through the Storytelling part of PTT many individuals have had the opportunity to participate in plays that have been performed at Pacesetters facilities, the Putnam County Library and several nursing homes and schools in the Putnam and White County area.

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Merritt Volunteers Print E-mail

Merritt,  Joyce and Wendy talked and brainstormed and hoped one day to get the backing from a permanent Director and the Board for such a program as part of Pacesetters. In the meantime, Merritt volunteered to begin an art program at Pacesetters. She visited Putnam Center once a week for one month, then switched to Livingston and came there once a month for 2 years. In 1999 John Green was hired as the new Pacesetter Director. Merritt met with him, and showed him a video of her residency while at Creativity Unlimited in San Jose, CA.  John, whose credentials included a Fine Arts degree, was very excited about starting an AIR Program at Pacesetters. He then appointed Joyce to explore how to get a grant to fund the program.   Joyce signed up to attend the next TAC grant writing workshop.

Marcia Joyce Merritt at the first Painting the Tale exhibit, “Rabbit’s House” , at Appalachian Center for Craft Summer 2002.“The Fat Cat”  a folktale from Denmark.  Putnam Pacesetters Players Bobby Davis and …as the Fat Cat who has just eaten the old woman and her pot.  Dancing ladies Rebecca bassett and renee …await their turn to be eaten. 2       :  Putnam Center individuals painted the canvas to turn it into a giant cat puppet.
Marcia Joyce Merritt at the first Painting the Tale exhibit, “Rabbit’s House” , at Appalachian Center for Craft Summer 2002.
2004 “The Fat Cat” a folktale from Denmark. Putnam Pacesetters Players Bobby Davis and Kenneth Billingsley as the Fat Cat who has just eaten the old woman and her pot. Dancing ladies Rebecca Bassett and Renee Roberts await their turn to be eaten. Putnam Center individuals painted the canvas to turn it into a giant cat puppet.


 
Painting the Tale is Born Print E-mail

At the Spring 1999 TAC grant writing workshop at the Appalachian Center for Craft, Joyce and Putnam County Library Storyteller Marcia Donovan met for the first time and discovered their mutual passion for adults with disabilities as artists. Together they came up with the project name and concept: Painting the Tale (PTT), the Pacesetters visual and performance art project which provides the Pacesetters individuals with multimedia opportunities for individual self-expression. Merritt would provide the Visual Arts AIR and Marcia would be the Performance AIR.  Joyce Sievers for Pacesetters would apply for arts project funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission (TAC) and administer the grant.  TAC generously funded the program at the Putnam Center beginning in the fall of 2000.   The first presentation was “Nyangara” in March 2001 for a Parent Meeting at the Putnam Center.

 “Nyangara” a folktale from Africa:  Donald Lowe of Putnam Center played the king who was cured when the Children of the village brought him his doctor snake Nyangara, when their parents were too afraid to help“The magic Gourds” a folktale from Korea:  A preschool student helps tend the gourds as they grow at the Library performance
2001 “Nyangara” a folktale from Africa. Donald Lowe of Putnam Center played the king who was cured when the children of the village brought him his doctor snake Nyangara, when their parents were too afraid to help
2005 “The Magic Gourds” a folktale from Korea: A preschool student helps tend the gourds as they grow at the Library performance


 
PTT Goes On Print E-mail

The enthusiastic reception of this presentation by both performers and audience led to the decision to choose a multicultural folktale annually for public performance as a unifying element for and culmination of the year-long (July to June) visual arts and storytelling activities.  Individuals soon began to benefit physically, mentally and financially from the project, experiencing the joy of self-expression in the community setting, speaking and moving on a public stage, and creating, exhibiting, and selling visual art of many styles.    The PTT project was funded by Tennessee Arts Commission FY 2001-2007, with administration of the grant by Joyce Sievers Pacesetters Family Support.

The Big Orange Splot  Daniel PinkwaterKanchil Mouse Deer Waits for the End of the World  lg puppets
2007 PTT “The Big Orange Splot” by Daniel Pinkwater. Putnam artists display houses they created for the performance: Left to Right: Tina Stout, Tracey Gentry, Lori Stebbins, Rebecca Bassett, Buster Williams, Cathy Decaussin, Mike Rewis, Jackie Clark.
2008 PTT “Kanchil Mouse Deer Waits for the End of the World”, a folktale from Indonesia. Putnam and White County Pacesetters Players use large puppets they created at the Putnam County Library performance. Front Row: PTT Storyteller Marcia Donovan (Narrator), Cathy Decaussin (Leaf ) Lisa Manus (Kanchil), Tina Stout (Leaf ), Karen Simpson (Percussion) ), Chuck Everidge (Wild Pig ), Gary Terry (Monkey ), Gary Hayes (Leaf ).


 
And On Print E-mail

Since the Fall of 2007, Pacesetters has fully funded PTT, and in fact expanded the project into several other counties as well. There are now weekly visits year round to Putnam Center by Storyteller Marcia Donovan.  Visual Artist weekly visits to Putnam and White Centers are made by Merritt Ireland.  Beginning in Fall 2007 additional visual arts monthly visits to Putnam, White, Macon, Warren, and Overton Centers have been made by Visual Artists Julie Styer, and Ramie Nunally.  Guest artists such as Wayne Hogan, Linda Johnson, Marilee Hall, and others offer arts mini-sessions at various centers as funding by Cookeville Arts Council allows.    Since Fall 2007 White County individuals attend the weekly Storytelling classes and participate in the annual performances.  Joyce Sievers retired from Pacesetters in January 2008 and County Services Director Bill Toye took over the coordination of the Art Program, while Joyce remains available as an expert advisor.    The Arts Committee:  Chair Bill Toye,  Support Manager Day Putnam Center Kathy Lee, Assistant Director White Center Cathy Presley, Support Manager Day Putnam Annex Director Sherry Sturgill,  Development Coordinator James Dial, artists Merritt Ireland and Marcia Donovan, meet monthly to coordinate the program.

Musicians of the Sun  Aztec  bird pixWhy Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears  West Africa: Masks   cast at Putnam rehearsal with masks created with guidance from Visual Artists Merritt Ireland and Ramie Nunally.
2012 PTT “Musicians of the Sun”, an Aztec tale. Mike Rewis (left) as the Sun threw fire darts to defend his Musicians. Front row: Brad Allen (Trumpet), Joanna McAtee (Drum), Back Row: Gary Terry (Flute) and George Root(Rattle).
2013 PTT “Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears”, a folktale from West Africa. Front Row: Dean Harris (shekere), Bradley Styer (Mosquito), Storyteller Marcia Donovan, Tina Wofford (Iguana), Tina Stout (Sun), Debbie Keith (Rabbit), Visual Artist Merritt Ireland. Back Row: Karen Simpson (Antelope), Lisa Manus(Queen Lioness), Brad Allen and Floyd Williams (Python), Vickie Rollins (MotherOwl), Wendell Klukis (Percussion).


 
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